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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Abu Dhabi hospital rating system helps improve services and patient health

The Jawda system was introduced in 2014

Hospital deaths and readmission rates have fallen in Abu Dhabi hospitals since a rating system that scrutinises poor performers came into force.

The Department of Health’s star rating system, Jawda, that translates to quality, was implemented in the capital’s government and private hospitals in 2014 to improve services and patient health.

Under the scheme, hospitals are rated according to more than 100 indicators including patient safety, effectiveness of care, waiting time and the level of treatment provided.

“In a year, the sector in Abu Dhabi has made many achievements,” said Dr Asma Al Mannaei, director of healthcare quality at the Department of Health.

At the International Patient Experience Symposium in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Dr Al Mannaei shared some of the improvements that showed why the patient-centric Jawda system worked.

“In a year, the number of deaths due to heart attacks outside critical care centres have reduced by 50 per cent.

“Pressure ulcers and bed sores have gone down by 31 per cent, unplanned readmission rates have gone down by 20 per cent and medical complications because of surgery have decreased 60 per cent.”

She said the improvements made the UAE a serious contender for medical tourism.

“We offer personalised medicine; excellent medical services; and, geographically, the UAE is an ideal medical tourist destination.”

From next year, Jawda data will be accessible to the public to help them decide which hospital best suits their needs.

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If a hospital ranks below standard or fails in any of the indicators for a specific case, its management and the patient involved are contacted.

“We have one-on-one meetings to determine the cause of the problem and find a solution to it,” Dr Al Mannaei said.

In cases of medical malpractice or negligence, the department takes immediate action.

Jadwa data will help patients and hospitals by giving medical centres tangible feedback.

“The department of health has mandated the collection of data on patient experience so we know where we are,” said Majd Abu Zant, chief operating officer of United Eastern Medical Services and chief executive of HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centres.

Against regional benchmarks the UAE ranks highly, but internationally there is still room for growth.

“The UAE is lower than international benchmarks except in one criterion; satisfaction of clinical competence, which is the satisfaction of patients with the quality of care delivered by healthcare professionals,” said Mr Abu Zant. “In many areas the level of satisfaction with the doctors in the UAE is higher than the US.

“That was not the trend here 10 years ago … but because of the dynamic situation of the UAE and because it has attracted so many competent individuals from all over the world … we now have the proper level of talent required to meet patients’ expectations.”

On Monday, experts said the quality of healthcare professionals in the UAE had made the country a destination for recruiters.

“Today, head hunters from the US, the UK and other countries come to the UAE to recruit the best doctors, nurses and medical staff,” said Mariano Gonzalez, chief executive of Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children.