Posted on December 02, 2014

University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) student and future nursing leader Sara Al Marri recognizes a great idea when she sees one. This week she organized the first Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Quality Improvement Center and Open School Majlis at UCQ to bring the concept of combining improvement of healthcare quality and further education for healthcare professionals with the Qatari way of being.

The concept is grand and at the same time very simple. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School is a continuing education and open learning concept in healthcare that is gaining momentum all over the world. HMC has started an IHI chapter here in Qatar. “HMC wants to offer high quality patient care to everyone. One way of achieving that goal is to encourage their medical staff to take these on-line courses,” says Debbie Sheppard-Lemoine, Sara’s nursing instructor at UCQ.

The Open School Majlis chapter is unique to Qatar. “It is the Hamad way, the Qatar way,” says Mr. Nawras Alali, Director of Nursing Quality, Hamad General Hospital, and Quality Majlis Lead, IHI Open School. “A majlis is a community of like-minded people who gather together to learn from elders and each other. The Open School Majlis is an opportunity for nurses to take the IHI courses and then discuss the learning and their ideas together with each other and with experts. It is a way for everyone to learn from each other.”

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“IHI courses are complementary to the nursing degree. Nurses need to keep learning even after their degrees. They will always be looking for how to give the best care to their patients,” says Sara. “HMC is giving a way to share knowledge.” The HMC chapter of IHI Open School Majlis has the vision to “close the gap between what health care is and what it should be,” Sara continues. “The idea is that by advancing quality improvement and competencies in patient safety, the new generation of healthcare professionals will help make that vision come true.”

At the Quality Improvement and Open School Majlis held at UCQ this week, Mr. Nawras Alali; Dr. John Boulton, Clinical Lead, Quality Improvement; and Mr. Akram Assaf, Director of Nursing Quality and Associate Services, spoke to nursing students and UCQ alumni about the role of science in improvement to healthcare, heard real-life examples of how HMC is improving healthcare service to patients, and discussed the commitment of HMC and nursing professionals to quality improvement in healthcare for all.