A holistic approach to patient safety

Patient Safety Middle East 2019 will welcome over 1,700 total attendees, more than 70 exhibitors, and 750 delegates.

By Deepa Narwani, Editor

Millions of patients are harmed each year due to unsafe healthcare worldwide resulting in 2.6 million deaths annually in low-and middle-income countries alone, according to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO). It further said that four out of every 10 patients are harmed during primary and ambulatory healthcare.

The report highlighted that the most detrimental errors are related to diagnosis, prescription and the use of medicines. Moreover, medication errors alone cost an estimated US$42 billion annually.

Unsafe surgical care procedures cause complications in up to 25 per cent of patients resulting in 1 million deaths during or immediately after surgery annually. And the most alarming part of these figures is that most of the deaths are avoidable.

Patient harm in healthcare is unacceptable and patient safety and quality of care are essential for delivering effective health services and achieving universal health coverage.

To highlight the latest developments in patient safety, the 15th edition of Patient Safety Middle East is all set to take place between October 24 to 26 at the Le Méridien Hotel & Conference Centre, Dubai. As an accredited conference, the show is a leading event that addresses issues that hospitals and other healthcare organisations need to be informed of in the critical area of patient safety, in the region. This edition will welcome over 1,700 attendees, more than 70 exhibitors, and 750 delegates.

The conference and exhibition will offer attendees one of the best platforms in the region to connect and network with their target audience and browse through the latest products and services. The event will welcome over 100 expert speakers and host more than 50 sessions, 8 supporting associations, 5-speed networking sessions, and allow participants to earn CME points.

In an interview with Arab Health Magazine, Dr. David Nash, Founding Dean, Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. and the Plenary Keynote Speaker at the Patient Safety Congress, said: “I am very excited to visit the UAE for the first time and to attend Patient Safety Middle East. My aim at the event will be to share lessons on improving quality and safety and how it relates to care.”

Repeatedly named in Modern Healthcare’s list of “Most Powerful Persons in Healthcare”, Dr. Nash will shed light on the ‘Triple Aim’ in healthcare, which includes improving the health of the population, reducing cost by reducing waste and improving patient experience through good communication.

“According to the triple aim, people need good treatment for the future. It works well for the population to improve health by reducing cost, which can be achieved by reducing waste. The number one way to do that is to reduce error,” he emphasised. “Errors can be reduced by following evidence-based practices, system thinking, resource management and communication skills, and with avoiding things like nurses walking back and forth. When people think about reducing cost, they do that by firing nurses and closing certain programmes but that won’t improve the outcome.”

He shared that the secret to achieving success is to improve quality and safety and reduce waste to improve healthcare. This is something he will be discussing at length during the event.

Dr. Nash highlighted that global education about quality and safety is important and something that the healthcare system has not paid attention to. As the Dean of JCPH, the doctor shared that the college has the second oldest Master’s degree in Population Health. “There are 13 such programmes in the U.S. now. However, I would like to see these programmes all over the world and work together and improve education in population health,” he concluded.

Improving patient outcomes
The theme of this year’s event is ‘a holistic approach to do no harm’ and the accredited conferences will engage stakeholders including policymakers, clinical governance, academia, professional societies, patients, organisations and individuals engaged in patient safety. Paving the way for these health professionals to utilise evidence-based practice and maintain their knowledge and skills to maximise patient safety and patient outcomes, the event will feature three days of exclusive content. The conferences are accredited by Cleveland Clinic and cross-accredited by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention. Below is an in-depth look at the agenda:

Middle East Patient Safety Conference
The 15th Patient Safety conference aims to help patient safety professionals benchmark their programmes against current best practice and to develop a customised patient safety strategy based on an organisation’s individual needs and implement quality programmes that produce successful, sustainable results for patients and staff.

In collaboration with the University of Wollongong in Dubai, the Patient Safety Congress will feature a workshop on “Implementing Quality Tools in Patient Safety”.

The workshop is a part of the Patient Safety Conference and will review usage of the seven quality tools to improve service processes in healthcare. Here attendees will be able to learn to understand potential problem causes, collect and analyse data, and solve problems using the fishbone diagram, 5 whys, Pareto chart, scatter diagram, check sheet, flowchart, and run chart.

The workshop is designed to explore existing quality tools to find innovative ways for participants to identify causes, understand processes, collect and analyse data, generate ideas, keep projects on track, and make informed decisions.

Infection Control Conference
The arbitrary use of antimicrobials, poor implementation of process coupled with the staggering number of patient deaths and nosocomial infections create an urgent imperative to make critical decisions about minimising the impact of infections in clinical and community settings.

The 14th edition of the Infection Control Conference will host expert speakers, medical safety advocates and policymakers who will discuss the latest best practice and standards in ‘Moving Towards an Infection Free Healthcare Environment – a Global Perspective’, the theme for this year.

Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) Conference
The theme of the upcoming edition of the CSSD conference is ‘Getting it Right – every instrument, every time!’. It aims to explore how to adopt the best operating procedures and provide tools to enable central service-sterile processing professionals to be efficient and effective in the areas of controlling and monitoring medical device and environmental decontamination and administering infection control.

Nursing Conference
From using information technology to improving patient safety standards to community-based care and enhancing surgical safety, nurses take the lead in minimising the incidence of patient harm in the healthcare setting.

In recognition of this, the event will host the first conference dedicated to nurses who ‘Lead from the frontline through innovation’ in promoting a culture of patient safety. The conference will look at the latest best practice through the lens of case studies and success stories, and joint interactive sessions to learn from the practical experience of world-renowned speakers.

At the opening ceremony, the show will celebrate and showcase the best safety people, initiatives and solutions of 2019. The award categories include ‘Most Innovative Patient Safety Product of the Year’, ‘Patient Safety Project of the Year’, and ‘Leadership Excellence in Quality and Patient Safety’. The opening ceremony, awards and plenary keynote session are open only to exhibitors and delegates of the conferences.