Significant Achievements

KFSH&RC’s 2021 (1442/1443H) Annual Report Summary illuminates the most prominent achievements and the approaches adopted to fulfill KFSH&RC’s mission to provide the highest level of specialized healthcare in an integrated educational and research setting.

 

Core Specialized Medical Care Services represent the core business of KFSH&RC. Several significant achievements were accomplished in providing these services through many programs, including those in organ transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, cardiovascular diseases, genetics, and advanced medical home care.

Access to the specialized services increased significantly in 2021 with a jump in the total number of newly accepted patients by 44%. In addition, the total number of patients seen in different Core Specialized Medical Care Services increased by 31%.

 

Organ Transplant Center of Excellence (OTCoE)

KFSH&RC has nine distinguished adult and pediatric transplantation programs: Heart, Stem Cell, Liver, Kidney, Lung, Pancreas, Bone Grafts, Small Intestine, and Corneal.

Since the inception of each program, our caregivers have been producing the best outcomes in the region, including speed to transplant, organ acceptance, and patients’ survival.

In 2021, there were 3,640 patients accepted with a 60% increase compared to 2020. A total of 1,367 transplant procedures (solid organ and stem cell) were successfully conducted in 2021.

 

Stem Cell Transplant Program

A total of (479) stem cell transplantations were performed 300 adults and 179 pediatric patients.

This is a 35% increase compared to 2020 with exceptional survival rates.

An estimated (7,649) stem cell transplantations of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood for adults and pediatrics have been administered since the start of the program in 1984.

Stem cell from the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood are transplanted from several sources, including allogeneic donors, the same patient’s autologous stem, cord blood stem cells, stem cells samples purchased from CIBMTR matched with the patient, and stem cells matched from the KFSH&RC Stem Cell Donor Registry.

The number of registered donors at KFSH&RC reached 1,191 in 2021, and a total of 77,093 donations has been recorded.

 

Heart Transplant Program

The program is the largest in the region and is placed among the top international cardiac transplantation programs.

Since its inception in 1989, the total number of heart transplants in the Hospital has reached (413).

In 2021, we performed (26) transplants 10 in pediatric patients compared to 20 in 2020, a 30% increase with excellent survival rates.

 

Liver Transplant Program

In 2021, a total of (286) liver transplants were performed, compared to (159) in 2020, an increase of 80% 185 adults and 101 pediatric patients.

In addition, more than (501) robotic living-donor hepatectomies were performed since the program began, the largest series in the world.

KFSH&RC continues to be the only center in the world where 100% of liver donors benefit from a minimally invasive robotic transplant surgery procedure that positively impacts donors’ quality of life and experience.

 

Kidney Transplant Program

Between 1981 and 2021, a total of (6,025) kidney transplants were performed by KFSH&RC, which produced some of the best outcomes in the region, including speed to transplant, organ acceptance, and patient survival.

In 2021, (542) kidney transplants were performed, a 110% increase compared to 2020.

A total of (39) cases were robotically assisted. Overall, patients’ survival rates were outstanding.

 

Lung Transplant Program

KFSH&RC houses the only lung transplant program in Saudi Arabia, the GCC region, and the Arab world. The program started in 1998 providing comprehensive care for patients before and after lung transplantation.

Since 2000, we have performed lung transplantation for (268) patients.

In 2021, we performed (32) transplants compared to 20 in 2020, an increase of 60% with excellent survival rates.

 

Pancreas Transplant Program

Pancreas transplantation is the most viable treatment for Type 1 diabetic patients who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). KFSH&RC started the pancreas transplant program in 2004.

Thus far, KFSH&RC’s multidisciplinary team performed (56) pancreas transplants with high success rates.

In 2021, two procedures were performed, and both patients are still alive and functioning.

 

Oncology Center

A number of integrated services for patients with different types of cancer are provided, including preventive programs such as the genetic diagnosis of embryos prior to transplantation, rectal and colon genetic cancer screenings.

Heavily centered on providing therapies for its patients, the Oncology Center offers advanced biological therapies in certain cases, replacing traditional chemotherapy.

In 2021, the number of courses recorded are as follows:

  • Biological medicine therapy (113,587).
  • Traditional chemotherapy (112,948).
  • Radiotherapy (85,846).

 

Some significant accomplishments in 2021:

  • Developed and implemented CAR T-cell therapy with all regulatory approvals in place, providing the Stem Cell Therapy a unique and competitive edge nationally and internationally by allowing patients’ access to this specialized therapeutic modality at home.

          KFSH&RC successfully treated 20 patients (14 adults and 6 pediatric patients) under the CAR T-Cell                          Therapy program. This program offers the opportunity for patients in the GCC and the region to receive                 this specialized treatment modality at KFSH&RC and similarly, to national patients who would otherwise               travel abroad to receive the advanced treatment.

