How Malaffi is supporting the coordination and continuity of cancer care
4 February 2021
Today marks World Cancer Day, a global initiative which aims to raise worldwide awareness and education around the disease. A key focus of World Cancer Day is reducing premature deaths and improving the quality of a survivor’s life – an ambitious goal recognized by our leadership in Abu Dhabi. The Department of Health is committed to reducing cancer incidence and preventing risk factors, with early detection and reduction of mortality rates key performance indicators to providing world-class healthcare, and one of the pillars of the UAE National Agenda.
As a strategic initiative of the Department of Health, Malaffi supports Abu Dhabi’s commitment to providing excellent medical care. Now connecting 85% of hospitals across Abu Dhabi, with all hospitals to be connected by the middle of this year, Malaffi is a technology that allows healthcare providers to safely and securely, access and share a patient’s important, up-to-date medical records. For anyone living with a chronic condition or disease such as cancer, the benefits of such a tool are invaluable to healthcare teams.
Cancer is a complex disease and throughout a patient’s cancer journey, they will inevitably require a number of tests and treatments, performed by a range of caregivers, at many different facilities. Therefore, continuity and integrity of care is extremely important and can have a direct impact on successful disease management.
Previously, the information and results obtained at each of these visits was not easily shared, meaning tests were often repeated unnecessarily, potentially causing a delay in care. A unified patient database grantees secure access to a patient’s medical records and supports efficient medical decision making. All authorized caregivers within the healthcare system will be able to access a patient’s information in real-time, leading to quicker, safer clinical decisions and avoiding delays in care and unnecessary duplication of tests and procedures.
A patient’s Story
Sofia is a cancer survivor. She reflects on her cancer journey, and how Malaffi supported the continuity of the care she received.
“My name is Sofia Khalid, I live in Abu Dhabi and I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with a type of breast cancer, called invasive lobular carcinoma, in August 2016. I underwent treatment for 3 years and in 2019 I was declared cancer-free.
When my doctor, Mohammed Al Khateeb at HeathPlus, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, first told me about Malaffi, I thought it was a brilliant initiative. My cancer journey has taken me to numerous facilities across the Emirate and I have visited many of the large multi-disciplinary hospitals. Because they are all connected to Malaffi, my doctor had access to all my important health information, in one place. As a cancer patient, to know that everything is captured in one place, under one file, is very reassuring.
My doctors refer to me as an ‘expert patient’ – I am very hands on! I have always been involved in my healthcare, which is why my cancer was diagnosed early. Before Malaffi was available, I fully took charge of my cancer treatment. If my latest test results weren’t on my doctor’s system, I let them know! It was a huge relief to find out that Malaffi exists so that I did not have to carry everything with me, every time I went to see someone. My medical teams have access to my medical history and information on my visits to different doctors, so they can better coordinate my care which prevents potential interruption and delays in my treatment.
With Malaffi, my medical teams can see all the medications I am taking, and I don’t need to worry that they might prescribe something that will cause a reaction. In the past, I have been prescribed a medication for my cancer that has potential serious side effects, and I have always felt the need to warn every doctor that I see about this. With Malaffi, I know that this information is displayed as a warning for doctors. It is a relief and comfort to know that this critical information is there.
As a patient, I simply love this system. It makes me happy to know that ultimately every hospital and clinic across the Emirate will be part of the system, for the benefit of all patients.”
Dr Mohammed Al Khatib, Medical Director, Consultant, Diabetes, Endocrinology & Internal Medicine, HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center
“Patients diagnosed with cancer often have a long journey through the healthcare system, that requires them to be seen and treated at different facilities and by various specialists. They may need frequent follow ups and require further medical support. This creates a long and complex patient history, the details of which are vital for any follow-up visit.
The responsibility of managing this complex information often falls on the patient, which is a challenge. And doctor’s face the issue of not having access to information on their patient’s important history, which may result in inefficient clinical decisions and time-consuming administration or even duplication of tests.
As an endocrinologist, I see patients, including cancer patients, with complex medical histories. Having access to their health history through Malaffi is critical for me to instantly understand their journey and to give me important medical information to support my clinical decisions. I also don’t need to worry about tracking down their records, or past test results, which means I don’t have to repeat unnecessary investigations and I have more valuable facetime with my patients. As a physician, I feel privileged to have access to Malaffi and my patients are moved to know that their care coordination and safety is now drastically improved.
Sofia is a patient that manages her own health with great care, and she was so delighted to hear about Malaffi. Her cancer journey has taken her though a great deal of doctor’s visits and treatments and she was relieved to know that Malaffi centralizes all her medical information, so that she did not have to worry about her doctors missing any ‘piece of the puzzle’ or carrying her papers and reports all around.
Malaffi is an excellent tool supporting the management of all kind of diseases. I use it every day for almost every patient to compare or look for previous diagnostic procedures done outside our facility.”
Dr. Hamed Al Hashemi, Director of Strategy, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi
“At the Department of Health, our objective is to reduce the incidence of cancer in Abu Dhabi, prevent premature deaths, and improve the quality of a patient’s life by increasing early detection rates and early medical interventions. Data integration and quick accessibility plays an important role in successful cancer care from prevention to palliative care.
Looking at the future of continuum of cancer care in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi we envisage the great and important role that Malaffi plays in improving patient care. With the growing amount of centralised data, future research will be easier and will enable us to measure the impact of different treatment modalities on outcomes.”
Atif Al Braiki, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Health Data Services, Malaffi
“At Malaffi we are committed to supporting the DOH and tackling the most pressing healthcare needs in our community. Malaffi is improving the continuity of coordination of cancer care, by centralising vital medical information, accessible to everyone that is involved in the care of these patients in the Emirate.
This also helps in preventing delays in critical care and offers reassurance to the patients that their care is handled in the best possible way across the healthcare system in the Emirate.”
You can also view this article that was published in Omnia Health magazine here