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Leading the way: Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital drives digital health transformation in Saudi Arabia




Leading the way: Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital drives digital health transformation in Saudi Arabia WRITTEN BY




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D R . S O L I M A N F A K E E H H O S P I TA L

A visionary approach to medical technology has improved clinical results, boosted patient satisfaction and reformed healthcare at Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, Saudi Arabia. CIO Dr Nitin Verma shares his journey to success

“ 04


eading, not following” is the reason Saudi Arabia’s Fakeeh Care is distinguished in the Middle East, according to CIO Dr. Nitin Verma.

Through refined processes and implementation of the best technologies, Fakeeh Care is paving the way for medical facilities across the region to create a more efficient, harmonious and satisfactory experience for patients, families and medical professionals alike. Over the last six months, Dr Verma has transformed the groups’ attitudes towards high technology. His clinical background enables a perceptive understanding of the practical applications of technology, and for the past two decades he has been helping develop technology within the medical sector – from a time when very few clinicians had a hand in IT. Now, under Dr Verma’s direction as Chief Information Officer, Fakeeh Care is “leading the healthcare digital transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”



Year founded

3,500+ Number of employees

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“Our preference is always to work with vendors who can work as a partner in our digital transformation” 06

— Dr Nitin Verma, CIO, Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital

Creating a user-friendly, multifaceted mobile application for its patients, available in both English and Arabic, was a major breakthrough for Fakeeh Care. While other hospitals in Saudi Arabia have also developed apps to help their customers with their treatment journey, Fakeeh Care mobile application stands out with its awardwinning design. The mobile app incorporates features such as a ChatBot to handle queries, a platform for patients to access lab results, radiology results, medication prescriptions, and a sophisticated online billing platform which eases queueing times and stress for patients after treatment. As Fakeeh Care sees anywhere between 5,000 and 8,000 outpatients every day, with over a quarter travelling hundreds of kilometres to the hospital, a revolutionary component of the app is an online consultation platform. A virtual follow-up consultation for outpatients who have had tests at the healthcare facilities saves time, stress and money, as they can receive the required aftercare without having to return to the hospital.

Fakeeh Care: Virtual Consultation CLICK TO WATCH



07 Alongside medication prescription

through an AI solution which highlights

details being available within the app,

the second section of the image,”

Fakeeh Care has also developed a fea-

Dr Verma says. “The AI enables a

ture which sets reminders for patients

deeper insight into what is wrong with

to take their medication. “This has

the image, and therefore what could

enhanced compliance with the medi-

be wrong with the patient.”

cation, resulting in an improved clinical outcome,” says Dr. Verma. In a clinical setting, AI and robotics

As a result of AI assistance, the total time taken to report on a radiology image at Fakeeh Care has

are being utilised by departments

been reduced by 75%. This not only

within the hospital to improve accuracy,

improves operational efficiency in

negate human error, and enhance

radiology, but empowers radiologists

operational efficiency.

to delve deeper into the abnormal-

“Any radiology imaging which radiologists have to report on can be put

ity identified by the AI and enhance patient care. w w w.dsf h. m ed . s a

We enable healthcare providers to leverage their clinical and operational decision support along the patient pathway Siemens digital health solutions help healthcare providers applying Artificial Intelligence in healthcare, operationalizing the value of big data and Connecting care teams and patients

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With any digital transformation, the

“Our preference is always to work

right vendor and supply chain relation-

with vendors who can work as a part-

ships are important – but Fakeeh Care

ner in our transformation, and we are

recognises the extra responsibility

working with multiple strategic vendors

demanded of it as a medical care pro-

to realise our vision. There are very few

vider. “Fakeeh Care has a policy that

which I could call ‘strategy partners’,

we work with our strategic vendor in a

but Siemens is one such key partner

partnership, not in a client-vendor rela-

in our digital health transformation,”

tionship,” says Dr. Verma.

Dr. Verma says.

One such partner of Fakeeh Care

Leading such a vast change in a

is Siemens. Siemens’ solution is used

matter of months, Dr Verma has been

extensively in the hospital’s radiology

acutely aware of the importance of a

department, which is seeing a vast

comprehensive change management

digital transformation.

strategy. His approach is to lead a new


Dr. Nitin Verma Dr. Verma is a medical graduate of the University of Delhi, India and has an MS in pharmaceutical sciences from the US. He has over 27 years of global experience across a broad range of ITES/Healthcare Technology and Healthcare Operation Management. As the Chief Information Officer at Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, he is redefining the healthcare strategy, roadmap and approach for the group to further strengthen its leadership in the provider landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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D R . S O L I M A N F A K E E H H O S P I TA L


“The end goal is helping patients, clinicians and the hospital to bring more efficiency to medicine” — Dr Nitin Verma, CIO, Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital


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culture from the top, starting with the

of making the learning curve for staff

hospital’s CEO. It is equally important

as short and accessible as possible.

to the change management strategy

At Fakeeh Care, the change man-

that change is also led from the bottom,

agement strategy combines a rational

engaging employees at every level

and emotional approach. “The leader-

early on in the process.

ship team will often make the case for

“With a committee and a well-aligned

the major change on the sole basis of

group of executives strongly supported

a strategic business objective,” says

by the top management, alongside

Dr. Verma, “but these reasonings rarely

engagement with employees at lower

reach the people in the middle and bot-

levels, you can ensure the strategy is

tom staff layers emotionally.

led cohesively,” Dr. Verma says.

“If you can combine your rational

On the ‘front line’, group staff who

approach with an emotional approach,

will be hands-on with the new tech-

you can reach every layer of the organi-

nology are given comprehensive but

sation. Human beings respond to the

concise training. This training includes

call to action that engages their heart

instructional videos to reduce the need

as well as their mind, and it makes

for manually requesting IT help for

them feel as if they are part of some-

minor issues, among other methods

thing great, something consequential.”

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D R . S O L I M A N F A K E E H H O S P I TA L

The last part of the change management strategy, Dr. Verma says, is to “engage, engage, engage.” Giving staff what they need to start using the applications, following up with them every 48-72 hours, and creating a manual or automated tool to see the practical utilisation of the technology increases uptake and satisfaction amongst all staff. Digital transformation at DSFH is accelerated by the “visionary” leadership and “tech-savvy” CEO. The hospital’s founder and namesake, Dr 14

Soliman Fakeeh, established the hospital in 1978 with advanced solutions and technology at its core. It was the first hospital in Saudi Arabia to have a CT scanner - revolutionary even mere decades ago. The current President and Chairman of the Board, Dr Mazen S. Fakeeh, has enabled a corporate strategy which “never shies away from an investment in technology,” Dr. Verma says. “When I present him the digital health strategy, his curiosity means he is open to any new technology as long as it meets the end goal: helping patients, clinicians and the group to bring more efficiency to medicine.”

Taking the group to the “next level” is at the core of Dr Verma’s digital health strategy, and IT was one of the key factors behind its journey to becoming “one of the most prestigious healthcare groups in Saudi Arabia today.” Embracing the latest technological innovation not only from the Middle East, but from Europe, America and the rest of the world, and bringing them to the group at the earliest opportunity, means it is “not a follower in digital health transformation, but a leader in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The company’s president concludes: “Fakeeh Care strongly believes that digital transformation-enabled healthcare delivery is the way to move forward. Digital transformation has created a bridge between us and our patients enabling them to be engaged in their own care resulting in improved compliance and a better clinical outcome”.

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Profile for Business Chief Europe

Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital May 2020  

Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital May 2020  

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