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 20 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: with the four new wards built in the Oncology Center, the adult and pediatric Oncology wards have shifted there, a day-care ward has been established, and a ward for medical high dependency, 8 additional ICU beds and beds for chronic ventilation are being commissioned. The newly built genetics and endocrine/diabetes centers have started functioning, and a 139-bed cardiac center will be operational by mid 2015.
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 has started implementing the 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, particularly the minimally invasive high tech procedures that minimize patient morbidity and lower length of stay.
Having laid a firm foundation and experienced innumerable successes over the last 25 years, the Royal Hospital is now striving for a higher level of excellence. It is committed to staying abreast with the ever changing medical technology, practicing evidence-based medicine, extending the highest quality of care feasible, and providing leadership in medical care for the Sultanate of Oman.
Dr. Qasem bin Ahmed Al Salmi
Director General, The Royal Hospital