Posted on September 02, 2018

The National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), part of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) network of specialist hospitals, recently announced the successful re-accreditation of its Supportive and Palliative Care Program by the Joint Commission International (JCI).

Palliative care is care provided for people who have a life-limiting illness and for whom the primary goal is quality of life. Palliative care takes a holistic approach to address the full spectrum of a patient’s needs, from the physical and emotional to the spiritual and social.

Commenting on the significance of the international accreditation, Professor Alexander Knuth, CEO and Medical Director at NCCCR, said: “We are proud of this achievement and honored to be re-accredited by an internationally recognized organization such as JCI. This highlights HMC’s approach to developing excellence in healthcare in Qatar and it recognizes the outstanding quality of care we provide to our patients. Our vision is to deliver an internationally recognized Supportive and Palliative Care Program and to become a regional leader in palliative care clinical services.”

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Professor Knuth continued: “This is the only palliative care program accredited as a clinical care program by JCI in the Middle East and Gulf region. This achievement reflects HMC’s commitment to providing the best quality services to our patients by offering world-class cancer therapies and support. Our Supportive and Palliative Care Program meets the highest quality standards and our teams are committed to the provision of exemplary care.” Dr. Azza Ibrahim Hassan, Senior Consultant, Oncology at NCCCR and Director of the Supportive and Palliative Care Program said coping with advanced illness is stressful for patients and their families. She said the goal of HMC’s Supportive and Palliative Care Program is to maintain an optimal quality of life for patients and caregivers.

“The patient is at the heart of everything we do here at HMC and our Supportive and Palliative Care Program is focused on the patient. It is tailored to meet patient needs, using proven tools and techniques to better integrate, coordinate, and communicate patient care. The program prioritizes patients with late-stage disease, identifying those who may need immediate assistance and accepting referrals for symptom control and psychological support for both patients and their families. The program also provides advice on the direction of care and assistance in communicating difficult medical information,” said Dr. Hassan.

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“We are grateful to have the Supportive and Palliative Care Program reaccredited, highlighting the quality of this program and its focus on delivering optimum care. This accreditation is a major achievement not only for our division but for the hospital as a whole. Our success is the result of great teamwork and the significant contributions of every member of the Supportive and Palliative Care team”, Dr. Hassan concluded.

The Palliative and Supportive Care Program was initially accredited in 2012, followed by a second re-accreditation in 2015. The JCI accreditation recognizes hospital programs that demonstrate exceptional care to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. It acknowledges compliance with the highest standards. In 2016 the supportive and palliative care team developed a Fellowship Program focused on palliative care for patients and families at diagnosis, during active treatment, and at end-of-life. The first fellow joined the program in 2017.

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