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by Dr. Osama Alswailem | Alaa Adel
Published on November 12, 2019

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC) provides the highest level of specialized healthcare in an integrated educational and research setting, and Cerner Middle East and Africa is a global leader in healthcare information. “Hospitals” magazine met with Dr Osama Alswailem, Chief Information Officer, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC) and Mr Alaa Adel, General Manager for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Cerner Middle East and Africa to talk about the technologies and solutions they have installed, their adoption of smart room technologies among others.

What technologies and solutions have you installed through the KFSH&RC Smart Room project with Cerner?

Dr Osama Alswailem: our goal was interoperability, not just integration. We wanted real time data exchange between our real-time location system, IP nurse call, wireless mobile device, Cerner Smart Room, Interactive Patient Care, bed medical device integration (BMDI), etc. The solution was one of the most challenging and rewarding as we were able to create a smart room with more than nine hardware devices integrated with more than 10 software solutions with all activities and data feeding into the patient’s electronic health record.  

Please provide examples of how adopting the smart room technologies has helped KFSH&RC improve the patient experience and enhance communication?

Dr Osama Alswailem: patients are all connected to mobile devices in one way or another and have access to services (F&B, Government to Citizen, Financial, Aviation, etc.) that are a few clicks away. Healthcare needs to adapt to these new expectations with the smart room technologies as the medium. The patient is now able to communicate with room service, assess their pain without intermediaries, view prescribed education material, communicate with hospital staff as/when needed and provide medication-related information, etc. 

This technology has also provided KFSH & RC with the analytical data needed to improve quality of care, compliance metrics, dashboards/reporting, which all align with the organization’s Zero Harm goal.

To what extent smart technology is a must in hospitals today to achieve the best patient experience and the highest level of specialized healthcare?

Dr Osama Alswailem: I believe we have seen more technological adoptions in the previous two decades than ever before. The adoption cycle of this technology and its early use shows the disruptive effects on every sector, more-so healthcare. Over the past years, almost 50 percent of the top emerging technologies have been related to health or will have a major impact on the healthcare delivery model, next-generation robotics, genomic sequencing, artificial intelligence, etc. 

Technology is what will challenge and finally break the ‘iron triangle’ of healthcare. Healthcare will be the biggest recipient.

What are the main projects that Cerner will implement at KFSH and what are the benefits for patients and caregivers?

Mr Alaa Adel: it is an honor for Cerner to partner with KFSH&RC today and since we began our organizations’ journeys together in the early 1990s. Cerner strives to relentlessly advance the success of KFSH&RC and is committed to enabling future achievements in the Kingdom and beyond. KFSH&RC and Cerner collaboratively maintain a strategic roadmap which is aligned to the KFSH&RC organizational goals and multi-year strategic plan. To name just a few projects on our immediate roadmap together, we are targeting safer and more efficient delivery of oncology and obstetric care, barcoding of medication administration to eliminate medication errors, enhanced integration with the current ERP Supply Chain system to reduce waste and centralize data, and to increase caregiver efficiency and satisfaction with the EMR through a major systems upgrade and workflow modernization. We will be supporting the KFSH&RC team through other projects in their master plan, including expansion projects in Madinah and Jeddah. These projects are aligned with KFSH&RC’s goals and strategic plan, which are aligned with the IHI Quadruple Aim of improving the patient experience and well-being of the care team while reducing costs and managing the health of the populations they serve.

Click here to download the PDF version of this interview. You can also click here to read the interview in the digital magazine of the Hospitals issue 49.