Patients, visitors, and staff recently took the opportunity to learn and share knowledge about the importance of patient safety during the Patient Safety Awareness Week organised by the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Department of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). 

The week-long campaign included activities across Hamad General, Rumailah and Heart Hospitals. A series of workshops and lectures were also held featuring international and local quality improvement experts offering insights about patient safety.

During his opening remarks at the launch of the formal learning sessions, Professor Adam Cairns, CEO of Al Wakra Hospital and Hamad bin Khalifa Medical City, highlighted the importance of the programme in encouraging learning and collaboration between caregivers and care receivers.

Dr Moza Al-Ishaq, Executive Director of Clinical Transformation, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at HMC, urged healthcare providers to always treat patients kindly to reduce their anxiety, worry and stress, adding that a compassionate gesture or smile is equally important as delivering good care.

During a consultation, we should realise that our patients see everything we do, so our actions should help them feel better. Our patients will feel better quickly if we smile and engage with them, and allow them to ask questions relevant to their health.’

Dr Al-Ishaq added that all healthcare professionals should encourage patients to ask questions pertinent to their health, emphasising that this would help improve health outcomes as well as the quality of service or care received. She emphasised that simple questions that patients ask include: What health problem do I have? What do I need to do? And why do I need to do it?

Presenting on the topic of Patient Safety: A Global Challenge, two international speakers, Dr Luke Feeney, Director of Risk, Audit and Safety National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland and Dr Seval Akgun, Professor of Public Health and Medicine Baskent University and Chief Quality Officer, Baskent University Hospital Network, Turkey, emphasised that effective patient safety initiatives can only be possible if more focus is directed toward patient safety systems and work environments rather than individuals.

Dr Feeney said that to achieve sustained and reliable success in patient safety, health professionals should shift from person-centred thinking to system-level thinking.

Such evolvement can contribute to the creation of error-proof healthcare environments – understanding of course that we are continually learning and improving. We can potentially achieve this objective through a range of patient safety (and quality) interventions.

Building on the pioneering work of Dr Donald Berwick and Prof Lucian Leape, patient safety improvement should be built-in as a matter of design, rather than effort. Undoubtedly it will be challenging, but hugely rewarding for all involved – patients, patient families and of course staff.’

As part of the safety awareness week programme, various HMC hospitals organised activities to help reinforce patient safety messages to raise awareness of general safety measures. Booths providing information for patients, visitors and healthcare providers, patient rights, medication safety, hand hygiene and other patient safety ideas were set up in hospital lobbies.

Staff, patients, and visitors were also engaged in dialogues and games designed to test knowledge about important matters such as hand hygiene and other safety related activities.

For more details about HMC’s patient safety programmes, visit their website at