In focus: Saudi German Hospital

2 years ago by

In an exclusive interview with, Eng. Ahmed El Banna, the Chief Executive Officer at Saudi German Hospital in Jeddah talks about the facilities and efforts they’ve put in to provide better care to patients. He also highlights the emphasis on ‘person-centred care’, staff training and how KPIs have been developed to measure the care that is provided by staff to patients.

In focus: Saudi German Hospital

Q: In terms of patient experience, what sets your hospital apart from others in the country?

Ahmed: We believe that “Satisfied staff makes a satisfied patient”. Starting from this, we believe Saudi German Hospital is keen to improve its staff experiences to deliver a great experience to our patients.

We have established a Staff Happiness Committee to engage our staff, promote positive work environment, enhance the family spirit, encourage loyalty and to reduce burnout.

The role of this committee varies from managing staff voice email, conducting grand staff meetings, arranging sports activities, social and cultural events, celebrating birthdays, appreciation, and recognition, arranging movie nights and many other activities that includes the staff and their family members.

Each staff member feels that his/her own family is part of the Saudi German Hospital big family.

Q: As soon as a patient walks in to the hospital, what protocols are in place to ensure satisfaction?

Ahmed: Through a commitment to “person-centred care,” all Saudi German Hospital staff act like advocates for patients. Each member of the hospital is taking care of the patient as a family member. Patients are valued and served with the highest standards of care, passion and empathy.

In addition, we have developed measurable KPIs to measure our staff’s care towards our patients.

Q: How are you using the latest technology to improve patient experience at your hospital?

Ahmed: Saudi German Hospital is investing in many technology solutions to improve the patient experience.

We have developed “SGH” application to ensure our patients have an easy access to their medical information such as lab results, radiology reports, etc. And moreover, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is coming soon, whereby we are managing interactions and building relations with our patients to deliver a personalized experience for them.

We have displayed screens integrated with patients’ health insurance database of which patients can view the status of their approval requests.

Q: What are your processes for managing complaints and unhappy patients?

Ahmed: We have a standardized process to manage our patient complaints in a timely manner. It is the policy of Saudi German Hospital to support the right of all patients, care partners, family members and visitors to submit expressions of satisfaction, dissatisfaction, suggestion, and complaints regarding the health care services received.

The responsibility ultimately of receiving, addressing, and handling all complaints rests with the Patient Experience Department.

The Patient Experience Team is conducting daily rounds in all hospital areas so they can proactively serve patients’ needs before they escalate their dissatisfaction. Once a complaint is received through any other sources as social media or written formally, our patients are called to acknowledge receiving of their complaints and the expected time for feedback. The complaints are investigated in a timely manner and feedback is returned to the complainant with a service recovery when needed.

All complaints are analysed and actions to prevent their recurrence are developed to improve the patient journey and experience.

Q: What is your methodology for collecting patient feedback?

Ahmed: Our patients can register their feedback through different means, such as:

  • Patient’s Voice Boxes that are allocated in all reception and nursing stations
  • Patient’s Voice Email
  • SGH Website
  • Press Ganey Satisfaction Surveys
  • Press Ganey Comments
  • Social Media
  • During Patient Experience Rounds
  • During Executive Rounds

Q: Amidst Covid-19 pandemic, what additional health and safety protocols have you added to your hospital?

Ahmed: We are adhering the Saudi Ministry of Health manuals and guidelines.

As we are “Caring like Family,” during the curfew our services were provided to our patients while they were in the comfort of their homes, for instance, we have established video consultations, visited homes and provided free medication delivery.

Q: Do you have any staff training programs in place? What kind of soft skills trainings do you offer to your staff and how often?

Ahmed: Yes, we do. All hospital staff gets onboarding training on Person Centred Care approaches including CARE standards, and patient welcoming scripts. Also, they are oriented on PRESS GANEY Survey to be familiar with all the aspects and touch points that will be evaluated by our patients.

Moreover, we are offering our staff with basic computer courses, language courses, and emotional intelligence. Staff is also oriented on safety standards and infliction control on an annual basis.

Q: What kind of customer care do you provide to the elderly and people with special needs?

Ahmed: We are applying “Universal Access” in Saudi German Hospital.

We are offering free parking for handicapped. Porters have been assigned at all hospital gates to provide patients with wheelchairs and escort patients in need. Sign language interpreter is provided to deaf and mute patients. Our facilities and toilets are designed and equipped to serve our special needs patients.

Q: What would you rate as the biggest strength of your organization?

Ahmed: The family spirit, “Caring like Family”.

Q: What are your plans for improving patient experience in the future?

Ahmed: We have established many initiatives to improve our patient experience, such as: Mother and Baby Friendly, Child Friendly, Charity Friendly, Nature Friendly, Elderly and Handicap Friendly and International Patient Friendly.

As our slogan is “Caring like Family,” our following plans will add a luxurious and a more personalized touch to our patient experience to give them a home like experience. In cooperation with our patients, we have developed a Pillow Menu for our hospitalized patients whereby they can select the preferred type of comforts.

We have a designed a mood room with natural sunlight. Piano is placed and a pianist will play relaxing symphonies. Cold scented towels are distributed along with coffee, tea and snacks.

About Ahmed El Banna

Eng. Ahmed El Banna, has been the Chief Executive Officer in Saudi German Hospital in Jeddah since 2018. He has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He is a passionate leader who has demonstrated continuous growth and achievement for the organization.