Posted on January 12, 2017

In an effort to improve the patient experience for Qatar’s maternity patients, a new prenatal program has been introduced into Al Wakra Hospital – a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) – giving pregnant women the opportunity to feel better prepared and more confident about giving birth.

The program includes a tour of the facility with the opportunity to meet caregivers and receive relevant educational material. This is designed to make the childbirth experience more meaningful and positive and to make the transition from pregnancy to caring for a newborn as smooth as possible for women.

“Having a baby can be a very exciting yet stressful time for our newly referred mothers,” said Dr. Mohammed Alloub, Senior Physician of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Al Wakra Hospital. “As part of our prenatal program for new patients, we are offering an on-site orientation at our hospital where women will have the opportunity to ask questions about our maternal units and services available.” Al Wakra Hospital offers a range of services for their maternity patients including antenatal and postnatal clinics, gynecology clinics, a lactation clinic and an anesthetic assessment clinic for high risk obstetric patients. “By inviting pregnant women into the hospital before delivery, our goal is to establish a friendly environment and ensure women and their families feel safe, comfortable, informed and involved in their care,” Dr. Alloub added.

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As part of the initiative, hospital representatives accompany the participants to different maternity units after an on-site orientation presentation. During this time, a multi-disciplinary team at Al Wakra Hospital including the hospital obstetricians, anesthesiologists, pharmacists and nurses, are available to answer any questions women may have. “My main concern was related to what I should do to be more prepared for my upcoming delivery,” Joanne Delos Reyes, a first time mother said.  She added: “Having the opportunity to walk through the different labor and delivery areas at Al Wakra Hospital and see how it was laid out and be able to ask questions from the doctors, nurses and midwives, made me feel less anxious and that helped give my husband more confidence as well.”

In a feedback survey administered to around 300 participants at the hospital, 95 percent rated the tour as excellent, with most indicating they would recommend it to others. They also revealed their desire to have their husbands accompany them on the tour, which organizers will incorporate by early next year. For women that are not able to attend, an educational video has been developed and will be shown in the outpatient waiting areas. In addition, educational brochures are provided in both English and Arabic.n“We are thrilled with the positive response we have received from both our patients and staff,” said Fatma Naji, Head Nurse of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Outpatient Department at Al Wakra Hospital and lead organizer of the initiative. “By offering these tours daily, we really hope to improve our patient’s experience,” she added.

Al Wakra Hospital recently received an Award of Merit in the health category of HMC’s annual Stars of Excellence awards – a staff recognition event. The team who initiated the program was recognized out of hundreds of submissions for their work this year enhancing the patient experience and improving maternity health. The projects submitted go through a rigorous selection process which takes months to complete as all submissions have to be peer reviewed and scored according to stringent healthcare criteria.