Sheikh Khalifa Medical City achieves another year of excellence in 2013

April 1, 2014 2:19 pm

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) achieved another year of excellence over 2013, with noteworthy recognitions, milestones and advancements bringing renewed confidence to patients and their families.

Recording more than 104,000 emergency room visits, as many as 206,000 specialty clinic visits, 61,295 urgent care visits, and more than 6,600 surgeries throughout the year, SKMC continues to deliver its unique ‘physician-led’ approach to healthcare to the UAE community, and elevate patient care levels in the country.

“A host of improved patient experience efforts, unique programs and milestone surgeries, recognitions and awards, advancements in technology and infrastructure, an emiratisation push and increased operational excellence has shown that SKMC can count itself amongst the world’s best healthcare providers in the country, and the world,” said Dr. Aref Al Shehhi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, SKMC.

SKMC, managed by Cleveland Clinic, is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Improved Patient Experience Efforts

2013 saw SKMC spearhead the unique patient experience initiative developed in collaboration with SEHA – Mas’ool. The ‘town-hall’ style meeting, held semi-annually in all SEHA facilities, was developed to create direct communication channels between the public and senior management, in order to better understand the community’s needs and ensure the highest provision of high quality health care services, addressing regular, special needs and home care patients.

Last year also showcased the Absher Service at SKMC, which was aimed at increasing the level of interaction with patients and visitors across the healthcare facility, ensuring prompt and efficient access to information related to the hospital’s in-patient, out-patient clinic and Emergency department services. The service coordinates communication between patients and administrative staff, guides patients through the SEHA healthcare system, answers enquiries and listens to concerns, while giving accurate information in a timely and efficient manner.

Milestone Surgeries and Unique Programs

The first ever deceased donor organ transplant in the country was performed by specialist physicians at SKMC in April 2013. The ground-breaking procedure, which utilised a kidney received from a hospital in Saudi Arabia, was an intensely coordinated operation, and a milestone achievement that promises hope to many patients currently receiving dialysis and on the renal transplant waiting list. SKMC’s kidney transplant program is the only one of its kind in the UAE.

In the same month, SKMC’s paediatric cardiac surgery program reached 1500 surgeries conducted since its inception in 2007, offering the chance of a happy and fulfilling life for children with congenital heart disorders. In addition to operating on children with congenital heart disorders, the paediatric cardiac surgery team treat adolescents and adults that were born with cardiac defects and who weren’t able to have their problems resolved in their youth.

SKMC’s unique adult and paediatric cardiac surgery programs achieved a total of 752 surgeries for the year, reinforcing yet again the specialised and dedicated care for some of the country’s most vulnerable patients.

Recognition and Awards

SKMC’s high standard of resident doctor medical training was officially recognised by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International (ACGME-I), a private professional organisation that is responsible for the accreditation of nearly 9,000 residency education programs across the world. Additionally, Five SKMC programs were awarded ACGME-I accreditation following an 18 month evaluation: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine and Paediatrics.

UAE residents at risk of heart attacks can also breathe a little easier, after SKMC was recognised as one of the world’s foremost institutions for cardiovascular patient care. Among just a handful of institutions in the world – the only such institute outside of the US – SKMC received accreditation as a Cycle IV Chest Pain Centre, demonstrating the enhanced quality of care for cardiac patients.

SKMC was also recognised as SEHA’s Business Entity (BE) of the Year, given in recognition of the hospital’s performance throughout the year, and advancing SEHA’s mission to achieve continuous improvement.

Technology and Infrastructure Advancements

In its mission to serve the local community to the best of its ability, SKMC unveiled the hospital’s brand new emergency department (ED) in March of 2013, and was specially designed to improve flow, reduce waiting times, optimize treatment and greatly improve the SKMC patient experience. The new ED boasts a host of features that elevates it on par with cutting edge casualty and trauma units across the region.

SKMC has also brought to UAE’s patients a new state-of-the-art machine which blends two essential and complementary medical imaging technologies into one innovative scanner – providing the ability to capture two types of medical images with one machine: single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and computed tomography (CT). The SPECT/CT machine, which is the only one of its kind in the country, acts a navigator and can convert life threatening cases into simpler ones.

In early 2013, SKMC installed a state of the art magnetic resonance imaging (3 Tesla MRI) machine, with unsurpassed image quality and advanced functionality, and the most patient-friendly MRI device available, designed to minimise the stress for patients who find traditional MRI scans uncomfortable. The new MRI allows greater use of feet-first scanning, which could potentially reduce the patients feeling claustrophobic throughout the procedure.


SKMC worked closely with SEHA and the US-based Cleveland Clinic in 2013 to produce Emirati leaders of the future. The organisations partnered throughout the year to deliver the UAE Executive Fellowship Program, which had the purpose of advancing senior Emirati roles in the management of healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi. Both graduates of the program are currently serving senior leadership positions as Deputy Chief Executive Officers within the SEHA system, including Dr. Aref Al Shehhi who is the current DCEO of SKMC.

SKMC also embarked on a renewed push to increase appointment of Emiratis across medical and administrative leadership roles, including Dr. Al Shehhi and the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Abdulmajeed Al Zubaidi, and the Deputy COO, Salama Al Haj.

The mission of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) is to provide compassionate, patient-centred care of the highest quality, in a setting of education and research.

“The leadership team at SKMC boasts a solid foundation of leaders and champions that will advance the goals of the facility, elevating healthcare in the region to new levels. SKMC continues to be the flagship hospital in the SEHA health system, and a premier facility comparable to the best hospitals and medical centres in the world,” concluded Ben Frank, CEO.

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