Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has recently expanded its specialised rehabilitation services thanks to a new modern simulated environment at the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI).
HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, opened the ‘Easy Street’ patient rehabilitation facility in March, meeting with some of the patients who have benefitted from the service.
Easy Street simulates real-world situations in a safe clinical environment for patients to take their first independent steps towards recovery following protracted illness with life-changing medical issues.
HE Dr Al Kuwari praised the team for the efforts in establishing this new facility due to the challenges faced by so many healthcare systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. HE Dr Al Kuwari said: ‘This remarkable facility represents an exceptional addition to the growing rehabilitation capabilities in Qatar and will provide a huge boost for all patients who need targeted therapy to enable them to be reintegrated back into their community.’
Easy Street is the first of its kind in Qatar, with only a few such simulated environments in the region. The facility was designed for patients recovering from stroke or brain haemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, orthopaedic surgeries or other medical issues that have impacted their ability to live at home and conduct basic life tasks.
Dr Hanadi Al Hamad, Qatar National Lead for Healthy Aging and Medical Director at the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute spoke more about the establishment of the facility, stating that since QRI first opened at the end of 2017, the goal has been to expand the rehabilitation services and facilities. This has led to the opening of additional services such as assistive technology services, adult day rehabilitation services, and a specialised rehabilitative gym. Programmes have been developed according to international best practices for the best outcomes for rehabilitation patients.
According to Dr Al Hamad: ‘We had planned to open Easy Street last year, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had to deploy our resources to where they were needed most. However, the team continued to work on this project whenever time permitted and with the combined support from all staff, the Ministry and our partners who donated many of the items to aid simulation of normal tasks, we are able to establish this amazing facility.’
Easy Street sees patients simulating a trip to a supermarket, handling a small shopping basket and utilising ramps, while an ATM facade replicates the simulation of obtaining cash. A small coffee shop experience opens during patient practice sessions; patients taking a cup of coffee or tea can learn how to navigate the challenges of handling a hot beverage while still experiencing mobility issues.
Sultan Al Abdulla, Chief of Occupational Therapy Services for HMC, explained the exceptional design concept of Easy Street: ‘We have patients who are learning to master the use of devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes; and in order for them to feel confident to manage being reintegrated into life in the community, they often need to relearn and practice simple daily tasks, such as buying a coffee or groceries. Once a patient has been assessed and deemed ready to use facilities such as Easy Street, they will be accompanied by a trained Physical or Occupational Therapist to guide them in how to make certain movements safely.’
About Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI)
The opening of Easy Street joins other innovative services available at the world-class QRI.
The modern and well-equipped rehabilitation facility is the one of the largest tertiary hospitals in the region, with 193 beds, 159 of which are private.
Patients are able to benefit from five hydrotherapy pools, 10 exercise rooms and inpatient units exclusively for the care and well-being of paediatric, stroke, and general trauma patients, as well as those suffering from spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries and musculo-skeletal disorders. There are also advanced outpatient clinics for occupational and physiotherapy therapy and speech therapy.
Patient care at QRI is programme based, with rehabilitation programmes intended to promote and enable patient-centred care. This approach ensures that a patient’s needs and expectations are consistently met throughout their recovery journey.
Five main rehabilitation programmes are available, focusing on strokes, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, musculoskeletal/pain management, and paediatric rehabilitation.
All inpatients are referred for admittance by an acute care facility, such as Hamad General Hospital, the Outpatient Department, another Hamad Medical Corporation facility or service, Primary Health Care Corporation, or a private health clinic.
The Inpatient Rehabilitation Program is a patient centred care model which allows the patient to maximise their functional potential. An active programme of care is offered by a core multidisciplinary care team such as physician, nurses, and therapy services, and specialised clinical services. There is one-on-one therapy as well as supervised and group therapy sessions, together with patient and family education and training.
Outpatient rehabilitation is for patients who need a less intensive therapy, as a continuation of an inpatient stay or day care rehabilitation, as well as via a referral. This is available from outpatient clinics which have relocated to QRI from Rumailah Hospital, including physical medicine and rehabilitation, speech therapy, adult neuro occupational therapy, and adult neuro physiotherapy.
Learn more about the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, as well as Hamad Medical Corporation’s other facilities, at hamad.qa
Author: Sarah Palmer
This feature is from Marhaba’s issue – M80 Spring/Summer 2021.
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