x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Newborn intensive care registry set to boost care across the country

The registry is the first of its kind in the region and will collect data on neonatal births and deaths and treatment in intensive care.

Al Wasl Hospital in Dubai is one of the hospitals across the country that will benefit from the neonatal registry. Mike Young / The National
Al Wasl Hospital in Dubai is one of the hospitals across the country that will benefit from the neonatal registry. Mike Young / The National

DUBAI // Newborns admitted to intensive care units will be tracked for the first time in a landmark moment for the healthcare system.

The neonatal electronic registry will monitor the treatment and duration of stay of critically ill newborns and calculate the number of neonatal deaths and stillbirths.

The registry will initially collect data from seven hospitals in Dubai.

It will be introduced later to all neonatal units in the UAE, the first monitoring system of its kind in the region.

“The registry aims to collect data, which will be used to improve care and outcomes of neonates as well as help in facilitating evidence-based research on neonatal care and management,” said Dr Ahmad bin Kalban, chief executive of the hospital services sector at Dubai Health Authority.

Dubai’s Latifa Hospital launched the Dubai Neonatal Electronic Registry System on Tuesday with Dubai Hospital, Hatta Hospital, American Hospital, Zulekha Hospital, Canadian Specialist Hospital and the Al Garhoud Hospital also on board.

“Initially this project has been implemented for hospitals in Dubai but in the next phase we aim to expand this project to include all neonatal units in the UAE,” said Dr Abdulla Khayat, chief executive of Latifa Hospital.

“Neonatal care and management is an important area of medicine that caters to the youngest members of our society and such a data collection tool is vital to help neonatologists and researchers understand outcomes and devise methods to improve care for neonates.”

In the case of premature infants treated in intensive care, there is a dearth in the availability of information, according to Dr Mahmoud Saleh Elhalik, consultant neonatologist and head of the paediatric department at Latifa Hospital.

The registry will study neonatal deaths, diseases and illnesses of newborns and the outcomes of premature babies with a very low birth weight, he said.

“Once this becomes a national registry you will not find anything like this in the Middle East region,” he said. “It will be the first of its kind.

“This registry will help determine the frequency and distribution of critically ill neonates in the UAE and it will stimulate and facilitate research on neonatal critical illness and its management. Moreover, it will also help all neonatal units in the UAE compare outcomes and develop indicators for standard of care in neonatal units.”

He said the database will set a benchmark to help hospitals to improve their neonatal intensive care.

“The benefits of this database will be seen in all aspects of neonatal care, research, capacity building and management,” said Dr Elhalik.

The findings of the database will be made public every year, he said.

jbell@thenational.ae