Designed To Help Reduce Medical Error And Improve Delivery Of Quality Healthcare

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), recently concluded the first edition of its global Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety. The event took place from 23rd to 26th March in Doha, Qatar.


According to the World Health Organization, one in ten people may be harmed while receiving hospital care. Therefore, the programme, organised in partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q), aimed to provide comprehensive training for faculty and students in the healthcare industry in a bid to promote the delivery of safe and high-quality patient care. The event reflected WISH’s ongoing commitment to improve patient safety through its research.

Nearly 100 Qatar-based faculty and health science students took part in the programme, including participants from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Sidra Medical and Research Center, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Qatar University, College of the North Atlantic Qatar (CNA-Q), and the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ). The training took place in two phases, with the first aimed at faculty, and the second aimed at students.

Egbert Schillings, CEO of WISH, commented on the programme: “At WISH we pitch our research at the highest levels to policymakers around the world. However, change doesn’t just come from above, it also comes from below. We have just trained a legion of young leaders who will take this initiative forward. Dozens of projects will come out of this training. The faculty and student learners will never forget this experience and it will result in real impact, here in Qatar and beyond.”

The programme trained faculty on how to effectively teach students best practices on patient safety. Participants were taught about the importance of encouraging their students to pursue open, honest and effective communication with their patients, and each other, to reduce medical error.

Dr Basim Uthman, a Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neuroscience at WCM-Q, commented: “As doctors we do everything we can to save lives and improve and maximise the safety of our patients. As a mentor and a teacher who believes in the significance of saving lives, I now have the ability to pass on the information we learned during the Patient Safety Academy to my students as well as share it with my colleagues at the hospital. Together we can raise awareness about patient safety.”

Dr Moza Al Ishaq, Executive Director of Clinical Transformation and Corporate Quality and Patient Safety at HMC, remarked: “Patient safety should be everybody’s priority. Understanding the framework and concept of patient safety helps transform healthcare settings and leaders. This, in turn, improves oversight and minimises the incidence and impact of medical error. Attending this course enhanced our critical thinking and provided us with tools and strategies to improve patient safety.”

The second phase of the programme tailored for students, equipped participants with specific tools and strategies that can be used to reduce harm to patients through a range of interactive and hands-on exercises. They heard from patient safety advocates who had lost loved ones due to medical error, and shared lessons with contemporaries from other disciplines to encourage future collaboration.

Amani Al Haddad, a pharmacy student at Qatar University, said: “The most important lesson I learned is to always have the courage to share both good and bad experiences. The Academy also taught me that when people make mistakes or are affected by other people’s errors, they shouldn’t keep it to themselves. They should present it as a lesson for others to learn from.” She added that she now plans to lead a patient safety workshop at her college.

Ahmad Al Meer, a medical student at WCM-Q, explained: “The Patient Safety Academy brought a key issue to the forefront of medical practice in Qatar. It enables physicians in the region to garner a greater understanding of the issues at play during medical practice and allows us to integrate with the international medical community through our shared understanding.”

The Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety is an extension of WISH’s ongoing work to improve patient safety around the word. In 2013, WISH led a major research forum chaired by Dr Peter Pronovost, Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins, and Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality. WISH also launched the Safer Care Accelerator Programme by Leading Health Systems Network (LHSN) in partnership with Imperial College London. WISH recently presented early findings of LHSN research at the first Global Summit on Patient Safety in London and will present its complete report at WISH’s upcoming summit, which will take place from 29th to 30th November in Doha, Qatar.