Posted on January 29, 2020

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC)’s Stars of Excellence is a prestigious annual event sponsored by HMC to recognize and award programs that made a significant difference during that year. The award is comprised of three main categories, health, education and research. Teams that included Qatar University (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH) members, won awards in the research and health categories.

The first award was won by CPH Associate Professor and Section Head of Clinical Education, Dr. Hazem Elewa and his team for their project entitled “First Anticoagulation Stewardship Program in Qatar.” The Anticoagulation Stewardship Program (ACSP) is a system-based team integrated into the healthcare organization and focused on ensuring safe and effective anticoagulation practices. The aim of ACSP is to implement evidence-based anticoagulation management related care throughout all areas of Al Wakra Hospital (AWH), achieve regulatory compliance, and monitor all aspects of improvement.

The work for this project was led by AWH Medical Director Dr. Sabah Alkadhi, HMC Executive Director of Pharmacy Dr. Moza Al Hail, AWH Head of Cardiology Department Dr. Ezeldin Soaly, AWH Pharmacy Director Dr. Rasha Elenany, AWH Assistant Director of Pharmacy Dr. Eman Alhamoud, AWH Lead of Anticoagulation Clinic Dr. Osama Abdelsamad and Dr. Hazem Elewa.  Dr. Hazem is a cross-appointed faculty member who spends 20% of his time as a clinical pharmacy specialist at the anticoagulation clinic.

Commenting on this award, Dr. Hazem Elewa said, “Anticoagulation is a high-risk therapy involving complex dosing and stringent monitoring as well as ensuring patient adherence with therapy. There is an urgent need to implement processes to reduce the likelihood of patient harm associated with the use of anticoagulation therapy and to ensure proper anticoagulation transition of care. The program is one step forward to closing the gap in the anticoagulation management at HMC. We are really pleased with this award and we hope that this service helps improve patient anticoagulation care and outcomes.”

QU CPH graduate Ms. Asmaa Al-Mansouri, along with her research team from CPH and Fahad Bin Jasim Kidney Center (FBJKC), won an award in research for their project “Treatment Burden Impact on Quality of Life,” which is a collaboration between FBJKC of HMC and CPH. The research was conducted as an MSc thesis project by Ms. Asmaa under the supervision of Dr. Ahmed Awaisu and Mohamed Izham from CPH, and Nadir Kheir from Ajman University. The investigators from HMC include Dr. Fadwa Saqr Al-Ali and Dr. Abdullah Ibrahim Hamad, both consultant nephrologists at FBJKC, FBJKC Staff Nurse Rania Abdelaziz Ibrahim and Director of Pharmacy at Hamad General Hospital Muna Al Bakri.

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is highly prevalent among patients with diabetes in Qatar, which increases cost on Qatar’s healthcare system as well as increases treatment-related burden on patients and their families. Understanding the magnitude and predictors of treatment burden is essential in improving medication adherence and designing effective intervention strategies. This research project conducted at FBJKC was aimed at exploring the treatment-related burden among CKD patients (both dialysis-dependent and pre-dialysis) in Qatar.

Ms. Asmaa Al-Mansouri commented, “I am very proud of this achievement to have won the HMC Star of Excellence Award for Research. I believe doctors and pharmacists can play a significant role in minimizing inappropriate polypharmacy and medication-related burden among CKD patients through designing effective intervention strategies. The findings and potential interventions can be extrapolated to other chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, mental illnesses, and cancer that are equally associated with comorbidities and high pill burden. Therefore, the findings of this study can be applied beyond the borders of nephrology, but other specialties caring for patients with non-communicable chronic disease conditions. It can also be applied in the context of chronic infectious diseases.”

Dr. Ahmed Awaisu also commented saying, “It is exciting to witness yet another achievement on this project. This is an interdisciplinary research promoting networking between nephrologists, pharmacists, nurses, academic researchers, and patients in Qatar to address one of the unmet needs of the nation: to promote quality of life of those who are suffering from chronic kidney disease. The successful collaboration between different healthcare professionals in this project and the associated output is a demonstration that this cooperation can help in building capacity as well as research culture within HMC and other institutions in Qatar.”