Al Emadi Hospital, one of the leading private hospital groups in Qatar, has adopted a three-part plan in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The plan has the highest safety and prevention standards, and aims to protect both patients and employees at its hospitals.
‘As a confirmation of our contribution to the policy of the state, which is dedicated to addressing the spread of this disease in Qatar, Dr Mohamed Abdulla Al Emadi Medical Group has adopted measures and procedures that have been developed through a well thought out plan divided into parts. These effectively contribute to preventing the disease, limiting its spread and dealing with those who show some of its symptoms quickly and effectively, especially among the employees of Al Emadi Hospital at its two branches.’
Dr Abdulelah Al Adimi, Medical Director and a senior consultant and urology specialist at Al Emadi Hospital, explained that the steps taken by the medical group will ensure all of its employees are protected in order to guarantee a safe environment in which to treat patients and hospital visitors.
Speaking about the disease, Dr Al Adimi stated:
Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, countries are now forced to take some decisions to protect their citizens and reduce the spread as much as possible. There is a high rate of recovery from this new virus, which depends on the immunity of each person. This is what Qatar has sought through a number of decisions in the interest of the health of citizens and residents.’
Al Emadi’s strategic plan is overseen by the hospital’s administration team, available 24/7 to follow up on the three parts:
The first stage relates to administrators, employees and hospital staff. Teams have been reduced in size with a new working schedule, in order to avoid large groups of people in the hospital at the same time. Employees must have their temperature measured before starting work and then pass through sterilisation. If there is the slightest rise in temperature, the employee is transferred directly to the emergency department. Not only this, but employees are protected at home with checks at their residences, and transportation to and from the hospitals is monitored. There are also arrangements for sick leave for all employees, for any who exhibits symptoms or has doubts about being ill. The employee will remain isolated at home until his/her health improves. If the condition worsens, the employee will be referred as per the government’s guidelines.
This part relates to hospital visitors and patients at the various clinics and departments, whether in the main building or the North Clinic building. Patients are encouraged to make all appointments by phone, with call staff asking certain questions to better understand their condition. If there is mention of any symptoms, the caller is directed to a designated facility or emergency department to get treated – before making any contact with other people.
Most of the hospital gates have been closed, as well as some entrances, so that there is control over the movement of visitors, as well as the ability to measure their temperature and provide them with a hand sanitiser. There are also limits on the number of people accompanying the patient. Each patient must go directly to the clinic concerned and visitors can stay for 15 minutes only.
If any patient is suspected of contracting the virus and is showing some of its symptoms – those similar to cold and flu accompanied by coughs and fever – there are two systems in place, one for outpatient clinics and one for emergency clinics. An outpatient clinic, specialising in cold and flu, is on the ground floor, which is easy to locate and prevents the patient from wandering around inside the building, and there is a special room for the isolation process.
At both the main building and the emergency department, trained doctors are available to handle suspected cases of COVID-19. They can provide an evaluation form to reveal the level of infection and determine the required treatment plan in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and other related authorities to transfer the patient to specialised departments.
According to Dr Al Adimi:
We have set up a hotline with MoPH and other authorities to communicate with the individuals in case of suspicion, and to provide details of the necessary procedures for treatment… we have concentrated on cancelling some services inside the hospital, including the children’s playroom and the café located in the building. I urge citizens and residents not to panic and not to have exaggerated fear and anxiety, as the percentage of self-recovery cases without medical care for coronavirus exceeds 80%.’
Dr Al Adimi adds that we should all remain vigilant and follow the advice given by MoPH: the regular and continuous washing of hands; not coming into contact with persons suspected of contracting the disease; avoiding habits like touching the nose, eye and mouth as far as possible; and avoiding all ‘endemic’ places and areas both outside and within Qatar. People are also advised to wear masks if they have any similar respiratory symptoms or if they have had any contact with such persons.