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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Ambulatory Care Center expands ICU capacity for COVID patients

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ICU capacity extended to 10 rooms, offering additional specialised facilities to patients with COVID-19 infection.

The Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) recently expanded its intensive care unit (ICU) capacity to 10 rooms due to a noticeable surge in coronavirus infections in Qatar.

The centre, part of the Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) group of hospitals located in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, said it is set to provide critical medical and surgical care support for other hospitals located in the area.

This makes it ideal in terms of access for critical care patients and enhancing HMC’s critical care capacity, explained Dr. Khalid Al Jalham, Director of the Ambulatory Care Center.

Senior Consultant Intensivist and Section Head of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at ACC Dr. Nissar Shaikh said: “the new ICU includes 10 separate patient rooms; each is fully furnished with the latest medical equipment and technology to ensure the safest and best possible health outcomes for the patient.” 

ACC is located in the centre of the medical city, within close proximity to other hospitals in the area, such as the Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC), Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI), the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) and Rumailah Hospital. 

“Most of our physicians, including anesthesiologists, are highly experienced staff who rotate between the ICUs in Hamad General Hospital and ACC, providing their expertise to both units. This ensures that they are very familiar with both facilities, which is helpful if a patient needs to be transferred from one to the other for clinical reasons,” added Dr. Shaikh. 

According to specialists and directors at the facility, the newly inaugurated medical service is supported by specialised intensivists, physicians and critical care nurses, in addition to a range of allied health therapists such as respiratory, physical, and occupational therapists.

Read also: No hotel quarantine exemptions for travellers from high risk countries

“Each of our strategic development efforts are guided by HMC’s corporate goals and objectives, which are aligned to Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2018-2022,” Dr Al Jalham said.

“In addition, we have been committed to adopting a more holistic patient centred approach and have aspired to incorporate the Planetree principles of becoming a high performing person-centred organization. This approach has influenced every service improvement effort within our facility, including the establishment of our high-functioning ICU,” Dr. Al Jalham added.

The ICU was first inaugurated at the height of Qatar’s first coronavirus wave to expand surgical capacity. This allowed HMC hospitals equipped with ICUs to focus on patients with severe coronavirus related illnesses.

“To support the national COVID-19 preparedness, we have converted one of the rooms with negative-pressure capability to allow for the isolation and treatment of patients with infectious diseases. This was particularly helpful when, at the end of 2020, we provided care for a patient with COVID-19 for several weeks until they recovered sufficiently to be able to move to a general ward,” added Dr. Shaikh.

Assistant Executive Director of Nursing at ACC Saadiya Al Hebail said: “not only do we have all the latest technical capabilities, but we also incorporated the needs of our patients and their families,” she added.

“For instance, we ensured each room has ample space for bedside visits from family and loved ones because we recognise the importance of family support as part of the holistic care of critically ill patients.

“In addition, we encourage patients and families to engage in the development of their healthcare plan as we believe this will enhance healing and health, and the resulting partnership will build trust and enhance patient centred care. This is part of our person-centred approach, which received international recognition from Planetree recently,” Al Hebail continued.

Meanwhile, the Director of Nursing for the Operating Rooms at ACC Abdulaziz Al Rawashda, highlighted the importance of hiring highly trained interdisciplinary teams.

“Expert nursing care is essential for the effective round-the-clock monitoring of critically ill patients and I am delighted that we have highly competent nursing teams who are both knowledgeable in the management of ICU patients but also committed to delivering compassionate care.

“Equally important is the close collaboration between nurses, physicians, and other allied health practitioners, as everyone contributes an important piece to the overall care of the patient,” the Dr. added.


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