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Through its collaborations with multiple renowned knowledge and expertise centers around the world, KFAS has supported various research project on healthcare in Kuwait.

Estimating the Burden of Diabetes in Kuwait

Principal Investigators: Dr Zlatko Nikoloski from the London School of Economics and Professor Fahd Al-Mulla  from Dasman Diabetes Institute.

Diabetes imposes large economic burden on national health care systems and affects both national economies and individuals and their families. Direct medical costs include resources used to treat the disease (thus included outpatient care, inpatient care, medications, medical devices and long term care) (Seuring et al, 2015). Indirect costs include lost productivity caused by morbidity, disability, and premature mortality. Intangible costs refer to the reduced quality of life for people with diabetes brought about by stress, pain, and anxiety.

Against this background, this project has a three-fold objective: (i) to analyse the link between diabetes and healthcare utilization (both, outpatient and inpatient); (ii) based on (i), to determine the total (direct and indirect) cost of diabetes in Kuwait by providing a static measure of the cost of diabetes; and (iii) to critically evaluate the existing preventive measures (by also doing a comparative analysis with the rest of the Gulf region) aiming at reducing the overall economic burden of diabetes in Kuwait. The preventative measures will then be used in dynamic simulations that will help devise strategies for further reducing the economic burden of diabetes.



Uncovering Progress of Health Information Management Practices: Evidence from Kuwait’s Public Healthcare System

Principal Investigator: Dr. Dari Alhuwail from Kuwait University.

The burden of chronic non-communicable diseases is a challenge for many countries that provide universal health coverage and is necessitating healthcare reform. Health information technology (IT) solutions can aid healthcare reform efforts. However, without proper information management, these efforts are futile. In this study, we examine Kuwait as a case of a high per-capita GDP country that faces information management challenges to draw insights that can be generalised to other developed countries. Objectives: This study aims to: (i) uncover the status quo of information management practices in public organisations providing secondary and tertiary care through comparing their progress in compliance with the information management standards across the years; and (ii) offer recommendations to improve information management practices. Method: This study analyses qualitative and quantitative accreditation-related data pertaining to compliance with the information management standard at all secondary and tertiary care public hospitals over two accreditation cycles. Results: Overall, public hospitals are making positive progress in their compliance with the information management standard. However, issues exist with (i) effectively and efficiently transmitting data; (ii) developing and implementing an information management plan; (iii) involving the appropriate stakeholders in selecting health IT solutions; and (iv) access to the Internet by staff and patients. Conclusion: The evidence underscores the benefits of complying with predetermined criteria and illustrates the overall improvements in information management practices. Without proper management of information at healthcare facilities, achieving safe and effective patient care is futile. The absence or lack of appropriate management of information can jeopardise patient safety through wrong prescriptions for example. The role of health IT in supporting good quality care and healthcare reform efforts cannot be ignored or sidelined any more in modern healthcare delivery. Implications: With the rapid adoption of digital health systems, the role of health information management leaders should not be undervalued. Embracing health IT solutions with strong information management practices can aid healthcare reform efforts.



The Role of Doctors in Kuwait’s Healthcare Costs

Principal Investigator: Dr. Yousef Abdulsalam from Kuwait University

In healthcare supply management, the physician’s role in supply selection, driven largely by their clinical expertise, directly impacts hospital cost performance. Previous research suggests physicians have limited regard to the cost implications of supplies they use or prescribe, even when it does not adversely impact clinical quality. The purpose of this study is to assess the perceived importance and attention that physicians give to the costs of medical supplies in a public healthcare system and compares between physician cost perceptions of pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Physicians working in Kuwait’s public health sector were asked to estimate the cost of 18 common pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Estimates within 25 percent of the actual cost were considered accurate. One-hundred and four responses were gathered from physicians working in Kuwait’s public health sector. On average, physicians accurately estimated only 22 percent of pharmaceutical products and 14 percent of medical devices. Physicians indicated cost should be an important supply selection criterion but generally indicated limited accessibility to cost information. Hospital administrators should consider increasing accessibility to cost information and involving physician leaders in procurement and supply rationalization initiatives. Education about supply management and cost containment may hold value for both physicians and the healthcare system.