Kuwait’s healthcare system is steadily proving to be on par with Western healthcare thanks to the efforts of dedicated medical professionals such as Dr. Yahya Slaiman, who are committed to ensuring the country has the latest technological equipment, and people capable of efficiently using these advanced machines, to best serve patients in the country.
Images Diagnostic Center receives the designation of being the First Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE) in the Middle East. The DICOE program, which represents the pinnacle of medical imaging care, is an achievement that recognizes the best-quality imaging practices and diagnostic care. Dr. Yahya Slaiman stressed that Images Diagnostic Centre is committed to excellence in Patient Care which was why they received the DICOE Accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR).
Dr. Slaiman is the Radiology Consultant and General Manager of Images Diagnostic Centre, a leading radiology and MRI center in Kuwait. In 1993, after graduating from the Faculty of Medicine in Toulouse, France in Radiological Diagnosis and Medical Imaging, he returned to Kuwait. Following a stint at a local medical facility as head of department, he moved to his current position with Images Diagnostic Centre.
He is a member at the French Institute of Neuroradiology and member of the Organizing Committee of European College of Angioplasty. The doctor met with The Times Kuwait for an exclusive interview during which he spoke about the innovative radiological technologies in use at the Centre, his future practice plans, as well as the Centre’s recent accreditation as a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE) by the American College of Radiology.
What is your response to the DICOE accreditation?
We are very proud of this achievement; the DICOE accreditation is given by American College of Radiology (ACR), which is among the highest institutions in America dedicated to empowering radiologists and radiological care around the world. A four-man team from ACR, comprising of a radiologist, radiographer, physicist and lawyer, visited the Centre last month and awarded us the accreditation after conducting an extensive examination of all aspects of our facility.
They examined in detail our policies and procedures, the quality of our machines and images they generate, and the level of customer service we provide. It was only after this thorough assessment that they awarded us the DICOE accreditation. I would also like to add that an additional requirement for receiving the accreditation was that the facilities must be accredited by the ACR in all modalities they provide, and in which the ACR offers an accreditation program. Another requirement is to participate in the Dose Index Registry® and General Radiology Improvement Database, as well as Image Wisely® and Image Gently. had to be registered with ACR, of which we have been a member since 2010.
The DICOE accreditation process is a very detailed and difficult process and one gets it only after three years. We are proud that our Centre is the first facility in Kuwait, as well as the first in the Middle-East, to be awarded this distinction by ACR; the only other accredited centers are in Europe and in the Unites States.
How did Images Diagnostics earn the ACR accreditation?
When they started the survey of our Centre, aside from all other factors, the main focus was on two factors: quality of images and the patient safety. If a diagnostics center wants to protect patients, it means using the high quality machines with lowest radiation. We do the best examinations and procedures that we can do with state-of-the-art machines, the intention being to avoid inconveniencing our patients by having them repeat certain procedures. For this to work we have had to make the policies and procedures very strict and effective. We are glad that doctors refer their patients to us, and we thrive on patient satisfaction.
What does this accreditation mean to the future or Images Diagnostics?
The accreditation encourages us to take our practice to another level by following international guidelines. Everything is changing fast in the world and technologies are evolving; this accreditation will help us maintain latest radiology and diagnostics standards. The American College of Radiology also supervises our progress; they request that we send them regular reports and stipulate indicators to maintain quality and this is a relationship that will grow between us.
Our work will constantly meet International guidelines, and this ensures we maintain a high standard. The ACR supervises quality in more than 3000 centers around the world. We are pleased with the arrangement as this allows us the opportunity to provide high quality care to our patients.
How important is radiology to healthcare?
Radiology plays a very important part; it is the key for good treatment. However, some patients don’t understand the importance, they think they can go to the cheapest place to get the scans done and it will be alright, but some radiologists are not qualified to read the radiology scan. Only a well-licensed and experienced radiologist can properly read a scan. There is a chance that a poorly educated radiologist may miss something in the scan and recommend the wrong treatment or delay the diagnosis.
What are some of the innovative technologies employed at the Centre?
The most important thing to stay ahead is to follow the latest guidelines and update our machinery. We are planning to start a new MRI machine which does amazing things for our patients. It is called the 3 Tesla (3T) MRI Scan, and it is a quiet, spacious machine that allows us to look after the wellbeing and comfort of our patients. The old MRI machines are normally very noisy, and the examination takes a long time.
Moreover, it has limited space and some patients feel uncomfortable in this machine. With the latest advanced machine, we can complete the examination in a less time and since it is bigger, there is enough space so the patient feels more comfortable. The new machine is dependable for detailed examinations and generating high quality images.
The patients and their needs are paramount, there are times when we have to do a lot of procedures, and we have to think how it is not easy for patients to be in a narrow closed space and subjected to loud noise. I have a good rapport with my patients, and we treat them well. We give high importance to medical and nonmedical service. We want our patients to feel comfortable, and we try to give a special experience for them.
What can improve the radiology field in Kuwait?
The biggest challenge is getting good and experienced staff. We have an international staff, from Arab, European and Middle Eastern countries, and they contribute a lot to the overall functioning of this Centre. Moreover, a good factor of education in Kuwait is that there are continuous education facilities for professionals to improve themselves. Our challenge is for all of our staff to be experienced and receive a continuous education in the latest technological developments.
Images Diagnostics is the only hospital offering a stress cardiac MRI scan, how does it benefit a patient?
The Stress cardiac MRI scan is very beneficial to patients, and is easily available in advanced countries. This is the machine of choice for a patient that shows no detectable signs in regular examinations but they express major issues like chest pains. The easiest way to see if the problems originate from the heart is to examine the various areas of the heart in a chemical stress situation. We check to see if there is any blockages, cardiac infractions and weakness in heart muscles and problems with heart contraction, observe the functions of the heart and quality of the cardiac muscles.
Do you believe Kuwait can improve its healthcare system?
The solution for better healthcare in Kuwait is to work on a National healthcare program. We should have general medical insurance for everyone so it is affordable for people to get treatment and have access to preventive medicine. I believe that the best way Kuwait can resolve its issues with healthcare is if there is an easily accessible national health insurance scheme. This will also lead to reducing rush at the free clinics run by ministries and will increase the quality of the private hospital sector.