Univer­sity of Alabama to train Saudis in hos­pi­tal man­age­ment

U.S. to train Saudis in hos­pi­tal man­age­ment

Modern Healthcare - - MODERN HEALTHCARE - Jaimy Lee

Saudi hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tives are look­ing to the U.S. to learn how to bet­ter man­age a large and grow­ing hos­pi­tal in­tended to be­come a re­gional mag­net for spe­cial­ized care. As part of a two-year, $2.2 mil­lion part­ner­ship be­tween the Univer­sity of Alabama Birm­ing­ham and a hos­pi­tal in Saudi Ara­bia, the univer­sity will en­roll about 35 ad­min­is­tra­tors from King Fa­had Spe­cial­ist Hos­pi­tal in the univer­sity’s mas­ter of sci­ence in health ad­min­is­tra­tion ex­ec­u­tive pro­gram.

The part­ner­ship with King Fa­had Spe­cial­ist Hos­pi­tal is the first in­ter­na­tional agree­ment that the univer­sity has se­cured in many years, but it ex­pects to work with other hos­pi­tals out­side of the U.S., said Ger­ald Glan­don, chair of UAB’S depart­ment of health ser­vices ad­min­is­tra­tion. The depart­ment is in talks with a hos­pi­tal in the Ukraine for a sim­i­lar train­ing part­ner­ship. “There’s a great need in many parts of the world,” Glen­don said.

The pro­gram for the Saudi ex­ec­u­tives will em­pha­size strate­gic plan­ning, ba­sic bud­get­ing, hu­man re­sources ad­min­is­tra­tion and fi­nan­cial man­age­ment in a “blended” learn­ing for­mat that in­cludes online classes and on-site teach­ing in Saudi Ara­bia once ev­ery se­mes­ter.

Many of the hos­pi­tal’s ad­min­is­tra­tors are physi­cians, Glan­don said, and “there’s not a pro­fes­sional man­age­ment tra­di­tion” in Saudi Ara­bia.

King Fa­had Spe­cial­ist Hos­pi­tal, which is in Dam­mam, Saudi Ara­bia, will be­come more of an aca­demic med­i­cal cen­ter than a ter­tiary hos­pi­tal as it grows from 400 beds to 1,500 beds with the con­struc­tion of a new fa­cil­ity sched­uled to open in four years, Dr. Khalid Sabr, the hos­pi­tal’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of med­i­cal and clin­i­cal af­fairs, said in a UAB news re­lease.

One fac­tor that the pro­gram will ad­dress will be the role of ef­fi­ciency in hos­pi­tals, Glan­don said. At­ten­tion to ef­fi­ciency has been grow­ing out­side of the U.S., he said, and hos­pi­tals in Saudi Ara­bia have been tra­di­tion­ally less con­cerned about it be­cause of the re­sources that are avail­able to them.

An­other con­cern for the Saudi hos­pi­tal is how to ex­pand ac­cess and be­come a provider of choice in the re­gion, Glan­don said. Be­cause the site will pro­vide trans­plants, car­diac pro­ce­dures and a neona­tal in­ten­sive-care unit, the hos­pi­tal will need to gen­er­ate enough re­fer­rals to fill the 1,500-bed site.

Some of the UAB depart­ment of health ser­vices ad­min­is­tra­tion fac­ulty have ex­pe­ri­ence train­ing hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tors in pro­grams out­side of the U.S., in part through Usaid-funded pro­grams in the 1990s that pro­vided hos­pi­tal man­age­ment train­ing in coun­tries such as Yemen and Al­ba­nia.

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