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Abu Dhabi Hosts The 1st GCC Patient Experience Summit


Patient experience at the forefront as the UAE healthcare market continues to grow




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The UAE healthcare market is estimated to reach Dh71.56 billion by 2020, achieving an annual average growth of 12.7 per cent, marginally higher than the GCC growth average, propelled by medical tourism and a higher than ever demand for new facilities & technologies. With its vision to develop world-class healthcare infrastructure, expertise, and services, the UAE government is extensively expanding and upgrading its healthcare systems to match international standards by developing the best care and wellness for exceptional patient experience.

Patient experience elevation has become one of the top five priorities for healthcare organizations for the coming years. Like other industries, healthcare is facing new challenges generated by financial profitability, rising competition, increasing demand of high-quality care experience, and disruptive technologies offering omni-channel interactions. The ability to adopt innovative approaches to keep patients connected to the ever-changing healthcare ecosystem is highly crucial for business sustainability.

More than 20 industry experts are set to speak in Abu Dhabi this year at the GCC Patient Experience Summit. The two-day event, which will be held on 18-19 September, is the region’s only forum dedicated to patient experience that will feature CEOs, Patient Experience Directors and Chief Quality Officers from organizations such as HAAD, DHA, Cleveland Clinic, Hamad Medical Corporation, King Fahad Medical City and many others.  The summit aims to offer access to a unique learning opportunity that sets the tone for establishing excellence benchmarks, effective communication and leadership strategies in customized care delivery.

“To be successful in the new era of challenging and promising healthcare, organizations will have to take engagement to a new level and consider patients central to the care team. Strategic focus on patient feedback all along the care continuum will be essential to continually improve the health of populations. Wellness and prevention are key. We are moving from an era of treating disease to engaging patients in healthy behaviours that maintain their highest quality of life,” Samer Ellahham, Chairman of the Summit and Chief Quality Officer at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, said while stressing out the importance of patient-centred care.

“Patient engagement starts with giving patients the tools they need to understand what makes them sick, how to stay healthy, and what to do if their conditions get worse. It means motivating and empowering patients to work with clinicians to be active participants in their care by asking questions, knowing their medications and medical history, bringing friends or relatives to appointments for support, and learning about care that may be unnecessary,” Ellahham added.

Participants at the summit will hear from award-winning healthcare providers on their excellence journey. Dr. Layla Al-Marzouqi, Director of Medical Tourism Council at Dubai Health Authority, will introduce the DHA's strategy 2016-2021 on patient/family-centric delivery of care and the launch of the ‘Dubai Health Experience’ as a tool to drive the national agenda of medical tourism through enhanced patient experience delivery.

“Speaking for King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, in our patient experience plan for 2017, we will focus on three main domains. We will be improving the patient-driven culture by innovative ideas, investing more on improving patient experience by collaborating with leading institutions in this field, and finally, getting accredited in patient experience,” said Dr. Ahmed Mohammad Abu-Abah, CEO of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, revealing patient experience plans for the upcoming year.

“To improve patient-driven culture, our hospital will drive internal innovative projects focused on both inpatient and outpatient medicine. We are planning to launch two projects – Smile and Thank you – with the aim to improve communication between healthcare providers and patients as well as mutual respect,” added Dr. Abu-Abah.

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