Posted on September 23, 2019

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), presented research findings from its report titled, Transforming Patient Safety: A Sector-Wide Systems Approach, at the 8th International Patient Safety Conference 2019. WISH was also one of the knowledge partners for the event, which was held in Hyderabad, India, from September 13-14.

The conference, organized by the Apollo Hospitals Group, discussed the direction of healthcare within the new era of Artificial Intelligence, as well as focused on best practices to minimize medical errors. WISH was represented by Dr. Walid Qoronfleh, Director of Research and Policy, and Maha El Akoum, Head of Content and Research Fellow, where they engaged with an international community of policy makers, academics, researchers, and healthcare experts.

Dr. Qoronfleh said: “It was an honor for us to participate and speak at the conference about how to create highly reliable health systems. This opportunity gave us a chance to network with like-minded individuals and global entities, exchange experiences, and gain technical knowledge in various areas of patient safety. “Patient safety is not a luxury, but a right for all patients and their families. And that is why, as a local stakeholder in healthcare reform in Qatar, WISH hopes to assist in defining the national strategy for patient safety improvement.”

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As part of his presentation, which took place during the session titled ‘Lessons on Innovations’, Dr. Qoronfleh emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing and interdisciplinary learning. More specifically, he discussed how healthcare professionals can learn from other industries, such as commercial aviation, automotive manufacturing, and the chemical industry, in finding ways to reduce error. During the same session, Ms. El Akoum presented findings from the WISH report, shared Qatar’s research experience in patient safety, perceptions of safety culture among nurses, and WISH’s initiative ‘Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety’, which was hosted in collaboration with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health and US-based MedStar Health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on any given day in the US, 1 in every 25 patients contract at least one infection during their hospital stay, with as many as 440,000 patients dying each year from medical errors. Moreover, according to a World Health Organization statistic published this August, patient death occurring due to a preventable medical accident, while receiving healthcare, is estimated to be 1 in 300. “These alarming numbers emphasize the need for changing the underlying systems of care, in order to reduce the occurrence of errors. Equally important is to cultivate a non-punitive culture of safety, that rewards error reporting and transparency within an organization,” said Ms. El Akoum.

“WISH’s research efforts in Qatar have shown that nurses play a critical role in ensuring patient safety through their increased interaction with both the patients as well as the care processes, allowing them to identify the inherent weaknesses in the system. Therefore, it is crucial for nurses to feel safe and empowered to speak up and for the system to reward them for doing so.”

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