The Royal Hospital is the flagship hospital of the Ministry of Health. It was commissioned in 1987, as a district hospital for the capital area. However, with the tremendous success of Oman’s 3 tier referral system that was pursued in the mid 1990s, the Royal Hospital’s mission was realigned to focus on tertiary care. And over the last 15 years, the hospital has been continuously upgraded to function as the apex referral center for the country.
A review of its past performance shows that the Royal Hospital has done fairly well for itself. With the support it has received from the MoH-HQ, it has been possible for the Hospital to maintain standards comparable with those of renowned hospitals in the developed world. In keeping with its tertiary-care character, the Hospital has expanded and upgraded its critical-care facilities and high-tech equipment. The various specialties and sub-specialties have also continuously improved their in-house capability, and have made Oman largely self-sufficient in terms of medical care. And now the Hospital is on an expansion phase: four new wards have been built in the Oncology Center, a day-care ward has been established, and a ward for medical high dependency, 8 additional ICU beds and beds for chronic ventilation are in the process of being commissioned. The genetics and endocrine / diabetes centers are almost ready, and a 139-bed cardiac center will be added by early 2014. The Royal Hospital is also actively involved in laying out specifications for other MoH projects: a children’s hospital and a super-specialty hospital in the capital area, and a new tertiary care hospital at Salalah.
Over the last few years, the Hospital has given priority to improving the quality and standard of service through the following initiatives: BLS and ACLS certification of staff, CME activities by all departments, credit-points system for staff who participate in continuing education activities and clinical research, formalizing clinical guidelines and protocols, pain management, monitoring of inoculation injuries, infection control surveillance and control, mortality and morbidity audits, risk management, patient satisfaction surveys. The hospital is now in the process of implementing UK Royal College of Physicians appraisal system for senior clinical faculty, and in customizing the RCP clinical guidelines, standards and clinical pathways to suit local conditions.
Currently the Royal Hospital is focusing on three key initiatives to improve patient care services:
- Making the hospital more patient-friendly (through an office for patient comfort and convenience, SMS reminders to patients, walk ins for those patients who need to be seen urgently, courtesy and better rapport with patients and their relatives, providing written advice to discharged patients in Arabic).
- Maximizing effective use of resources (through higher turnover and decreased waiting time for consultations / procedures / surgery, utilization management, shorter length of hospital stay, day care).
- Introducing new services not earlier available in the country.
Whilst the Hospital crosses its 25th year, we hope that, with the dedication of its staff, it will work towards a higher level of excellence, keep abreast with the ever changing medical technology, practice evidence-based medicine, extend the highest quality of care feasible, and provide leadership in medical care for the Sultanate of Oman.
Dr. Qasem bin Ahmed Al Salmi
Director General, The Royal Hospital