UAE Report

‘Operation Smile’ performs life-changing surgeries at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

In the Year of Giving, 186 staff volunteer their time

Operation Smile, the charity committed to providing thousands of free operations to people suffering from cleft lips and palates, came to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi at the end of July.

Up to 20 children and adults received transformative surgery from Operation Smile UAE at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on July 28 and 29. Operation Smile is a charity committed to providing thousands of free operations to people suffering from cleft lips and palates. The hospital madetwo operating rooms available to the charity’s medical volunteers, along with food and other supplies.

After appealing for volunteers to assist with its first UAE mission, Operation Smile said that 186 staff from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi stepped forward, more than twice the number needed.

“From the first time we came to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, we were overwhelmed by the offers of help. It’s been really heartwarming,” said Morag Cromey-Hawke, executive director of Operation Smile in the UAE. “Everyone we came across from management downwards wanted to get involved to the extent that we have almost more support than we can use.”

The foundation Operation Smile UAE (OSUAE) was established in January 2011 under the patronage of HH Shaikha Aljazia Saif Mohd Al Nahyan, Wife of HH Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs andInternational Cooperation, and works to provide cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgeries for children and adults all over the world. In addition to raising funds to perform the surgeries, OSUAE works to recruit medical volunteers and raise awareness about the condition.

While the foundation has supported operations around the world, this is the fi rst time it has had access to the world-class facilities at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“Often when we run an Operation Smile mission overseas, the facilities we get to use are quite basic and still the children and the parents are so grateful,” Cromey-Hawke said. “Being able to use a facility like Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for our mission is an absolute dream for our patients and our volunteers.”

Every three minutes a child somewhere in the world is born with a cleft palate. In some countries, one in 10 will die before their fi rst birthday. Many of the children who survive live their lives in shame, hiding their faces because of this tragic deformity.

Operation Smile was founded on the belief that no child should suffer or die because of a facial deformity. Internationally, since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 200,000 free surgeries to children and young adults around the world and over two million comprehensive healthcare evaluations.

Ann Williamson, Chief Clinical & Nursing Offi cer, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “It is fi tting that in the UAE Year of Giving, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has been able to assist Operation Smile in transforming people’s lives through surgery. We’ve been very pleased to see so many hard-working nurses and team-members from the hospital volunteer their time for this initiative.”

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi spent months preparing to host the event and ensuring that Operation Smile patients receive the same outstanding levels of care as all other Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi patients. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi volunteers participating in Operation Smile include: 21 Operating Room nurses, 32 nurses specializing in pre- and postoperative care, two surgeons, two anesthesia physicians, nine technicians and a number of non-clinical staff.

The Autism Rocks support centre opens in Dubai

Autism Rocks, the UK-based charity known for its exclusive collaborations with stars to raise awareness around autism through music, has opened an Autism Rocks support centre in Dubai Healthcare City. The pioneering facility offers a space in which a carefully selected team of world-class therapists can support children on the autism spectrum and their families to improve their quality of life, enhance their long term outcomes and reduce the fear and uncertainty common with the diagnosis.

The centre will provide gold standard, multidisciplinary therapy services to children on the autism spectrum and their families. This includes; Applied Behavioural Analysis (teaching children the skills they need to interact with their environment, speech therapy (teaching children how to speak), occupation therapy (helping children develop the skills they need to be successful at school, home and play) and psychology. Importantly, as well as one-to-one direct support, the centre will offer training to teachers and parents to help them learn evidence-based methods that address challenging situations as they arise in real life.

According to the Dubai Autism Centre, the prevalence of autism has increased in the UAE over the years, a trend that has also been witnessed in other countries.

Claudia Sidoli, Director of Autism Rocks support centre said: “Autism Rocks’ journey to date has been a big success. This is an important day in the development of the brand. Most people know about our music events and we wanted to take our project to the next level with the opening of the Autism Rocks Support Centre to raise signifi cant awareness and offer gold standard therapy.

“As we celebrate the Year of Giving, we are fortunate to open in the UAE, a country that has been passionate about supporting individuals with disabilities over the past few years. We have a strong culture of giving back instilled in the community, a legacy that has been inspired by the UAE’s Founding Father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This commitment has been translated with recent initiatives such as the Autism Awareness month last April.”

Autism Rocks was established in 2014 by Sanjay Shah. Since its inception, it has hosted a series of successful events featuring some of the biggest stars from the music industry in various cities around the world. The Autism Rocks Arena opened its doors in Dubai in 2016, giving a home to the initiative in the UAE. It has played host to some of the biggest musical stars in the world.

Mediclinic Middle East selects InterSystems to support culture of excellence

Mediclinic Middle East (MCME), one of the largest private healthcare groups in the UAE, is implementing InterSystems TrakCare, a unified healthcare information system. The solution will provide all MCME hospitals and clinics in the UAE with an online, secure, electronic medical record (EMR). This will give the group’s care providers the clinical and administrative information they require about each patient at any given time. TrakCare will support the MCME medical staff in their decision-making, while creating more opportunities to offer patients an enhanced experience and seamless care journey.

TrakCare will also help clinicians and administrators to manage costs and maintain efficiencies by streamlining care processes, eliminating duplicate tests, expediting billing, andmaximizing the use of resources.

