Posted on September 13, 2017

Aspetar, the orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, has been awarded the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital (PSFH) Level 3 Accreditation. The accreditation is administered by the World Health Organisation Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO/EMRO) in partnership with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

After a rigorous process of self-assessment, external assessment and implementation that has been underway for the last 18 months, Aspetar now joins just five other hospitals that have achieved this accreditation in Qatar.

The Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative (PSFHI) report noted at the end of the assessment process that “There is a strong commitment to patient safety by the hospital’s leadership with a dedicated and motivated quality and patient safety team”. This accreditation cements the hospital’s standing as an elite health provider locally, regionally and internationally, particularly in the field of sports medicine. It also brings Aspetar a step closer towards its vision of being a “global leader in sports medicine and exercise science by 2020”.

 The PSFHI was established in 2006 by the WHO/EMRO to improve patient safety practices among healthcare providers around the world and to minimise adverse effects on patients. The WHO quotes in a patient safety assessment manual published in 2011, that research studies have indicated that an estimated 10% of all inpatient admissions result in a degree of unintended patient harm. In 2014, the then-Supreme Council of Health (now the Ministry of Public Health) partnered with the WHO/EMRO to implement the PSFHI in selected local hospitals, in alignment with the Qatar National Health Strategy.

Accreditation is one way through which health care institutions express their commitment to improve aspects related to patient safety and quality of the health service. It is used to assess institutions providing health services by an external body as far as their satisfactory performance is concerned according to the set out standards of enhancing the culture of safety, and the introduction of the required improvements. The PSFHI assessment is based on a review of 140 patient safety standards covering five core areas including Leadership & Management, Patient & Public Involvement, Safe Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, Safe Environment & Lifelong Learning. Across these five areas, the standards are then subdivided into three categories – 14.3% critical (compulsory), 64.3% core, and 21.4% developmental.

 Commenting on the news, Dr. Mohamed Ghaith Al Kuwari, Acting Director General of Aspetar, said: “Patient safety is our number one priority and this accreditation is testimony to Aspetar’s world-class nurses, physicians and general medical staff who ensure that the athletes who pass through our doors are treated in a safe environment. Since opening its doors in 2007, Aspetar has always placed great emphasis on patient safety and done so in accordance with the highest and safest international standards and practices and we’re thrilled that our approach and track record has been recognized by an organization as reputable as the World Health Organisation”.

Aspetar’s patient safety strategy includes implementing leadership rounds, departmental safety huddles, safety forums, an online incident management system and a patient engagement programme to ensure that patients receive the very best care and that medical errors are avoided. Aspetar implements effective and clear communication between professionals and patients in order to meet their needs. This includes exercising active listening, ensuring sensitivity with regards to cultural diversity and maintaining respect for patient privacy and confidentiality.

Aspetar’s multi-disciplinary approach provides patients with comprehensive treatment plans designed to ensure a safe and quick recovery. The hospital utilises the best available technologies to support patients, including advanced electronic systems to store patient records and order medication. Such approaches avoid the risk of human error caused by misreading handwritten reports or notes, or misinterpreting manual order entries for medication. In order to remain fully up-to-date with the latest developments and ensure the highest standards in patient care, Aspetar also invests significant time and resources in training healthcare providers and facilitating knowledge exchange between regional and international experts. This includes organising events such as the annual Quality and Patient Safety Conference, which launched in 2011.

This month, Aspetar will be one of the key partners of the MoPH in the organisation of the Qatar Patient Safety Week. At these events, experts explore the latest research findings, participate in panel discussions, workshops and lectures around on a range of related topics.