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Breaking down the barriers to providing safe patient care

Patient Safety is the leading business platform connecting healthcare professions who are keen on improving patient care.

Now embarking on its 17th edition, Patient Safety has rapidly become the must-attend healthcare conference for medical professionals.

CEO Interviews

At the forefront of patient safety

Beckton and Dickenson (BD) is a global medical technology company dedicated to advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics, and the delivery of care in the MENA region. The company leads in patient and healthcare worker safety and the technologies that enable medical research and clinical laboratories. It provides innovative solutions that help advance medical research and genomics, enhance the diagnosis of infectious diseases and cancer, improve medication management, promote infection prevention, and equip surgical and interventional procedures.

In an interview, Maher Elhassan, Vice President & General Manager for BD in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, highlighted that BD positions patient safety at the helm of everything that it does and has always been at the forefront of delivering better care with its latest MedTech solutions in the region. 

He said: “At the Patient Safety Virtual Congress, we will be showcasing our cutting-edge innovations that will support healthcare providers drive better outcomes, from reducing medication errors and increasing the safety of healthcare workers and patients to maximising clinician performance and efficiency, improving diagnostic accuracy and timeliness and optimising and standardising workflows, processes and procedures.” Excerpts:

Could you tell us about your company’s products or solutions that enhance Patient Safety?

Patient safety is at the forefront of all that we do at BD, and we strive to improve its standing in the region. Our solutions prioritise patient and healthcare worker safety while improving the overall healthcare experience. The present times underline the fact that there is no room for a medication error in treatment and highlight the need for the adoption of technology solutions that will eradicate the same.

BD offers a variety of solutions, some prominent ones would include Infusion and IV therapy systems, software, Infusion pumps, bi-directional interoperability devices, etc.

The latest technology adopted by BD communicates infusion data to Health Information System (HIS) partners like the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendors helping the new pump module to offer expanded future capabilities to ensure the system is consistently kept up to date, through wireless connectivity.

Thanks to the consolidated workflows offered by the company, the inventory of medicines is managed efficiently providing immense support to patient care ensuring medicines are available when they are needed. A central view of inventory, orders and usage across the health system helps continue to effectively manage medication availability. This optimises inventory for pharmacy, improving nurse productivity, and increasing time for patient care and supports clinical, technical, and operational benefits.

The organisation also focuses immensely on improving diagnostic accuracy and efficiency, to set patients on the right clinical path, since a timely and accurate diagnosis is crucial. BD is also bringing tools for scientists to research single-cell multi-omics at the depth of gene expression and protein expression, adding to higher standards of diagnosis and efficiency. As a result, they will be able to find innovative mechanisms and aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of ailments.

BD’s strategy and vision for providing medical safety and delivering an error-free experience to patients and medical professionals are in line with the government’s plan for the healthcare industry and will certainly make a difference in enhancing the healthcare landscape in the country.

The theme of Patient Safety this year is ‘Breaking down the barriers to providing safe patient care’. What, in your opinion, are the barriers organisations have to face when it comes to rolling out effective patient safety procedures? How can these be overcome?

When it comes to Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), organisations are dealing with more than just high medical costs and burdens. HAIs often influence a hospital's image and reputation, and risks leading to increased litigation costs. The application of clinical practice-based strategies is where the hurdles in preventing and managing HAIs lie. 

Evidence-based practice interventions, the use of technical approaches and innovation interventions are all examples of this. HAIs can be reduced by increasing compliance with guidelines and established processes. As a result, effective clinical decision-making is enabled by rapid and precise HAI diagnosis. 

Patient screening and the adoption of evidence-based practice interventions to enable optimal target anti-biotherapy are the challenges as we move our focus to antimicrobial resistance. This would necessitate an integrated stewardship strategy focused on antimicrobial, infection prevention, and diagnostics, which could aid in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

In sepsis, problems include the timely commencement of appropriate targeted anti-biotherapy and the execution of clinical practice-based treatments. Complete implementation of a sepsis bundle in a hospital can reduce the risk of sepsis-related mortality by 31 per cent.

What is important is how institutions deal with errors during the implementation of care. Innovative technology, standardisation processes, full traceability, automation, and closed-loop medication management can help prevent further medical errors. 

What impact are technologies having in improving patient safety? What are some of the growth areas in the industry? 