TrakCare’s advanced interoperability will enable MCME to align with the UAE Health authorities’ plans for a Health Information Exchange (HIE). The HIE platform will connect public and private systems, so patient records may be easily accessible across the Emirate by authorized individuals.

“At Mediclinic, we believe in putting science and innovation at the heart of our approach,” said Donna Lunn, Chief Information Officer, Mediclinic Middle East. “Our goal is to provide outstanding facilities, with best in class solutions, reinforced by sound medical expertise. To enable a culture of excellence across all our facilities, we selected InterSystems TrakCare as it is best suited to help us achieve our goals. In doing so, our operations will be well-placed to achieve automation while strengthening our stance as the leading healthcare provider in the UAE.”

“By selecting TrakCare, MCME will be the largest private healthcare provider group to deploy a unified international healthcare information system across all its hospitals and clinics in the UAE,” said Michel Amous, InterSystems Managing Director for Middle East, Italy, and India. “Top private healthcare providers like Mediclinic have always been looking at ways to transform care delivery and enable a culture of excellence. They aim at utilizing advanced technology to automate and improve upon clinical and operational processes. By providing timely access to comprehensive data presented in a meaningful way, TrakCare will help MCME achieve their goals.”


Mediclinic Middle East is part of Mediclinic International, a private hospital group founded in 1983 that today has three operating platforms: in Southern Africa (South Africa and Namibia); Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The Group also has a 29.9% shareholding in Spire Healthcare, a UK-based healthcare group with 38 hospitals. The foundation of Mediclinic International lies in the application of rigorous science to improve the lives of patients, through the use of state-of-the-art treatments and technologies to care for patients in an evidence-based environment.

In 2016, Mediclinic Middle East, whose primary customer base is in Dubai, merged with Al Noor Hospitals Group, whose primary customer base is in Abu Dhabi. The combined Group operates six hospitals and more than 20 clinics with over 700 inpatient beds across the United Arab Emirates.


InterSystems is the engine behind the world’s most important applications. In healthcare, finance, government, and other sectors where lives and livelihoods are at stake, InterSystems is the power behind what mattersTM. Founded in 1978, Inter- Systems is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), with offices worldwide, and its software products are used daily by millions of people in more than 80 countries.

Emrill FM develops intensive cleaning training programme by JCI standard

Emrill Services LLC, one of the largest facilities management (FM) companies in the UAE with over 7,000 personnel, has successfully developed an intensive facilities management (FM) training programme to ensure compliance with Joint Commission International (JCI) – accreditation cleaning standards at clinics and hospitals in the UAE.

JCI provides the basis for accreditation of clinics and hospitals throughout the world, supplying organisations with the information needed to pursue or maintain patient safety, performance and improvement.

JCI accreditation is considered the gold standard in global healthcare.

Emrill holds the facilities management soft services and MEP contract for 10 Mediclinic clinics across the UAE, including the flagship Dubai Mall clinic.

Developing the structured training programme by JCI standard resulted from the following industry needs:

The challenge:
Emrill was presented with a major challenge: how to ensure all cleaning and FM soft services at Mediclinic locations throughout UAE remain compliant to JCI accreditation standards. As part of its accreditation process, Mediclinic needed to ensure its suppliers complied with JCI standards, including its facilities management partner.

The solution:
Together with Mediclinic, Emrill developed an intensive, FM training programme with real-life videos as the medium to ensure compliance with JCI standards.

The initial one week programme comprised of intensive familiarisation tours by Mediclinic personnel, specific clinicalarea training, classroom and video training, and ongoing supervision to ensure the proper maintenance ofactive work areas. Assessment of trained staff was conducted by JCI-accredited Mediclinic staff as part of an interview process requiring all cleaning staff to correctly respond to a series of questions and scenarios in the following situations:

  • Code Yellow
  • Bio hazards spill
  • Water dispenser hygiene
  • Hand hygiene
  • Personal Protective Equipment

The outcome:
To date, the programme has been successful and 52 Emrill staff have been trained and passed the final JCI interview process by JCI auditors.

The success of this programme relies on an intensive training and safety-first approach to ensure standards are maintained for the protection of all clinical staff and patients alike, while reducing the ever-present risk of cross-contamination.

Camelia Akkela, Manager - Quality & Nursing at Mediclinic Middle East commented: “Mediclinic Middle East prides itself on creating a safe and comfortable atmosphere for its patients, visitors and staff. As an outsourced service provider, Emrill, through their commitment, ability to coordinate with the nursing team and other team members, and manage duties efficiently, provides vital housekeeping support to Mediclinic Middle East’s network of clinics. Emrill helps us serve our patients in the best way we can, comply with the rules of regulatory bodies and occupational health and safety, and achieve the required international accreditation standards.”

Marc Daly, Head of Operations at Emrill commented: “In 2016 we took significant strides towards a step change in consistency, compliance and patient experience. Our people continue to make significant contributions beyond their day job, like taking accountability in events such as a fire, JCI audits and so on. Delivering a great patient experience is at the heart of everything we do.”

Emrill has positioned itself as a specialist in healthcare sector FM services and is now offering its JCI standard cleaning services to a range of healthcare facilities and hospitals throughout the UAE.



Date of upload: 16th Sep 2017

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