Inculcating a positive safety culture at the Patient Safety Conference and Exhibition

By Arab Health Magazine staff

As the premier event for patient and medical safety in the region, more than 600 healthcare professionals and industry leaders will attend the 13th edition of the Patient Safety Conference and Exhibition to be held in Dubai, UAE, to take advantage of the opportunity to network and share best practices with other renowned champions of patient safety.

Organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, visitors and participants at the event can partake in a variety of sessions, panel discussions, demonstrations and interactive activities over a three-day period from October 24 to 26, 2017. Scheduled to be held at The Address Dubai Marina Hotel, Dubai, the chief attraction at the Patient Safety Conference and Exhibition are the four scientific conferences that will discuss provision of safe and effective care to encourage and support healthcare institutions in their efforts to make patient safety a continuous priority.

The Patient Safety Congress has a strong tradition of providing evidence-based solutions for a full spectrum of patient safety issues. For those who are focused on and committed to advancing patient safety across the continuum of care, this is a must-attend educational experience.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), patient safety is “the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of healthcare”. Today, patient safety is increasingly being recognised as a global healthcare issue as it affects all countries that deliver health services, be it public or private funded. Latest research from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reveals that every year, 3.5 million Europeans contract an infection while in hospital and 2.5 million die or are seriously debilitated as a result.

With the rise of non-communicable diseases and growing healthcare expenditure, patient safety has evolved into a major concern for healthcare institutions in the region, making it crucial to improve clinical skills. As medical institutions across the country step up efforts to ensure safe, high quality, high-value medical care, the 2017 edition of the Patient Safety Congress brings together the patient safety community from the region for discussions on emerging trends and the latest research. The scientific agenda includes presentations on effective and cutting-edge solutions to healthcare safety issues including clinical risk management and compliance to international patient safety goals.

Participants at the congress can empower themselves with the knowledge and skills to help identify inadequate systems or process, and help determine corrective actions to avoid 100% of preventable deaths. Attending the event is thus an opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in the field and also a platform to build relationships with peers, share best practices, promote research and inspire continuous improvement and innovation between healthcare organisations to improve patient outcome

The Patient Safety Conference and Exhibition provides multidisciplinary education for healthcare professionals spanning Infection Control, CSSD, strategic Patient Safety issues for the region, and Radiation Safety.

Infection Control Conference
24-26 October, 2017

Conference Chair: Dr Mansour Al Zarouni, Member, General Secretariat Committee, Sultan Bin Khalifa International Thalassemia Award (SITA), Dubai, UAE.

The status of infection control in the UAE is quite excellent as most of the hospitals have a strong infection control programme and this has also been mandated in certain parts of the UAE. However, the preparedness for new, emerging diseases remains a difficulty in the region. Despite a high compliance rate, the prevalence and the emerging of multi-drug resistant organisms is an international problem.

The Infection Control Conference is a 3-day programme led by trained and experienced infection control and communicable disease experts in the region who will discuss local determinants of the HCAI burden, advise on most effective strategies related to diagnosis, prevention and management of common infectious diseases, and give updates on infection control practices including chain of infection, transmission based precautions, isolation precautions, MRSA, MERS, EBOLA, etc. New ideas and concepts related to vaccinations and microbiology will also be discussed.

Regional and international experts will gather along with the policy makers to discuss crucial topics in the field of infectious diseases, vaccination, and microbiology. This will enable participants to implement strategies to prevent the spread of hospital infections and prolonged patient stays and avoid added costs and stress to patients; identify early infection occurrence (both inside and outside healthcare facilities) and be able to take appropriate actions to limit the spread; and get the latest guidelines on antibiotics to avoid overuse, increased resistance and unnecessary costs (Antibiotic stewardship programme).

Key topics:

  • New WHO guidelines for infection control and prevention
  • Role of social media in infection control
  • Updates on malaria control in GCC countries
  • Surveillance of HAI
  • Fungal infections and susceptibility trends
  • Environmental support services in patient safety
  • Super bugs: Epidemiology in the Middle East

Decontamination and Sterilisation (CSSD) Conference
24-26 October, 2017

Conference Chair: Jason David Unger, Manager, Sterile Processing, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE

CSSD operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It aims at assuming total responsibility for processing hospital items, thereby assuring that all of these items receive the same degree of cleaning and sterilisation. In addition, the professional expertise employed in CSSD is not only to manage efficiency, economy and patient safety, but also to maintain consistent high standards for sterilisation technique and decontamination process quality throughout the hospital.
The 12th edition of the Decontamination and Sterilisation Conference is a three-day scientific meeting tailored to address basic but comprehensive CSSD procedures used in the healthcare industry in the Middle East. The conference explores practical application of basic scientific knowledge, how and why specific cleaning and sterilisation methods are used in particular applications, how the methods are validated, and the strengths and weaknesses of different sterilisation methods. 

Attendees at the CSSD conference will be able to redefine CSSD design to decrease the risk of contamination, increase efficiency and reduce operational costs of the department; identify sources of sterilisation failures and develop risk management solutions to control errors; and discuss the standards, challenges, risks, and techniques associated with the CSSD function to ensure that high quality of hospital instruments are used for high quality patient care.

