Muscat: The Sultanate marked World Patient Safety Day on Tuesday, which falls on September 15 every year. This year’s theme Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety” highlights the most significant national achievements that have been accomplished in the field of patient and health workers safety. The celebration is also an opportunity for sharing best practices in healthcare by raising awareness about the importance of health worker safety and its role in patient safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted unprecedented pressure on health systems worldwide. A knowledgeable and skilled health workforce is critical for the provision of safe care to patients. Therefore, strict adherence to safety standards to maintain the safety of both the health cadres and patients is required. It is also a time to express our thanks and gratitude to medical and allied medical cadres, administrative and technical personnel who are the first line of defence against the pandemic.
This year’s WPSD highlights core themes related to the safety of health workers such as occupational and environmental safety at workplace; mental and psychosocial health; means and importance of following precautionary measures to prevent epidemic at workplace; and training professional competitive personnel to counter pandemics.
The Ministry of Health’s aim is to provide high quality health services on par with international standards. The health institutions in Oman have contributed to improving the delivery of health services and simultaneously the level of patient safety.
Moreover, both public and private health institutions in Oman have collaborated with international institutions and organizations, notably the World Health Organization (WHO), to develop policies to improve the delivery of health services.
The Sultanate was selected as a WHO Collaborating Centre on Quality of Care and Patient Safety in the fourth quarter of 2018 for its contributions to the significant progress made by the country over the past 10 years in the field of quality and patient safety.
Oman is continuously working to develop standards and practices to improve patient safety. The MoH has adopted the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative (PSFHI) in 2015 with a plan to cover all hospitals under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, including private hospitals, within the five-year development plan.
The following has been achieved in this regard:
· MoH hospitals in Khoula, Nizwa, Rustaq, Sohar, Ibri, Sur, Sinaw, Khasab, Ibra, and Al-Buraimi have implemented this initiative and were evaluated and accredited by the WHO.
· Three private hospitals (Starcare-Al Mawaleh, Badr Al Samaa-Ruwi, Aster Al Raffah Hospital, Ghubra) have completed the implementation of the initiative and were assessed and accredited by the WHO.
· The initiative was launched in MoH hospitals (Sultan Qaboos, Al Nahdha, Al Massarah, Masira, Jalan Bani Bu Ali, Jalan Bani Bu Hassan) and were assessed by an internal team from MOH’s Quality Assurance center
· The initiative was launched in seven private hospitals (Al Hayat- Muscat Private, KIMS, LIFELINE-Suhar, Apollo, Burjeel, Gulf Specialised Hospital). Staff were trained in the implementation of the initiative using patient safety international standards.
During the Patient Safety Global Ministerial Summit in 2016, the Sultanate proposed to dedicate a national day for patient safety, which commenced in 2018. Given Oman’s trustworthy reputation among international organizations, particularly WHO, it was recommended for launching the EMR Patient Safety Day initiative, approved by the WHO during a meeting in Geneva, May 2019. This demonstrates the Directorate General for Quality Assurance Center’s (DGQAC) commitment to carry out its responsibilities to join in the development of the health services system in line with the future vision.