MedTech innovations are focused on facilitating proper communication channels between clinicians. There can be multiple healthcare professionals attending to a single patient case, which significantly increases the potential of miscommunication or error. It is one of the most common causes of adverse events. So, accessibility of records and providing access to information can be greatly improved with the implementation of MedTech solutions.

With the advent of technology medical professionals are now able to have a firmer grasp on their patient’s cases and medication references. In addition, digital prescriptions can greatly reduce prescription errors by enabling clinicians to easily raise medical alerts, clinical flags, and other crucial reminders to improve patient safety. Seamless transmission of data and easy access to details of key performance indicators contribute to better monitoring and control. 

The improvements in medical instruments alone have drastically improved patient care and safety. More patient-centric care comes through fostering a clear bridge between healthcare professionals and their patients. Providing care via online portals and platforms, smart devices, and mobile applications can all become an integrated solution for many institutions.

The MedTech industry has gone through a monumental shift we have all had to adapt to. We have all been impacted by the accelerated transitions into hybrid work and carefully navigating through a digital transformation. And with change, we must learn to pivot, while keeping our heads afloat through the many challenges the future can throw at us.

What, according to you, are the opportunities available to healthcare and trade professionals who attend the virtual Patient Safety event?

Events like the Patient Safety Congress are essential to creating awareness and open discussion on the necessities and improvements that are required for the future of patient safety and strengthening the healthcare stance in the region. Both healthcare and trade professionals have also been given a platform to build upon a network for healthcare leaders, lab professionals, government leaders or decision-makers, manufacturers, and so on. This is an opportunity for the audience to gain crucial insights into the industry, as well as learning from the best in the field through this virtual experience. 

The region is doing everything in its capacity and leading the movement to further improve its healthcare stance, and events like the pandemic accelerated this process further putting organisations like us in an important position to support the government and the community at large to achieve its vision; events like the Patient Safety Congress add the required impetus to this process. It provides the necessary platform for communication with more people on the importance of MedTech and showcases our expertise in the field, enabling us to impact lives better.

Could you shed light on any plans or partnerships?

We are always looking forward to collaborating with both public and private sector organisations to propel the priorities in patient safety. The latest innovations and initiatives play a significant factor in creating a safer and more efficient workplace for healthcare professionals to conduct their business and provide quality care for patients.

As mentioned, we have seen the impact brought to the healthcare industry through wearable tech, keeping a closer eye on a patient’s well-being. There is also the pivotal role of AI in MedTech, as some of the largest players in the MedTech industry have embraced. At such a critical time, Integration of these innovations, investments, and the right policy changes can enhance a patient’s care and safety or overall experience in the region.

Sustainability is also a crucial element to providing a cleaner or greener experience in enhanced patient care. BD continues to improve its portfolio with more sophisticated approaches to sustainable strategies. The recent environmental changes have made us address a range of challenges through our developing goals for unmet societal needs. Our strategy will ensure we remain focused on shared value creation that boasts initiatives for better sustainable practices for all stakeholders.

As a part of this campaign, BD is deploying a three-pronged approach to spread awareness on patient safety. The company will run engagement activities across various channels that would include educating Healthcare Care Professionals (HCPs) on how medical technology innovations can help reduce medication errors and infections and increase diagnostics accuracy while addressing care and safety across all stages of the patient journey. BD will also engage with distributors and partners to provide training to enhance the use of MedTech innovations in the region and empower healthcare providers to nurture a culture of patient safety and improved outcomes. In addition, the awareness campaign will also scale on digital channels with Voices of Safety, a campaign entailing testimonials from individuals who share their stories in the company’s joint effort for better patient care.

As part of BD’s ongoing efforts and investments to improve patient safety in MENA, the company inaugurated in recent years the Center for Safety and Clinical Excellence in Dubai (CSCE), the world's second such facility (following BD’s long-standing CSCE in San Diego, California). The CSCE is dedicated to serve the healthcare sector by demonstrating the potential of medical technologies and provide specialised training across the continuum of care – from medication management and parenteral drug delivery to diagnostics and solutions for clinical research, thus supporting providers to meet the national and international safety standards and contributing to more sustainable healthcare systems in the region. 

The region remains firm and ambitious to improve its healthcare systems, and BD will continue its commitment to foster more secure, sustainable and inclusive practices for better patient care through its MedTech innovations.