  • Molecular profiling in solid tumors for personalized therapy (Oncomine test).
  • Saved approximately 70 admission days with the use of an electronic smart ambulatory blinatumomab infusion pump for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • Streamlined planning process by using MRI stimulation only for Brachytherapy patients (the international gold standard) in the Radiation Therapy Department. This provided a more efficient process for the patient and a better use of resources.
  • Engaged in collaborative studies with some institutions, as follows:
  • Proof of concept study: evaluation of infrared field-resolved laser spectroscopy of liquid biopsies for cancer detection,” with the Ministry of Health through participation in a clinical trial at the national level (KSU-ICRG0103 Trial).
  • Genotype and Phenotype Correlation in Hereditary Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Upshaw-Schulman Syndrome) (TTP registry), with the University of Bern, Switzerland.
  • Comprehensive profiling of Saudi and White European Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients using Whole Genome Sequencing,” with King’s College London, through clinical trial.

 

Heart Center

The Heart Center continued to provide specialized care using modern technology to perform procedures such as cardiac catheterization, echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, and Cardiac Implanted Electronic Devices (CIED) implantation, the center has also achieved several achievements, including:

  • Launched the Cardio-Oncology Program in collaboration with the Oncology Center. This new program has been developed to address the impact of cancer treatment on heart function.
  • Utilized the Transmedic (Organ Care System) for a patient on the waiting list for a complicated durable assist device. This allowed not only assessment of the donor’s heart but also provided a total of 9 hours’ ischemia time due to the complexity of the recipient’s condition.
  • Performed 100 robotic cardiac surgeries in 2021 compared to 75 in 2020, an increase of 33%.
  • First in the Kingdom to use the (CardioMems) device for two Heart Failure (HF) patients. The device allows remote monitoring of the Pulmonary Artery (PA) pressure, an early indicator of the onset of worsening heart failure.

 

Neuroscience Center

The neuroscience service offers the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of complex neurological and neurosurgical diseases for adults and pediatric patients. It is recognized across the region as an avant-garde tertiary care department, with a distinct track record of more than 25 years, providing world-class medical and surgical services, such as treatment of benign and malignant central nervous system tumors, refractory seizure disorders, metabolic and neuro-cognitive disorders, among others.

In 2021, the Neuroscience Center was established, strengthening the core specialized service by integrating practice units: Movement Disorders, Epilepsy, Neurovascular, Neuromuscular, Neuro-Oncology, Neuroimmunology.

In addition, the neurosciences team achieved a number of new developments in the field:

  • Directional lead technology in deep brain stimulation of surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Establishment of the Combined Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic with neurology, urology, and dermatology; this is available only at two centers worldwide.
  • Initiation of medical tourism within the Epilepsy and Movement Disorders programs.
  • Discovery of a novel gene and new disease at KFSH&RC: the UGP2, one of the genes that causes severe cramps, leading to delays in the development of mental capacities.

 

Center for Genomic Medicine

The Center for Genomic Medicine was established in December 2020 through the transformation and amalgamation of the Genetics Department of the Research Centre and the Molecular Genetics Laboratory of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

The Center for Genomic Medicine comprised of Clinical Genomics (diagnostics, screening core molecular services); Translational Genomics (translational research); Computational Sciences (bioinformatics and artificial intelligence); and Future Medical Genetics (direct patient care).

Since the initiation of the Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) program, a total of 3,446 therapeutic cycles were conducted for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and genetic diagnosis.

In 2021, 493 therapeutic cycles of PGD were performed. These diagnoses include 1,557 genetic mutations, the most important of which are thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and genetic metabolic diseases.

 

Cardiovascular Genetics Program

Established in 2006, the Cardiovascular Genetics Program provides clinical diagnosis, genetic testing, and genetic counseling for patients that have familial cardiovascular diseases.

The program recruited (261) cases from 117 families this year, compared to (195) cases from 92 families in 2020, an increase of 34%.

The identification of the genetic diagnosis enabled the team to provide genetic counseling and offer preventive interventions, including PGD, carrier screening, and prenatal diagnosis, to ultimately prevent the recurrence of cardiac disorders in the family.

 

Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy Program

The Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy Program was established in 2007 and its clinical activities (diagnostic and therapeutic) include most of the previously existing fetal care activities.

Notably, the therapeutic procedures being administered since the program’s establishment, especially intrauterine surgical interventions, are unique to KFSH&RC, nationally and regionally.

The program served (3,152) patients in 2021, compared to (2,397) in 2020, an increase of 31.4%.

 

Advanced Medical Home Health Care Program

The Home Health Care (HHC) provides 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, where the program provides its services to (1,178) patients, and the total services provided to patients include (13,220), including, wound care, intravenous treatment, oxygen care, tube changes, blood sugar level monitoring, palliative care, education, and support.

Despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic, the HHC team continued with their mission to support as many patients as allowed under the circumstances and provided the needed care.

 

Outreach Services with National Hospitals 

Health Outreach Services continuously provided extended medical care to MOH hospitals. Medical care has been made accessible to underserved rural or remote areas by securing faster access to patients’ medical records and more accurate diagnosis via remote consultation using telemedicine/teleconference technologies.

This eliminates distance barriers to medical care, increasing timeliness of treatment through the use of wireless devices, thus saving lives through remote consultation in addition to reducing the costs.

