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31 October 2019
Oman is showing regional leadership in the Eastern Mediterranean Region by adopting the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative to improve the safety of health care in public and private hospitals nationwide.
60-Second summary

Almost 90% of the main hospitals in Oman are now taking part in the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative to improve safety in public and private hospitals nationwide. This improves service delivery to support UHC.

Why it matters

Each year globally, millions of patients die or are injured because of unsafe and poor quality health care. Most of these deaths and injuries are avoidable.

Expected results

All hospitals in Oman will improve practice in patient safety and quality of care, ultimately improving health and saving lives.

In practice

The Ministry of Health is highly committed to the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative. WHO worked with the Ministry and hospitals nationwide to provide tools, training and technical support about patient safety.


We are very proud in Oman to be leaders in patient safety. Patients have the right to receive safe treatment in safe institutions and by safe and well- trained clinicians and health care providers.

HE Dr Ahmed Mohamed Obaid Al Saidi
Minister of Health, Oman

The Sultanate of Oman has made significant progress in the field of quality and patient safety over the past decade. There has been continuous collaboration with WHO, specifically in developing and implementing patient safety tools.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari
WHO Regional Director for Eastern Mediterranean Region
Hospital staff and WHO team during a visit for the external evaluation of Nizwa Hospital, Oman Photo: WHO.

Oman is taking patient safety very seriously, and the Ministry of Health is keen to tackle the issue head on. Following a best practice meeting on patient safety organized by WHO, the Ministry showed a high level of commitment and interest in the implementation of the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative to improve the safety of health care in public and private hospitals nationwide, and a roadmap of actions was developed.


Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative

The initiative started with advocacy and capacity building and assigned focal points for each team from different hospitals. Hospital staff started working at the operational level, and had continuous contact with the WHO Country and Regional Offices.

They were always able to get guidance if they needed to know more or required clarification about how to deal with infection prevention and control, the safe management of drugs, or how to involve patients.

"The Ministry was very receptive to us when it came to what to do first, what preparation is needed, how to communicate, how to build the capacities, how to continue mentoring the teams working on the ground and how to recognise efforts and good performance,” said Mondher Letaief, Regional Advisor, WHO EMRO.

The implementation of the pilot project in four hospitals in Oman was a milestone in the quest of the Ministry’s Quality Assurance Center to achieve patient safety in its health care institutions.

"We already have many quality parameters in place but what is new and unique in this initiative is the word ‘friendly’,” said Ms Seeniua Biju, the Chief Operating Officer and country head of Aster Al Raffah Hospitals and clinics.


Supportive evaluation

As the patient safety movement had originated from within Oman, the Ministry and hospitals felt a strong sense of ownership over the initiative.

When their new patient safety practice settled down, they were ready to ask for external observers from WHO in order to see if they were complying with the requirements or not. WHO carried out an external evaluation in four hospitals with the aim of providing support. It was not an inspection or audit; rather the process recognized achievements and provided guidance on how to move forward.

Now the work is being implemented in a further 26 hospitals, almost 90% of the main hospitals in Oman. Eight hospitals have now been evaluated by WHO for patient safety; coverage will later increase to all the remaining hospitals in Oman including public and private by 2020.

Through trust and consistent support and because WHO colleagues work with hospital staff in a manner that shows them they are moving forward, together they are achieving concrete change in patient safety.

Other important activities are also taking place. For example, a patient safety curriculum is now operating at health science-related universities so that future health professionals have a good foundation to continue a patient safety culture when they practice in hospitals in future.

Oman also has an annual day to celebrate the awareness of the importance of patient safety, where health practitioners can showcase their achievements in and share good practice.