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Healthcare ‘must adapt to new technologies’

Abu Dhabi, May 21, 2012

E-health is the emerging practice in public health and IT the heart of day-to-day business, but the healthcare industry needs to change with technological advances, said an expert.

“Over the last ten years technology has improved patient safety through, housing information, allowing access to information, acquiring information, monitoring information and supporting the prevention of errors,” said Zaid Daoud Al Siksek, CEO, Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

He was addressing up to 600 delegates at the ongoing HIMSS Middle East Conference 2012 in Abu Dhabi.

However, agreeing that technology has advanced significantly over the last decade especially with mobile technology, Siksek reconfirmed that regulators globally had a common problem, not losing sight of the three critical issues - access, cost and quality.

“Healthcare stakeholders should adopt a role to ensure information technology drives improved quality, access and affordability in healthcare,” he added.

Siksek also put forward his recommendations moving forward, highlighting key elements such as research and education, leadership, transparency, realism and levels of governance that enable innovation rather than stifle it.

However, Siksek had one clear piece of advice regarding the issue of ‘Big Data’ the huge amounts of information already collected and stored.

“Make sure your analytical capability is as good as the information technology itself, because there’s no point otherwise if you can’t make sense of it or deliver change based upon it,” he added.

The two-day conference, which is taking place at the Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi on May 20 and 21, focuses on integrating healthcare information systems and technology for medical service solutions, under the theme of health IT leadership.

Following HE Siksek on the podium was Dr Mohammed R Al Yemeni, Deputy Minister for Planning and Health Economics at the Saudi Ministry of Health, reminded delegates of the major challenges faced by the Saudi healthcare system.

“The Saudi Ministry of Health manages approximately 2.27 million sq m of space, over 150 cities and 2,000 villages. Forty-three per cent of the population are under 15 years of age, the population is 27 million and growing and the number of births annually exceeds 500,000,” he said.

“We have made steady progress and we have learnt from our experiences, both good and bad, which we are happy to share with our industry colleagues here,” he added.

Highlighting the progress being made by local and regional hospitals, four hospitals were honoured for achieving Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM). The four healthcare providers were, King Faisal Specialist Hospital (KFSH) in Riyadh and Jeddah, University Hospital Sharjah and Corniche Hospital in Al Ain.

“Major regional healthcare providers are now committed to EMRAM, and the enormous benefits it brings to healthcare quality and patient safety,” said John Hoyt, Executive VP, Organisational Services, HIMSS Analytics USA. – TradeArabia News Service




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