In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, ensuring risk management, maintaining high-quality standards, and prioritizing patient safety are paramount for any healthcare organization’s success.
During this year’s The Filipino Times Watchlist: Top Filipino Healthcare Professionals in the Middle East Summit held on September 23, 2023, Rita Gallagher, Executive Director, Galaxy Quality Solutions and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International Surveyor; Dan Lester Dabon, Group Senior Manager- Quality and Patient Safety, Burjeel Holdings; and Dr. Aileen Villanueva, General Practitioner, Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital and Mediclinic Al Reem Clinic came together for an insightful panel discussion about “Prioritizing Risk, Quality, and Safety: The Critical Imperatives for Success.”
A global survey conducted by Ipsos revealed that 77 percent of UAE residents rate the country’s healthcare system as good or very good. The same survey also showed that as many as 78 percent of people in the UAE expect the quality of healthcare that they will receive to improve in the coming years.
As the moderator of the panel discussion, Dr. Karen Remo, CEO and Founder of New Perspective Media Group and Chair of The Filipino Times Watchlist, asked how the UAE can maintain this momentum in providing excellent healthcare despite certain challenges, and what role risk, quality, and safety play.
Rita Gallagher mentioned that one of the biggest challenges they face with accreditation is that companies don’t incorporate the standards into practice.
“Everybody says quality is expensive. It is not expensive. It’s how we interpret the quality and how we integrate into achieving those standards,” Gallagher remarked.
“If standards are incorporated into day-to-day practice, there will be fewer worries and identified gaps,” she added.
According to Gallagher, communication is key to having and providing top-level standards in healthcare.
“There’s no point in having these standards and best practices and having all the good data unless you communicate to your staff. If you communicate with your staff, you’ll get them on board and they’ll help you with the journey to maintain the accreditation. They’ll also help you prioritize where the risks lie,” she said.
For Dan Lester Dabon, leadership plays an essential role in setting standards and policies that work.
“I think it depends on the leadership and how they raise their voices and empower their employees involved in the policy development. Through this leadership, we will be able to identify these future leaders who can also devise and develop policies to help the organization sustain and maintain the standards of practices,” Dabon stated.
Delving into the human aspect of the discussion, focusing on safety in personal care, Dr. Aileen Villanueva shared her perspectives on the significance of patient safety as a frontline healthcare provider.
For her, the most effective protocols and practices in preventing medical errors and ensuring the well-being of patients involve a well-established and comprehensive health and safety management system.
“In healthcare, we should have a well-established and comprehensive health and safety management system, where healthcare is integrated into our daily practice. It’s very important to learn to avoid medical errors and provide a good high standard of care for the well-being of the patient,” Dr. Villanueva explained.
Doctors ensure that these protocols are followed by being trained in risk assessment. To maintain safety and quality for both patients and doctors, several factors should be considered.
“Educating patients about their medications is as important as effective communication with both patients and colleagues… Additionally, prioritizing the well-being of both our patients and ourselves is crucial. It’s important to remember that doctors also need adequate rest for sound decision-making,” she emphasized.
The Filipino Times Watchlist: Top Filipino Healthcare Professionals in the Middle East Summit 2023, organized by the New Perspective Media Group, featured notable individuals from the healthcare industry and UAE government officials.
The gathering which took place at the Bristol Hotel in Dubai, UAE, offered a venue for healthcare leaders to share ideas and perspectives that will undeniably influence the future of healthcare delivery in the Middle East.