Patient safety: Always a top priority

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Medcare Hospital stands tall as a symbol of trust in healthcare
Medcare Hospital stands tall as a symbol of trust in healthcare

Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres demonstrates confidence in the UAE's progressive healthcare with a series of initiatives for crisis control

By Farhana Chowdhury

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Published: Mon 20 Jul 2020, 12:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Jul 2020, 2:11 PM

Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres has withstood the test of time and emerged victorious as a Covid-free facility, thanks to the continued efforts of its management and dedicated frontliners.

"Our top priority has been and will always be patient safety. In the field of healthcare, our position is considered more of a mission than a job, and we needed to ensure that we had enough resources to always cater to the community," said Andre Daoud, Group CEO of Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres.

Medcare implemented the highest standards to combat risk of contamination among staff, further ensuring enhanced health safety among patients. Understanding the need of the hour, the healthcare organisation responded to the current situation by adopting a number of initiatives that would ensure each patient access to top quality care.

"We converted one of our hospitals into a dedicated Covid-19 treatment facility, while the others were non-Covid, so we were not only able to treat our patients as per their needs, but we were also able to mitigate risks," he said, adding that Mecare further acquired two hotels and added another 500-550 beds to accommodate asymptomatic patients, so that those in moderate to critical conditions could be admitted to hospitals for essential care.

With Medcare having four hospitals and 15 medical centres in its portfolio, the healthcare provider was able to distribute patient flow across its facilities, in addition to offering the region's first-of-its-kind teleconsultation on demand, which requires no prior booking for medical care.

"Our frontliners and the entire Medcare team have shown great agility in terms of adapting to the situation. In collaboration with health authorities, Medcare has managed over 2,500 Covid cases in the past months. I would like to extend my heartiest appreciation to all frontliners in the private and public sectors. They have worked relentlessly during this period - going through sleepless nights and working non-stop, seven days at a time. We appreciate it a lot. It is heartwarming to see how everyone has come together and truly represented the UAE's concept of unity," Daoud added.

Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres stays true to its dedication to healthcare, with its set of boutique hospitals that offer personalised care with the latest treatments and best of technology. With more than 1.2 million patients treated every year, Daoud said that Medcare records a high rate of recurring visitors, alongside staff retention.

The healthcare provider takes great pride in the UAE's progressive healthcare landscape and is positive about the sector's continued growth. "Our trust and confidence in the UAE is the main driver for us to continue to expand. We believe in the future of the UAE, and we will continue to invest," he added.

Medcare has now resumed its expansion projects, along with a number of locations expected in the next 12 months.
"We are also aggressively continuing on the innovation and digitalisation front, and continue to offer options such as teleconsultation on demand under the teleMEDCARE brand name, and extending our line of home care services, such that we are able to cater to patients no matter where they are, and offer them high quality of services."

Emirates Mars Mission

We, at Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres, would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to the UAE on this major milestone, which is the Emirates Mars Mission. This does not come as a surprise. When you look at the UAE, it has become a new norm where the impossible is nothing. And this is another inspiration for Medcare to continue on our belief that evolution and growth are always possible. We continue to aim for new heights and to be inspired by the vision of the UAE, of being  a world-class leader in every aspect of business and innovation.

Andre Daoud, Group CEO of Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres

Round-the-clock care at the comfort of your home

Despite the ease in restrictions, virtual consultation is expected to remain a preferred mode of healthcare delivery for patients

teleMEDCARE and home care services are among the latest initiatives introduced by Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres that complement the evolving demands of the healthcare sector.

"Telemedicine is making a very positive contribution to healthcare during the pandemic, and is being used in a variety of ways. It is emerging as an effective and sustainable solution for precaution, prevention and treatment to curb the Covid-19 spread," according to Dr Ziad Alobeidi, Head of Telemedicine, Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres.

Telehealth is bridging the gap between people, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone, especially symptomatic patients, to stay at home and communicate with physicians through virtual channels, helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and help the medical staff on the frontlines.

On the teleMEDCARE platform, patients can access a comprehensive list of more than 30 Medcare specialities - from general practitioners, family medicine specialists, paediatrics and ob/gyn to ophthalmologists, surgery, dieticians as well as psychiatrists - and speak to a doctor in real-time or schedule an appointment at their convenience.

"We will continue to opt for services that mitigate risk and reduce unnecessary interactions. Telemedicine is now perceived by patients as a convenient, accessible and safe alternative to access healthcare services and stay in touch with their provider. There is going to be a big push from the public to have and be able to continue to use this type of service that I would expect it to become a standard of care for many."

Following consultation, the medication is delivered to your doorstep. In cases where testing in required, mobile units are discharged to conduct them wherever you may be - home or office. teleMEDCARE also offers referrals upon diagnosis of the patient's condition.

"We have found that patients, in general, are more accepting of telemedicine and have rated the visits as highly satisfactory," Dr Alobeidi said.

Telemedicine is not here to replace traditional healthcare offerings, but to serve as an additional access point for services.

Transition to Covid-free facilities

Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres successfully implements measures to protect health of patients and the medical community

Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres has been working in close partnership with Dubai Health Authority to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and help the emirate contain the outbreak. Prior to official declarations in March that led to lockdowns and heightened restrictions, Medcare hospitals and centres were well ahead in the process of preparing for the pandemic.

"In January this year, we had begun preparations by putting in place certain guidelines and protocols for the safety of our patients and staff, alongside making sure we had the adequate equipment for the pandemic. After declarations in March, we had started to admit Covid-19 patients and set up a specialised hospital," said Dr Adriana Dumitru, Critical Care and Anaesthesia Specialist, Medcare Multispecialty Hospital, Al Safa, who is at the helm of the project.

True to its motto "We'll Treat You Well", Medcare modified its hospitals, according to the recommendations of healthcare authorities, and set up dedicated services and units to safeguard the community. The hospital also integrated negative pressure air rooms and converted existing air handling systems to prevent contamination within the hospitals' interiors.

Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres also ensures that all personnel are well-informed and educated to avoid cross-contamination and keep themselves safe. Each member on its housekeeping team was also trained on proper cleaning and sterilisation procedures.

Addressing crucial moments in the past months, Medcare further secured the premises with all areas following strict protocols. Dedicated wards catered to patients in critical and moderate conditions, while those showing mild symptoms were addressed in isolation units or recommended to isolate at home. Before sending patients home, the medical staff ensured they were given proper education and information in order to take care of themselves and keep their families safe.

Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres is now declared 'Covid-free' facilities, however, its medical community is continuously on alert.

"Everything is changing in the healthcare community, and the pandemic has been a lesson for us. There has been a number of changes - from mandatory thermal screening for all patients and staff and gaps between appointments at the outpatient facility, to practising social distancing in waiting areas and the implementation of alcohol-based hand sanitisers," she added.

These regulations ensure Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres remains at the forefront of premium healthcare in the UAE.

Medcare Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital was bestowed with the Dubai Quality Award as the Winner of the Year in the healthcare sector in 2019. Presented by the Dubai Economy, the healthcare provider was acknowledged for its dedication to a model of excellence and adopting a culture of continuous improvement.
The same year, Dubai-based Medcare Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Medcare Women & Children Hospital and Medcare Hospital Al Safa, received an accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI) for their dedication to international quality standards for patient care and organisation management.

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