While some of the services of the Health Outreach programs were affected by the pandemic, the program managed to expand its virtual care access and services to accommodate more patients.

 

 

KFSH&RC contributed to the development of specialized medical services by providing general and subspecialty medical programs for physicians from the Kingdom, GCC, and other countries. KFSH&RC is committed to providing the best quality of patient healthcare by investing in its staff and the future generations of physicians. This commitment is reflected by the number of training, scholarships, and educational initiatives offered each year.

 

The organization added 4 residency programs in the general specializations offered by the hospital, bringing the total to 30 training programs affiliated with the Saudi Board Certificate and approved by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. It also added 1 fellowship program for the exact specializations provided by the hospital, bringing the total to 71 training programs, affiliated with the programs of the specialization certificate approved by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. The total number of residents is 559, an increase of 12%, and the total number of fellows is 242, an increase of 13%. Moreover, the total number of graduated residents is 82, an increase of 6%, and the total number of graduated fellows is 118, an increase of 17%.

 

Medical Education

Undergraduate Medical Education

Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) provides medical training services and summer training for medical students and interns from universities around the Kingdom.

Total number of medical students 983 and total number of medical interns 1,564 in 2021.

 

Postgraduate Medical Education

  • KFSH&RC successfully achieved a 4-year institutional accreditation, beginning in March 2021, from the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS).
  • 88% of the residency matching results for the academic year 2021-2022 exceeded the 80% target of Riyadh and tied with Jeddah’s. This shows that KFSH&RC is considered an attractive training center for medical education trainees, where the main focus is on trainees’ experience, environment, and training outcomes.
  • SCFHS has granted Academic and Training Affairs (A&TA) the approval to conduct Training of Trainers workshops at KFSH&RC; 96% of medical consultants and allied health trainers have completed the said training.

 

Master’s Degree Students

KFSH&RC has accommodated a number of master’s students studying various clinical specialties such as Physical Therapy, Infection Control, Speech Therapy and Genetics. In 2021, the number of Master’s Degree students increased by 42%.

 

Life Support Training Center

KFSH&RC has gained re-accreditation as an International Training Center from the American Heart Association (AHA) [BLS, ACLS, PALS, Pears, First Aid and Heart Saver] at both Riyadh and Jeddah sites.

 

Simulation Center

KFSH&RC’s Simulation Center targets to accommodate all of the Hospital’s simulation based training needs and requirements. This will enhance patient safety, promote zero harm, decrease training costs, and improve the quality of training and patient care.

The number of training sessions held by the simulation center was (380) training sessions in 2021, compared to (120) training sessions in 2020, an increase of 216%.

 

In 2021, the KFSH&RC published 912 biomedical research papers in international journals with an increase of 12.3% compared to 2020. The majority of these papers focused on medical and cancer research, genetics and genetic diseases, immunology and immune disorders, stem cells and prosthetic tissue, nutrition and environmental health research, radiation medicine, radiopharmaceuticals, and autism research. As to research projects initiated by members of the Centre, the Research Advisory Council approved 290 submissions, a 16.5% increase when compared to 2020.

 

3D Printing

Addressing the Radiation Therapy department’s needs for treatment boards for head and neck cancer patients undergoing therapy, the 3D Printing Lab designed these treatment boards which are made of carbon fiber and cost SAR 25,000 each in the market.

The lab completed the final design and prototype for the board and printed it using the lab’s 3D printer at a cost of ~SAR 3,000. Printing the ten boards needed by the department within the lab instead of outsourcing will save the Hospital an estimated SAR 200,000.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI remains an enabler in discovering ways of enhancing disease treatment and even preventing occurrences and further damage. For radiation therapy, data collection was commenced to build AI-based auto-contouring system for tumor and organs at risk. The research team started with brain tumors and successfully built a preliminary AI algorithm to contour the tumor after training the AI algorithm on more than 70 patients. On the other hand, a 3D model for linear accelerator to simulate the radiation machine for purposes of training students in virtual reality environment has been developed.

 

 

 

 

 

KFSH&RC accomplished significant achievements through its Healthcare Information Technology Affairs (HITA) and through the cooperation with Yesser’s e-government program to enable nationalization and digital transformation.

 

KFSH&RC was able to achieve level – 6 of analytical maturity from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). KFSH&RC is the first health organization outside the USA to obtain this. KFSH&RC is also among three international health organizations, of which two obtained level – 7 in the framework of an evaluation system consisting of eight levels (which starts from zero and ends at the seventh, which is the highest). KFSH&RC achieved high levels of maturity in the eighth session of the government digital transformation measurement program, where it obtained 88.36% in the comprehensive evaluation of the level of transformation. KFSH&RC obtained the platinum level in the MARSAD assessment for digital services in government organization. As a result of KFSH&RC’s focus on health information technology, it obtained the following:

 

• HIMSS DAVIES AWARD 2019

• Family Medicine HIMSS O-EMRAM – Reaccreditation

 

HITA continues to focus on the Patient Journey by challenging its current digital footprint to positively disrupt healthcare norms. Its digital focus is built around the patient experience by ensuring staff are able to deliver care in an automated, attentive and efficient manner.