Who he is: Overseeing one of the largest departments at Almoosa Specialist Hospital (ASH), Abdulrahim Alnatour, PMP, FMP, heads facilities management functions across design, construction, space management, energy management, utility systems, fire and life safety, and medical equipment services. The 220-bed ASH opened in 1996 as the first private hospital in Al-Ahsa, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, and provides a range of tertiary services. Throughout new projects delivered over the years, Alnatour works to create environments that support person-centered care and caregiver collaboration. Specifically, he executes the hospital’s mission to promote wellness and ease the patient journey while enhancing operational performance, ensuring that all new projects introduce elements such as natural light, energy-saving features, and reduced noise levels.
Year in review: Alnatour managed the delivery of several projects in 2019, including a new hemodialysis center that introduces a single-bay environment to reduce risk of infection and promote patient privacy, while also providing a more streamlined design to increase caregiver efficiency. Next was a new in vitro fertilization center equipped with cutting-edge technology in a comfortable, quiet location removed from the general ambulatory services department and with a dedicated private entrance. A new pneumatic tube system was also installed in the existing facility, without any interruption to operations, resulting in a significant reduction in operational waste and greater collaboration between departments in the delivery of critical items such as medications, blood, and specimens. His eye was on the future, as well, contributing to three major in-progress projects, including a new 16-story North Tower that will add 220 beds to the hospital and be the tallest healthcare facility in Saudi Arabia as well as a 288-bed rehabilitation and long-term care hospital. But beyond the day-to-day, Alnatour also led his team in quickly responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Lessons learned from 2013’s respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the Middle East and how to renovate quickly and enact infection control measures in a crisis scenario helped guide ASH’s response. For example, Alnatour oversaw the rapid transformation of the hospital’s emergency department by creating six additional isolation rooms, converting the ground floor into a COVID-19 unit, and integrating necessary medical gases into a physical therapy department for the conversion to a 12-bed long-term care unit.
Industry impact: Regardless of project type or size, Alnatour’s work embodies his organization’s priorities of delivering projects that increase patient and caregiver satisfaction, enhance safety and quality of care, improve the patient experience, promote wellness, and reduce operational waste. He’s also a champion for comprehensive stakeholder engagement to guide project success, believing that open discussion will help support strategic, design, and quality objectives. Embracing Lean design, as well (including training in Japan to learn best practices), he’s a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Together, these endeavors have established him as a force within his organization to develop optimized design that serves all building users.