Posted on May 31, 2015

Almost 3,000 healthcare professionals from Qatar and across the GCC region have attended the opening ceremony of the Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare 2015 (ME Forum), a leading quality improvement conference for international healthcare professionals.

Held today at the Qatar National Convention Centre for the third consecutive year, the annual Forum has become an important fixture on the regional conference calendar, attracting doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, hospital administration and medical students through a unique mix of high-profile keynote addresses from international experts and over 30 interactive workshops designed to highlight patient quality and safety improvements.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Managing Director Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari highlighted the developments and progress made across the public healthcare provider’s operations since the forum’s first year. Al Kuwari noted that the ME Forum is a unique professional development opportunity for healthcare industry employees in the region who are driven by a desire for excellence in patient care and that the clinical poster and storyboard competition being held as part of the forum program was evidence of real progress in healthcare delivery improvement in the GCC.

Official opening of Middle East 2 [].jpg“Many of Hamad’s quality and safety initiatives have featured in this year’s poster and storyboard exhibition, including our successes in situational background assessments (SBAR), risk assessments for venous thromboembolism, surgical safety checklists, and the distribution of antibiotics within an hour of diagnosis, with compliance rates in the high 90s percentage range, Al Kuwari said. “We’ve also seen significant improvements in our PICU ward at Women’s Hospital as a direct result of our quality improvement programs, as well as many other patient safety initiatives across the HMC system. Not only does the ME Forum allow us to showcase these successful programs, it also gives us an opportunity to learn and collaborate on new techniques and methodologies being employed globally,” she added.

The three-day conference is organized by HMC, the largest public sector healthcare provider in Qatar, in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a leading non-profit healthcare quality improvement organization based in the United States. The ME Forum is a key component of HMC’s Quality Improvement Strategy, which supports Qatar’s National Health Strategy.Following the opening ceremony, IHI President and CEO, Maureen Bisognano gave a keynote address to attendees. She highlighted the importance of collaborating with peers as being one of the best ways to identify quality improvements, and that through platforms such as the ME Forum, these improvements can be discussed openly, then adapted and refined for individual teams and organizations. 

Official opening of Middle East 3 [].jpg“We’re seeing inspiring improvements in health care all around the world, and I am so impressed by the overall commitment to quality and safety demonstrated in the Middle East. I’m also grateful to our partners at Hamad Medical Corporation. They continue to model the commitment and leadership that health systems anywhere need to thrive. In convening gatherings like this Forum, they are helping to spread innovations and proven methods throughout the region,” Bisognano said. 

The ME Forum features a total of six keynote addresses and 33 interactive workshops spread over three days, with international healthcare experts from as far afield as New Zealand offering attendees inspirational ideas and case studies across four patient-oriented themes: optimizing patient flow, patient-centered care, specialist clinical interventions, and patient safety improvements. Furthermore, the ME Forum will feature the highly anticipated poster and storyboard exhibition and competition held as a central part of the quality improvement and safety program.