Ambulatory care services in Saudi Arabia are increasingly being recognised by healthcare providers, legislation, authorities, and patients themselves. Typically, ambulatory care focuses on preventative care and routine medical treatments, including wellness clinics designed to offer primary care outside of conventional hospital setting.
Dr. Anees Sindi, CEO of IMC Ambulatory Care Network (Wellcare), emphasises that primary care serves as the cornerstone of healthcare. It is the initial step where patients receive assessments by primary care physicians and a comprehensive, holistic approach.
In Saudi Arabia, the implementation of primary care is evident in major cities and is expanding into the private sector. “Our goal is to align with this development to provide the best outcomes for patients. Key quality measures in ambulatory care services within healthcare include various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Among the most significant is clinical outcomes for patients and their families, with a particular focus on prevention. Primary care centres should be easily accessible to patients, prioritising preventive measures as part of the broader value-based healthcare picture,” says the CEO of IMC Ambulatory Care Network (Wellcare).
Dr. Anees Sindi, CEO of IMC Ambulatory Care Network (Wellcare)
Dr. Sindi emphasises that when ambulatory care services are implemented the cost is lower for patients, insurance payers, and healthcare providers, in addition to delivering better healthcare. This also frees up space for patients who truly need tertiary care services, rather than having specialist centres occupied by patients who do not require tertiary care.
The biggest challenge in implementing ambulatory care services in Saudi Arabia, according to the CEO of the IMC Ambulatory Care Network(Wellcare), is community awareness. "It is a new concept that needs to be implemented. We need to overcome this challenge by implementing primary care correctly and to the right standards, so the community can embrace this model as the gold standard approach for healthcare services."
Regarding opportunities, there are abundant possibilities in this evolving area of healthcare in Saudi Arabia, especially in the private sector. The potential demand for healthcare services aligning with the required standards presents significant growth opportunities, ultimately improving patient access.
Telemedicine or telehealth is envisioned as the future of Ambulatory Care Services in healthcare for various reasons. In the era of artificial intelligence (AI), which permeates every facet of our lives, healthcare is no exception. Telemedicine services are already in place and can greatly enhance patient outcomes, providing the best possible care for patients who live remotely and have limited access to healthcare due to geographical constraints.
The use of AI is expected to lead to significant improvements in healthcare outcomes. “Clinical intelligence solutions powered by AI are employed to predict patients with potential negative outcomes. This enables healthcare professionals to intervene promptly and prevent complex health issues or address chronic illnesses and preventive measures for patients,” concludes Sindi.
This article appears in the latest issue of the Omnia Health Magazine, read more here