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Ambulatory Care Center expands ICU capacity

  • Feb 13, 2021
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 12389
  • Health/Medicine
The recently expanded Intensive Care Unit offers additional specialized facilities for patients with infectious diseases, including COVID-19
The Ambulatory Care Center (ACC), part of the Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) group of hospitals located in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, recently expanded its intensive care unit (ICU) capacity to 10 rooms. The unit provides critical medical and surgical care support for other hospitals located nearby, which ensures easier access for critical care patients.
Dr. Khalid Al Jalham, Director of the Ambulatory Care Center, explained that the ACC location and set up made it an ideal choice to enhance HMC’s critical care capacity. “Based on a critical needs assessment, a strategic decision was made to create a small ICU facility in our facility last July. This ensured there was capacity for the influx of critical care cases that had to be diverted from other facilities, several of which were designated as mainly COVID-19 facilities. The service was so successful that a corporate decision was taken to establish an expanded facility to cater for the growing demand for critical care services across our system.”
“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. 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,” added Dr. Al Jalham.
ACC is the first of HMC’s hospitals and first hospital in Qatar to have earned the Gold Certification for Excellence in Person-Centred Care from Planetree, an international nonprofit organization focuses on person centred care.  
Initial ICU services were established in ACC in July 2020 on the second floor of the hospital. It was established to expand surgical capacity by ensuring additional ICU capabilities. This was especially important during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when several of HMC hospitals with ICUs were focused on patients with more severe COVID-19 related illnesses. and give more accessible to the care provided to our patients with the best care outcome.
Dr. Nissar Shaikh, Senior Consultant Intensivist and Section Head of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at ACC, led the team effort to establish the expanded ICU service.
“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. ,” said Dr. Shaikh. “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.”
ACC was the ideal choice for this unit as it is centrally located within close proximity to other hospitals in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, such as the Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC), Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI); as well as the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) and Rumailah Hospital. The unit is supported by specialized intensivists, physicians as well as critical care nurses and a range of allied health therapists such as respiratory, physical, and occupational therapists.
“Most of our physicians, including anaesthesiologists, are highly experienced staff who rotate between the ICUs in Hamad General Hospital and ACC, providing their expertise to both units. This ensures that 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. 
Saadiya Al Hebail, Assistant Executive Director of Nursing at ACC outlined the benefits of the new ICU: “We set up this facility according to international best practice concerning a patient centred approach. Not only do we have all the latest technical capabilities, but we also incorporated the needs of our patients and their families.” 
“For instance, we ensured each room has ample space for bedside visits from family and loved ones because we recognize 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,” added Al Hebail.
Abdulaziz Al Rawashda, Director of Nursing for the Operating Rooms at ACC explained the importance of having 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 that is so important to having a better patient experience. 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.”