Speaker Interview

Dr. Abdulelah Alhawsawi, Director General | Saudi Patient Safety Center& Assistant Professor of Surgery, Transplant Surgeon | King Abdulaziz University Hospital

Q-1 As industry leaders and influencers, what are you pursuing to transform the health care service experience? 

Transforming health care service experience through Patient empowerment is imperative. Saudi Patient Safety Center is pursuing patient empowerment strategies that build capacity and meaningful participation of both the patients, families and healthcare providers through several programs/initiatives such as:
• Patient for Patient Safety- “US4PatientSafety” program which includes the establishment of SPSC Patient and Family Advisory Councils, Patient Safety Support group, Patient Safety Ambassadors, co-design training with patients and healthcare providers, Ask Me are tools and resources for empowering patients and families.
• Their Voice are patient/ family testimonials that aim to empower the patients and raise the awareness among the community and the healthcare team about the impact of medical errors and suggestions for prevention.
• School Patient Safety Program pilot, providing interactive patient safety health information to school-aged children.
• Patient safety health literacy assets- providing tools and information includes public webinars, health information through social media, fact sheets.
• Patient Friendly Hospital Program includes patient surveyors
• Community Awareness- outreach to public through fairs, malls, public forums, etc.
• Health care provider training- Knowledge transfer on patient empowerment techniques (included in patient safety leadership training, patient safety officer training, medical students, patient safety sessions for hospitals, webinars)

Q-2 There has been a heightened focus on patient experience for some time among health care Are you seeing an impact? If not, why not? If yes, how has it changed the face of health care delivery and management?

Impact is occurring, however very slowly, change has not occurred as significantly as one would hope. However, with the rise of health care costs, increase in chronic conditions and technology, I believe these factors and the evidence is demonstrating the benefits of patient empowerment such as lowering costs and better health outcomes. This will create the urgency for changing the face of health care delivery and management.

Q-3 Where are you seeing great models either in service delivery, use of technology, in unique staffing models or in transformative care delivery environments where the patient experience is the center focus of care delivery?

Models, in general, can be found especially related to patient empowerment and chronic diseases management. Establishment of patient and family advisory councils in hospitals where patients and families have meaningful participation in case management, co-designing care journeys, facilities, and service delivery programs, involved in patient safety walkabouts, engaged in RCI’s/critical incidents, on hospital boards, input into the development of patient education tools and resources.
• Technology Model: UK, some African countries are using telehealth, mobile appy’s (mhealth) to send text messages to help manage chronic diseases, how to manage fever, provides useful tips, reminders etc.
• Service Delivery Model: My Life, My Dialysis Choice, Healthy Child
• Unique Staffing Models: Kaiser Permanente – Collaborative Cardiac Care Service pilot program, Boston Medical Center- Centering pregnancy program, Noora Health, India, Living Good

Q-4 How do you think the Congress will impact healthcare providers in aim achieve patient excellence and drive patient centricity and why is such a platform important for the healthcare sector in the region?

This platform will enable the sharing of practices, evidence and hopefully some learnings and best practices that can be used in this region. Influence policy makers, funders to invest and support policies that are enabling. In addition, patient empowerment requires dedicated staff and funding and be considered a nice thing to do but an essential action.
The platform provides the Why, How and Impact? As in the 21t century, health care services are more than mastering biology and physical science, to be patient-centered health care providers must also master skills such as empathy, compassion, understand the root causes and communication. As patients and their families expect more of their health care providers than to be diagnosed and sent on their way. Patients want to have a meaningful discussion, be part of the decision making, to be a partner in their care. There is a paradigm shift happening and health care services must adapt as patients have more access to knowledge through the internet, Health appys, health information technology, etc. they are more informed, and clinicians will need to welcome and work with empowered patients, as contributors to their care. This will require a much more of a participatory health care service model. We know that with greater patient involvement health care improves the quality of care, improves health outcomes, lowers health care cost, and decreases the number of adverse medical events so the question is can we afford not to empower patients? Future topic WHAT IS THE ROI of patient empowerment?