With quality healthcare in mind

Rizal Faisal

Quality and patient safety are essential to improving healthcare, which can be achieved through research, clinical audits, service evaluation and innovation. By equipping healthcare professionals with research and auditing knowledge and skills, it will not only enhance their personal development, but can also be projected onto the wider clinical picture to be integrated into their medical practice.

This was underscored by Brunei Medical Association (BMA) President Hajah Susalnoor binti Haji Suhailee in her welcome speech at the launch of a four-part series of educational research webinars held every Sundays in December 2021. The webinars were aimed at healthcare professionals to highlight the importance of clinical research and audit. It also aimed to equip participants with the skills to implement research and audit in the context of improving the quality of patient care as well as for their own professional development.

Additionally, the webinars have helped healthcare professionals adopt a confident mindset when implementing research and auditing, or dealing with errors or incidents on the job.

Clinical audit can improve the standard of healthcare practice against best practice standards and is often the first step in the quality improvement process.

At the same time, research aims to develop and generate new knowledge that will lead to changes in healthcare practices, which can have a positive impact on quality.

The webinars covered topics on audits (week 1), types of clinical research and how to write case reports (week 2), introduction to biostatistics (week 3) and how to design clinical research and ethics in research (week 4).

The presentations were given in an interactive manner, where brainstorming, discussions and group presentations among the participants were facilitated by the members of the BMA committee. This was seen as a key way to keep attendees consistently engaged, and that their research or audit plans were supported throughout the webinars to ensure a successful outcome.

Guest speakers from the Ministry of Health included renowned clinical researchers who are also consultants in their fields – Dr. Chong Vui Heng and Dr. Jackson Tan. Meanwhile, guest lecturers from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) included Prof. Dr. Md Ayub Sadiq, Dr. Nik Tuah, Dr. Fazean Irdayati Idris and Dr. Asmah Husaini, who provided expertise in their designated topics for each webinar.

The webinars were very well received by participants, including physicians and allied health professionals.

The registration slots for a maximum of 50 participants were sold out in a few days.
The participants positively evaluated the results of the webinars.

A junior doctor working at RIPAS Hospital, Dr. Khairulsadek said, “The BMA certainly did not let COVID-19 stop the committee from organizing online CME activities for doctors in Brunei Darussalam. As a junior trainee myself, I have found the Clinical Audits and Research webinar series to be very useful and would definitely be helpful in my career progression as a physician. I hope that BMA will continue to offer CME activities to local doctors”.

Meanwhile, surgical trainee Dr Dayangku Nurhamizah said, “I signed up for the webinars as I consider them a refresher course. The lectures and interactive workshops have definitely made me more confident in conducting audits and research. I hope to apply these skills to my career in surgery.”

The webinars were also enthusiastically received by Panaga Health Center physiotherapist, Suhanna Damon, who expressed her appreciation for BMA saying, “Thank you BMA for the well organized webinar series. I appreciated the relaxing atmosphere and activities in the breakout room which facilitated the learning of these important subjects. Thanks also to the UBD representatives for their compact but comprehensive guidance, as well as to the guest clinicians who shared their expertise and direct experience of the clinical research journey while doing their clinical work. Finally, the webinar series gave me a great insight into the clinical audit and clinical research journey and provided me with a great network should I need to seek help in the future.

BMA was officially registered with the Registrar of Societies by a group of passionate young doctors in 2002 with the primary objective of uniting members of the medical profession in promoting the welfare of its members, while serving to maintain the honor and interests of the medical profession in the Sultanate.

It was officially launched by the former Minister of Health on November 2, 2008. BMA was previously chaired by current Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar.

As a member of the Medical Association of Southeast Asian Nations (MASEAN), BMA is a representative of the medical profession in the Sultanate and is streamlined with the goals of national medical associations in the region, especially within ASEAN, which include the expression of the views of the profession in matters relating to the health and well-being of the community, as well as to support a high standard of medical ethics and conduct among health professionals.

Members of the association further stated that in line with its motto “United to Serve”, it provides a platform and a means for doctors and dentists to collectively provide a stronger united front when expressing concerns such as welfare issues and as a means of serving the community.

BMA regularly promotes social, cultural, charitable and professional activities among members of the association and targeted audiences.

Membership is open to all physicians registered with the Medical Council of Brunei and also offers lifetime, honorary, student and foreign memberships.

The current Executive Committee of BMA is Hajah Susalnoor binti Haji Suhailee (Chairman), Dr. Muhammad Abang Fahmy bin Abang Hepnie (Vice Chairman), Dr. Haji Aziman bin Dato Paduka Haji Yaakob (Secretary), Dr. Muhammad Hanif bin Ahmad (Deputy Secretary 1 ), Dr Dayangku Nurhamizah binti Pengiran Haji Zaini (Assistant Secretary 2), Dr Fazean Irdayati binti Idris (Treasurer), Dr Alia Zuhaidah binti Shazli (Assistant Treasurer), Dr Jimmy Chin (Public Relations) and Dr Zawani binti Ishak (Assistant Public Relations ).

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