Virtual Saudi Ophthalmology Symposium 2020 and the accompanying medical exhibition were held on Wednesday 05/08/2020, and organized by the Saudi Ophthalmological Society (SOS), King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH) and the Department of Ophthalmology- Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University (KSU.)
The CEO of KKESH, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Rajhi, welcomed the attendees at the beginning of the symposium. He pointed out that this symposium is a joint meeting for both the annual symposium of KKESH in its 37th session and the scientific meeting of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society in its 32nd session, noting that the hospital has played a major role in organizing international ophthalmology meetings in Saudi Arabia since 1982.
The CEO of KKESH pointed out that the hospital has a long history of excellence and influence in the field of eye medical care since its establishment, with more than 81% of the Kingdom's ophthalmologists and 38 ophthalmologists from the GCC countries received training at the hospital. Indicating that at the beginning of 2019, the hospital obtained the institutional re-accreditation of the residency program from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education- International(ACGME-I), in addition to the institutional accreditation from the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties.
Dr. Al Rajhi added that in late 2019, the hospital became the first health facility outside the United States and Europe to use (Luxturna) gene therapy to treat inherited retinal dystrophy caused by a defect in the gene “RPE65.” He emphasized that this is part of the hospital's plan to expand the scope of services for the treatment of congenital and genetic diseases.
He stated that the hospital has launched the Retinopathy of Prematurity National Program (ROP), which contributes to preventing 400 cases of preemies blindness annually.
He explained that KKESH is a leading institution in the field of research in the region according to the number of publications in the field of ophthalmology published in peer-reviewed journals. A total of 117 research projects and 73 publications were published in 2019.
He drew attention to the fact that the hospital's latest achievement is obtaining Stage 7 on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (HIMSS Stage 7), that relies on the classification of electronic medical records and the evaluation of advanced and comprehensive safety characteristics of medical information.
The hospital was also ranked the first in the Middle East and the ninth outside the United States of America to achieve the seventh level in 2017, and it is on standby with regard to direct medical care for patients.
He indicated that the hospital seeks to implement the Kingdom's Vision 2030, to develop the care provided in the field of ophthalmology at the national level, hoping that it will reach its impact at the regional level. Dr. Al-Rajhi emphasized that the goal of this virtual meeting is to organize a comprehensive and up-to-date scientific program, in cooperation with SOS and KSU.