Improving Emergency Medical Care for Patients in Qatar
UPMC Partners with Hamad Medical Corporation to Establish a Trauma Center of Excellence
The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar’s principal public health system, partnered with UPMC to improve the quality of emergency medical care in the country. The teams worked side-by-side to enhance every aspect of HMC’s emergency care, culminating in the establishment of a Level 1 trauma center. The partnership also resulted in the creation of an integrated medical records and documentation system, development of new operational and managerial protocols and establishment of critical education programs.
Today, HMC provides emergency medical care to more than 700,000 patients annually, helping Qatar to set a high bar for emergency care throughout the entire Middle East
Striving for Excellence amid a Growing, Diverse Patient Base
Qatar, a small independent state located in the northeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is home to more than 1.8 million people. Small but quickly growing, its population has more than tripled in the past decade, attracting expatriates from around the world.
Mirroring the nation’s rapid growth, the health care system in Qatar also experienced substantial change. To meet growing demands from an increasingly diverse patient base, HMC, the country’s principal public hospital system, reached out to UPMC for support improving the quality of emergency medical care in the country.
Noting UPMC’s clinical, technical and managerial expertise, HMC enlisted its services to help create and implement a world-class emergency care system. With full support from government and hospital leaders, the two organizations entered in a partnership to create a trauma center at Hamad General Hospital, HMC’s primary hospital, with the ultimate goals of bettering clinical outcomes and achieving accreditation as a Level 1 trauma center according to American College of Surgeons criteria.
“We wanted to create one of the world’s leading trauma centers at Hamad General Hospital, with the best possible care for our patients and the finest training for our physicians,” said Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, managing director of HMC. “We felt that our collaboration with UPMC would help ensure that we reached our goal as quickly as possible.”
“We wanted to create one of the world’s leading trauma centers at Hamad General Hospital, providing the best possible care for our patients and the finest training for our physicians. We felt that our collaboration with UPMC would help ensure that we reached our goal as quickly as possible.”
– Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, HMC Managing Director
A Full Partnership: Moving from Planning to Execution to Excellence
As a first step, UPMC immersed itself in HMC’s health system for a year to conduct a comprehensive assessment of emergency care processes at five participating hospitals and emergency departments, each chosen for their high volume of trauma patients. The assessments informed the development of a set of performance objectives and a comprehensive action plan. With a plan in place, UPMC established an on-the-ground presence, providing education, training and other services to Qatar’s emergency medical system.
Establishing Hamad General Hospital as a certified Level 1 trauma center allowed patients with multi-system injuries to be immediately treated by teams of specialized surgeons. The teams also established an advanced communications system between health care providers, a trauma registry to track and improve outcomes for patients, research programs and other quality improvement processes. Finally, UPMC orchestrated a complete transfer of knowledge that enabled HMC to continue to run the emergency medical system efficiently and independently.
“We don’t believe in handing our partners a plan and getting on a plane. We like to be on the ground, working side-by-side with our partners,” said Dr. Walt Stoy, executive director of the emergency medicine enhancement project. “We stay to see our collaborations through. That’s really our point of differentiation.”
HMC and UPMC: Meeting All the Requirements to Achieve Level 1 Trauma Care
Today, HMC’s multi-disciplinary trauma system provides emergency medical care to more than 7,000 patients annually. Hamad General grew into one of the busiest in the world, admitting approximately 3,500 patients per year.
Among other things, the UPMC-HMC partnership resulted in:
- Enhancement of every aspect of Qatar’s emergency care, including clinical care, research, pharmacy services, laboratory testing and radiology
- Creation of an integrated medical records and documentation system
- Ongoing education and training programs in medical care, customer service, management and communication
- Development of new operational and managerial protocols
- A performance management system to ensure accountability, responsibility and continuous quality improvement
Perhaps most importantly, the collaboration resulted in reduced patient length of stays, better bed utilization, significant cost savings and measurable improvement of overall patient care, all within budget parameters established at the outset of the project.
“With our concentrated focus on treating the complex injuries of trauma patients, we have been able to improve our emergency care capabilities, helping us save more lives,” said Dr. Kimball I. Maull, MD, FACS, Head – Section of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital.
“By collaborating and working closely together over the long-term, we developed a world-class health center with quality patient care that serves as a shining star for health care in the Middle East,” said Dr. Alan Hodgdon, executive medical director of HMC-UPMC emergency enhancement project.”
– Dr. Alan Hodgdon, Executive Medical Director of the HMC-UPMC Emergency Enhancement Project
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