ABU DHABI, 12th November 2016 (WAM) – A new benchmark for patient care has been set by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers, as the medical campus announced today it has earned the prestigious Joint Commission International’s (JCI) Gold Seal of Approval for hospital accreditation after only 18 months of operations. The award is a global symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

With the UAE healthcare sector set to continue its rapid growth in the coming decades and some experts estimating that the total UAE healthcare market will reach US$19.5 billion by 2020 due to the rise of non-communicable diseases and growing healthcare expenditure, patient safety is a major priority for healthcare institutions in the country. Accreditation by recognized international institutions such as JCI is crucial to drive compliance and improve quality and cost-effectiveness across the healthcare system by developing evidence-based standardized methods and measures to identify errors and reduce adverse events that occur in hospitals.

Accreditation has become a priority for healthcare hubs around the world, with many countries moving toward making accreditation mandatory. By 2020, only accredited healthcare providers will be allowed to operate in the UAE, aligned with the country’s vision to develop a world-class healthcare sector following international standards. The UAE currently leads the world with the highest number of accredited organizations, and progressing toward international accreditation for all healthcare facilities.

In line with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s ‘Patient First’ philosophy, the Quality & Patient Safety Institute leads the hospital’s quality efforts, promoting effective, efficient and safe healthcare, and setting safety and quality benchmarks through strategic systems improvement, clinical culture and innovation.

Expert surveyors from JCI carried out a rigorous evaluation of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s hospital standards across emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management. The surveyors assessed Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on more than 1,000 combined standards and measurable elements and found that the hospital was compliant with standards, scoring particularly highly in the areas of International Patient Safety Goals, Access to Care & Continuity of Care, Patient & Family Rights, Patient & Family Education, and Quality and Patient Safety.

Steven A. Matarelli, PhD, RN, who led the JCI survey team, said: “We commend Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for its efforts in becoming a quality improvement organization. The medical campus has received our Gold Seal of Approval in just over a year of operations, a unique achievement. From our week-long survey across the hospital, it was evident that its commitment to patients runs throughout every system and process implemented within the organization.”

“New benchmarks were set with regard to quality and patient safety in the region. We encourage Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to share these best practices internationally,” continued Dr. Matarelli.

Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, CEO, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “We are extremely proud of our achievements to date in providing high quality, international standards of care for our patients. Our motto across the hospital – for both clinical and non-clinical Caregivers – is Patients First. It is our guiding philosophy and shapes the decisions we make every day to ensure high quality of care and patient safety each and every day. The JCI survey is key external validation of the processes we’ve put in place and helps us identify where we can continuously improve to better serve our patients.”

The JCI Gold Seal of Approval is the latest in a series of accreditations and certifications that Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has earned in 2016. It recently became the first and only hospital in the UAE to receive highest international award for healthcare information technology – HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption ModelSM (EMRAMSM) Stage 7-certification – and the only one in the region to be accredited by Hospitality Assured, a standard for service and business excellence in the hospitality industry. It also won the People’s Choice Award for best large hospital in Abu Dhabi in Health Authority – Abu Dhabi’s debut JAWDA Awards.