Science Cafe March 2017: Clinical Quality Management for Rehabilitation (CQM-R)

Science Café March 2017

Clinical Quality Management for Rehabilitation (CQM-R) has been the buzz of the month. On the 14th of March 2017, everyone walked into a crowded room full of people (50+ participants) anticipating this month’s Science Café talk. As they were enjoying lunch, the conference began with the first speaker, Prof. Dr. Lydia Abdul Latif. She opened up the talk with her topic “Rehabilitation a key health strategy of the 21st century”. She went on explaining that the emerging challenges faced by countries at the beginning of this century are an aging population, the rise of chronic diseases, and, fortunately, an increasing number of people who survive conditions previously considered lethal.  What do they have in common? A limitation in functioning. Functioning is the 3rd health indicator, and the key health indicator of rehabilitation. Thus it is crucial to assess the clinical quality management in order to ensure optimal functioning. ICF the reference system for the standardized documentation of functioning. 

 This was later followed up by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Idzwan bin Zakaria, Head of Department of Quality and Clinical Governance UMMC, who talked about the Health Quality Management in UMMC. Quality in health care means, doing the right things, to the right people at the right time, and doing them right the first time and every time. To do so, a proper quality management should be implemented such as strategic planning, allocation of resources, and evaluations. He emphasized that top-down and bottom-up driven quality management plan are needed in UMMC. This is to ensure a transparent, two-way communication between the management and clinicians providing real time information. Since quality improvement programs are conducted based on poor quality indicators, incident reports or customer satisfaction data, effective communications supplemented with concrete data enables actions to be taken promptly, allowing growth and improvement of the hospital. Accreditation processes by benchmarking hospital with others is also a good marketing strategy.

The next speaker, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Julia Patrick Engkasan, a Senior Lecturer from Department of Rehabilitation Medicine discussed briefly on the What, Why and How of CQM-R. Clinical outcomes demonstrate the functional improvements of patients, and they also support quality and financial results, which ultimately leads to solid clinical programs and effective documentation strategies. It help healthcare professionals to create research-based practice that is focused on clinical experience. What it boils down to is that it is imperative that providers be aware of how to generate the best clinical outcomes in order to promote the best patient care possible. As of now, countries such as Germany, China and Japan has already establish a uniform strategy of clinical quality management according to WHO’s protocol. Currently, Malaysia too is embarking on the journey. However, this comprehensive and holistic clinical treatment approach done in UMMC has to be a collective effort with Ministry of Health which consist of another 10 hospitals throughout Malaysia. Collaboration among authorities are needed to ensure successiveness in this agenda.

A lot of back and forth communication between front liners and the management occurred after the talk asking how the system works and benefits them. Scientist also engaged with the speakers asking whether it is possible to obtain clinical data and statistics from their collection. All in all, collaboration and team work among management, researchers and clinicians were successful, and a better outcome will be produced as a bigger picture is seen and a wider area is covered by experts in each field.

Prof. Dr. Lydia Abdul Latif, Department of Rehabilitation, email:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Idzwan bin Zakaria, email:

Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Julia Patrick Engkasan, email:

More information:

Research Management Centre, Faculty of Medicine, UM,

Science Café Facebook page:


Prepared by Shairah and Lau YL

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 Clinical Quality Management for Rehabilitation (CQM-R)