A keen appreciation of cultural values is essential to deliver patient satisfaction in Qatar and the wider region, according to a healthcare expert speaking at the first installment of the new season of Grand Rounds lectures at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

Speaking to an audience of fellow healthcare professionals at WCM-Q, Dr Samuel Stafrace, Attending Physician in Paediatric Radiology and Medical Director – Education for the Foundational Services Clinical Management Group at Sidra Medical and Research Centre presented his regional research, conducted in collaboration with Imperial College London. Dr Stafrace explained that the cultural context of the region must be appreciated in order to deliver a service that patients will trust and feel comfortable with.

Dr Stafrace, who also holds the faculty position of Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology at WCM-Q, said that as healthcare professionals, they all want to provide the patient with satisfactory service, though it can be challenging because of so many different factors.

In the GCC region, with its diverse cultural and ethnic populations, relative economic prosperity, mixed healthcare systems, recent growth and accelerated change, patient expectations can prove to be difficult to judge. And as such, it has become a very important area of study.’

Dr Stafrace, who has a strong professional interest in medical administration and patient satisfaction, conducted a research into the subject by interviewing senior healthcare executives with years of experience in Qatar and across the GCC.  He learned that cultural factors are extremely influential in determining both patient expectations and satisfaction and that these cultural factors may play a larger role in the GCC compared to other parts of the world. Dr Stafrace also said that understanding the particular expectations of patients in the GCC is clearly at the heart of improving patient satisfaction.

Ways institutions can achieve this include actively developing institutional cultural intelligence, improving communication skills, working hard to understand the needs and desires of the diverse groups of people they serve and being fluid and adaptable to the population changes. Crucially, many of the regional determinants of patient satisfaction are dependent on one another. As such, a holistic approach to improving patient satisfaction is key.’

Dr Thurayya Arayssi, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education at WCM-Q said they are delighted to hear from Dr Stafrace, who has many very important insights into patient satisfaction, with specific reference to the GCC region. He agreed that in order to develop world-class healthcare institutions, it is essential to understand the cultural values and needs of the population you serve.

For more information on WCM-Q’s Grand Rounds lectures, visit their website through this link.