Posted on September 16, 2015

Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) announced today that it has joined the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative (GTC). There are currently 40 hospitals worldwide as part of the collaborative; Sidra is leading the way as the first hospital in the Middle East to sign up as a member. The GTC is a non-profit organization where multi-disciplinary teams of healthcare professionals from around the world, collaborate and share knowledge to improve the quality of care for patients with a tracheostomy – an incision in the windpipe made to relieve obstructions to breathing. Sidra’s membership is being led by Dr. Patrick Sheehan, Division Chief for Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery.

“We are designing a quality of care and service that will feature evidence-based best practice methodologies from around the world. By joining the GTC, this is an opportunity for Sidra to get our tracheostomy care ready for the highest levels of practice. Our tracheostomy care team involves staff from nursing, speech and language therapy, education, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). They have many years of excellent experience from renowned institutions and together we are committed to offering the best holistic care possible,” said Dr. Patrick Sheehan, Division Chief of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at Sidra.

As a member of the GTC, Sidra’s tracheostomy care team will have access to learning resources, case studies and a global database with information from member hospitals about the care of children who have tracheostomies. The database highlights practices that provide better outcomes for tracheostomy patients - allowing members to consider adapting or customizing them within their own healthcare settings. This will ultimately improve patient care and prevent possible problems or even fatalities. All data sharing is anonymized and patient confidentiality is not compromised.

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“Tracheostomy care is not always perfect in hospitals and adverse events can happen - often due to human error. Simple interventions can make a big difference. The GTC was set up so that hospitals can work together to deliver and benchmark themselves to provide the best possible care. For example, if one hospital has a lower fatality rate and better success with managing the care of tracheostomy patients, other members can see what they are doing to incorporate this best practice into their hospital,” continued Dr. Sheehan.

The formal launch of Sidra’s GTC membership will be showcased at the International Society for Quality in Health (ISQua) conference in Doha from the 4th to the 7th of October 2015. Dr. Sheehan will be leading a team from Sidra at a breakout session on the opening day of the conference. The tracheostomy care and simulation team from Sidra will also separately showcase simulation scenarios of a patient with a tracheostomy that has had a tube displaced or blocked and how medical staff should react and manage the situation. Dr. David Roberson, President and Founder of the GTC will also be giving a keynote talk at ISQua 2015. Current GTC members will be available to talk to those interested in joining the collaborative. The ultimate aim is to encourage other MENA institutions to become part of the GTC to widen the network of experts, and case study access.

“It is through collaboration, team care and knowledge sharing that tracheostomy related adverse events can be radically reduced – as demonstrated by several leaders in our collaborative. We are partnering with hospitals around the world to help spread these innovative care models. Dr. Sheehan and Sidra Medical Center are taking a very visionary path to join in the very first group of hospitals worldwide and we are very pleased to have Sidra on board. We're also thrilled that Dr. Sheehan has coordinated presentations about GTC at the ISQua meeting. The expertise and knowledge of the Sidra tracheostomy team, led by Dr. Sheehan will serve as a benchmark in the region and beyond. We would like to encourage other hospitals in the Middle East to become partners in improving the treatment and care of tracheostomy patients worldwide,” said Dr. David Roberson, GTC Founder and President and Otolaryngologist at Harvard Medical School.

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“Technology has enabled us to pass on our best practices from around the world which can be disseminated and accessed more easily than ever before. Being a member will allow us to tailor GTC resources and develop strategies that can be aligned with our requirements here in the Middle East. It will also show any practices that are not working and need changing or updating. It is then the duty of all institutions to change these practices for the better. We all know that if we benchmark ourselves against

Other institutions, our outcomes always improve. The more information we have; the better care we can offer our patients,” concluded Dr. Sheehan. Dr. Sheehan and the Sidra tracheostomy care team are planning to host a ‘Pediatric Tracheotomy Care’ training workshop in February 2016 which will be accredited by Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar. This will be an inter-disciplinary team workshop with talks from Sidra speakers on multi-disciplinary tracheostomy care and simulation workshops for surgeons, nurses and allied health personnel. More details on this will follow later in the year.