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by Colin Hackwood
Published on January 25, 2017

Colin Hackwood, MBA MPM BNUR AFCHSM MAHDC, is Program Manager at Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute, leading Hamad Medical Corporation’s Qatar Early Warning System Project. A nurse by background, he has considerable experience in managing system-wide change in complex environments. He is currently involved in HMC system-wide operational performance and the surgical transformation project.

Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Qatar Early Warning System (QEWS) is the winner of the 2016 Arab Technology Awards for the Healthcare Implementation of the Year, and more importantly, it is saving lives in Qatar. Since its deployment back in November 2015, QEWS has helped reduce the cardiac arrest rate to 50% across all of HMC’s healthcare institutions, and on average, saves 100 lives per year.

Please find below excerpts of my interview with Arabian Computer News. You may access this link to read the full story.

The Challenge

A common challenge faced by many healthcare providers across the globe lies with clinical deterioration. Typically preceded by changes with a patient’s vital signs, as well as diminishing results revealed from physiological and laboratory tests, these conditions are sometimes missed by even the most complex health systems employed today. These instances may occur for a variety of reasons, which include lack of regular assessment, incomplete vital sign measurements, availability of staff, long chains of command, as well as variable units of measurement amongst monitoring technology.

The Solution

Inspired by the Between the Flags Program in Australia, the Qatar Early Warning System is a track-and-trigger safety-net system designed to assist in the early detection and response to clinical deterioration in a patient’s condition.

Deployed across all eight of HMC’s tertiary and general hospitals, the implementation saw the establishment of corporate-level and facility governance structures, the creation of standardised observation charts, the development of training and performance evaluation frameworks centred around the new implementation, as well as the formation of a rapid response system across all facilities. The platform takes advantage of Cerner Corporation’s electronic medical records to share clinical data across the entirety of HMC’s network.

Next Steps

HMC will continue to review the performance of QEWS and identify new ways to introduce operational efficiencies that will in turn support clinical staff.

The platform’s implementation strategy will also serve as the foundation for future Quality & Patient Safety initiatives. Meanwhile, the Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute has shifted its focus towards identifying solutions centred on sepsis management that can be adopted across the whole enterprise. The continued improvement in the quality of clinical data, alongside further development of IT trends, such as big data and analytics, will lead to the creation of new national health improvement programs.