Posted on March 08, 2015

More than 300 healthcare professionals from Qatar and other countries recently gathered at the first Qatar International Conference on Safe Anticoagulation Management, hosted jointly by Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Pharmacy Department and Al Wakra Hospital (AWH), to discuss new advances and trends in anticoagulation care and research.

“The conference, which is the first of its kind in the region, highlighted the work of Al Wakra Hospital’s pharmacy-managed Anticoagulation Clinic (supported by cardiologists), which was established three years ago as part of efforts to improve patient outcomes. This clinic is the first of its kind in Qatar,” said Dr. Ezeldin Soaly, Senior Consultant, Head of AWH’s Cardiology Department, and Conference Organizing Committee Chairman. Anticoagulation therapy helps to fight cardiovascular disease by reducing the body's ability to form clots in the blood, and is used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in veins and arteries. The growing problem of cardiovascular disease in Qatar, a major cause of death, disability and impaired quality of life among the population, underscores the important role of the clinic in improving patient outcomes.

Dr. Soaly explained that the anticoagulation service helps patients to better understand their condition and manage their medication to maximize its benefits and avoid side effects such as bleeding complications from improper medication use or dosage. “The clinic serves a wide range of specialties including cardiology, surgery, neurology and orthopedics, and has benefited almost 2,000 patients since it was created. Our achievement in establishing this clinic in accordance with the highest standards to meet the needs of our patients was recognized by HMC’s leadership when we were awarded the Best Clinical Practice Award under HMC’s Stars of Excellence Awards Program in 2014,” he added.

Dr. Moza Al-Hail (pictured), Executive Director of Pharmacy and Co-Chairperson of the Conference said: “The commitment, competence and skills of our pharmacists are crucial to safe and effective medication management. This conference reinforced those values and gave our clinicians the opportunity to interact firsthand with an expert faculty from around the world. In line with international best practice, HMC is developing our pharmacy services as a clinical specialty, with t pharmacists at the heart of safe and effective medication use to ensure we provide our patients with the safest, most effective and most compassionate care.

HMC’s Pharmacy Department and 2 [].jpg“The idea of having an anticoagulation conference this year was based on the success of the pharmacy-managed Anticoagulation Clinic at Al Wakra Hospital, an initiative that was further extended to Heart Hospital. Furthermore, with many pharmacists’ involvement, HMC has initiated a multidisciplinary program that has significantly increased the rate of patients’ risk assessment for venous thromboembolism (a serious medical condition where a blood clot formed in a deep vein dislodges and travels to the lungs). This particular initiative has been greatly appreciated within HMC and won the special Managing Director’s Award for Excellence in 2014,” added Dr Al Hail.

The two-day event was held in partnership with Qatar University’s College of Pharmacy (CPH) and featured speakers from HMC, CPH, Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar, United States, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait. “We are happy to collaborate with AWH’s Cardiology Department on this conference, which gives participants an opportunity to share novel ideas and discuss the most advanced practices in anticoagulation care. It is an excellent example of the interprofessional education at HMC,” said Dr. Rasha Al Anany, Director of Pharmacy at AWH and Head of HMC’s Pharmacy Education.

Dr. Osama Badry, Pharmacy Cardiology/Anticoagulation Coordinator and In-charge of AWH’s Anticoagulation Service added: “At the conference, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals in the region had the opportunity to network with other attendees, and learned from 22 local and international experts through in-depth presentations, interactive panel discussions and workshops. We also held special events for the speakers, including a tour of famous places in Qatar.”