Implementing effective sanitation processes for medical devices and medical spaces, best practices in handling, collection and transport of contaminated instruments, cleaning and decontamination processes, instrumentation inspection, preparation and packaging will also be discussed at this conference.

Key topics:

  • Troubleshooting quality problems in CSSD
  • Decontamination of intra-cavity probes
  • Benefits of GS1 coding            
  • Common problems facing CSSD technicians  
  • Harmonising endoscopy standards in the Middle East
  • CSSD education in the region
  • Outsourcing CSSD

Middle East Patient Safety Conference
24-25 October, 2017

Conference Chair: Dr Samer Ellahham, Chief Quality Officer, Senior Consultant, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Most healthcare institutions are still striving to attain high reliability—the ability to minimise adverse events while consistently providing high-quality care in the context of a rapidly changing environment. Healthcare professionals are best positioned to identify hazardous situations and address system flaws. Also, while technology has the potential to improve care, it is not without risks. Technology has been described as both part of the problem and part of the solution for safer healthcare, and some observers have warned of the introduction of yet-to-be errors after the adoption of new technologies.

This year’s Patient Safety conference brings healthcare professionals and internationally recognised speakers and presenters to learn and exchange best practices related to current issues surrounding patient safety.
Under the theme 'Consolidating efforts to improve patient safety: leadership, technology and finance', the 7th edition of the conference will review the role of healthcare professionals as change agents as well as discuss leadership strategies and the financial return on a culture of patient safety.

Attending the Patient Safety conference will enable participants to identify process gaps putting patients at risk and determine correct measures (opportunities) to avoid preventable deaths; review the latest International Patient Safety Goals (IPSGs) and ways to apply them to local practice to elevate accreditation status; assess high-value care models that deliver top-tier quality service at the lowest possible cost to protect the bottom line; and understand how to implement a zero tolerance approach in combatting medication errors to improve patient safety.

Key topics:

  • Employee well-being programme to create a safety culture
  • Patient safety challenge on medication safety
  • Updates from WHO patient safety initiatives
  • Leadership commitment as the game changer
  • Quality of care on telemedicine portals 
  • JCI accreditation updates
  • Significance of patient safety to health insurance
  • Safety lessons from the aviation industry
  • Risk Management

Radiological Safety Conference
26th October, 2017

Conference Chair: Prof Hatem Abou El Abbass Ghonim, Senior Consultant Radiologist, Al Qassimi Hospital, Sharjah, UAE; Medical Director, Unison CI in PPP with MOH, Dubai, UAE.

In an effort to foster a culture of patient safety and efficient healthcare delivery, radiology departments and hospitals are implementing the values of high-reliability organisations. Patients can encounter a number of potential risks from their visit to the radiology department. Therefore, the healthcare worker’s task is to manage the beneficial use of radiation while protecting the patient from potential hazards.

In its second edition, the Radiological Safety Conference will host healthcare professionals to discuss the risks posed by different types of radiation emissions and radiation-emitting products. The conference will also address the need to balance the beneficial use of radiation by ensuring that each patient receives the appropriate radiation dose using the appropriate, medically necessary imaging exam at the appropriate time.
The conference aims to provide technical education in the areas of radiation safety, regulatory compliance, laboratory and medical physics, radiological waste management, radiation biology, and risk assessment.

Attending the Radiation Safety conference will also enable participants to eliminate gaps in current safety approaches to improve radiation protection and thereby improve patient outcome; identify the latest tools, skills, and techniques necessary to ensure the safe and efficient practice of radiology; and avoid the current pitfalls with common radiation equipment to improve accuracy of the image.

Key topics:

  • Clinical imaging guidelines implementation
  • Implementing MRI safety standards
  • International basic safety standards
  • CT dose metrics and reduction strategies
  • Physical environment safety

WHO has cautioned against viruses that are resistant to antibiotics and pose a great threat to the region and the whole world. Tackling the threat should be considered a national priority that cannot be compromised or neglected. 
Dr Tibor Pal, Professor of Microbiology; Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, Dept. Medical Microbiology and Immunology, FMHS, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE

In an effort to promote patient safety and efficient healthcare delivery, radiology departments and hospitals are implementing the values of high-reliability organisations. The healthcare worker's task is to manage the beneficial use of radiation while protecting the patient from potential hazards. 
Prof Hatem Abou El Abbass Ghonim, Senior Consultant Radiologist, Al Qassimi Hospital; Medical Director, UCI in PPP, Ministry of Health, Sharjah, UAE

With the recent outbreaks of superbug infections, there is a greater demand in the education and training to support the expanding and evolving roles of CSSD technicians.
Jason David Unger, Manager, Sterile Processing, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE

To continue the adoption of creative solutions and international best practices in areas of high quality clinical services, patient safety, health infrastructure and facilities, healthcare institutions should keep its workers updated and upgraded by provision of trainings and education. 
– Dr Ashraf Ismail, Managing Director, Middle East, Joint Commission International, Dubai, UAE