Abu Dhabi: In a bid to promote quality health-care provision, hospitals in the emirate of Abu Dhabi providing the most timely care to patients, as well as those achieving the highest level of patient satisfaction, were recognised in the capital on Tuesday.

The awards, which are in their first edition, were distributed by the emirate’s health-care regulator, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad), as part of its annual Abu Dhabi’s Quality Index (Jawda).

Dar Al Shifa Hospital and Emirates International Hospital, among small facilities (50 or less beds), Al Ahli Hospital Company, among medium facilities (50-150 beds), and Madinat Zayed Hospital, among large facilities (150 or more beds), were selected for providing the most timely care for all kinds of patient encounters, including inpatient, outpatient appointments and emergency care.

Patients, on the other hand, were happiest with the service and treatment they received at Gulf Diagnostic Centre, a small facility, medium-size facility NMC Specialty Hospital and large hospital facility Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“By announcing the top performers, we want to show the health-care industry that the Haad is paying attention to quality. At the same time, residents will also be able to use the information to choose between different health-care providers,” Dr Omar Najim, senior adviser at the Haad, told Gulf News.

The awards were distributed as part of the three-day Middle East Patient Safety and Quality Congress, which saw health-care officials meet medical professionals and industry experts to discuss means to enhance patient safety.

A total of 40 hospitals that were operational from the start of the analysis period were considered by the Haad for the first edition of the Jawda awards. At least five more facilities are fully operational now and these will also be assessed for the next edition, Dr Najim said.

As reported by Gulf News on Monday, 87 per cent of hospitals are now able to offer timely care to patients. This is in comparison to waiting times being the biggest patient complaint when the Jawda was launched in 2014.

“We also polled about 40,000 residents for their patient experience, and the overall level of satisfaction was higher than that achieved by the health-care systems in Qatar, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, which also use the same assessment methodology [Hospital Consummer Assessment for Healthcare Providers and Systems]. This result is encouraging but there is much more to be done yet to make Abu Dhabi a hub for medical tourism,” Dr Najim said.

To ensure further enhancement, the Haad is now focusing on improving patient safety and effectiveness of care at Abu Dhabi hospitals. These will be assessed through 26 measures that are part of Jawda, including surgical site infection rates for Caesarean sections, rate of unplanned admission for emergency heart failure and rate of perinatal mortality.