Give Online: Help shape patient care for generations to come.
Cleveland Clinic Logo

Global Experts Coming Together for the International Patient Experience Conference in Saudi Arabia

Clinicians, Healthcare Executives and Government Officials Exploring Solutions to Key Patient Experience Issues

March 3, 2013

The second annual International Patient Experience Conference, being held today and tomorrow in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, brings together leaders from around the world to address the importance of delivering exceptional clinical outcomes and compassionate, patient-centered care in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rabeeah, The Saudi Minister of Health, the multidisciplinary conference is exploring the role patient experience plays in delivering high-quality, value-driven care in the Kingdom.

“Cleveland Clinic is thrilled at the opportunity to share globally the knowledge we have gained from our own initiatives in the patient experience arena,” said Dr. James Merlino, Chief Experience Officer for Cleveland Clinic. “This conference will help ensure that compassion, empathy and responsiveness continue to be at the forefront of healthcare delivery in Saudi Arabia.”

The conference brings together global thought leaders from various disciplines in healthcare, government and business to solve shared challenges and inspire solutions that will transform the patient experience and elevate customer service. The conference is defining patient experience and its critical link to patient relations, and how these concepts affect how quality care is delivered. The speakers are focusing on how healthcare workers can improve the way they communicate with patients and families, with a particular emphasis on physician-patient and nurse-patient communication.

Featured speakers include:

  • Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Dakhail, General Supervisor, Patient Rights & Relations Program, Ministry of Health, will discuss the challenges of implementing patient relations programs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Humaidi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Curative Medicine, Ministry of Health, will share insights on the value of time in the patient experience.
  • Dr. Fatima Al-Jaawan, Patients Rights and Relations Department, Ministry of Health, will talk about how volunteers can influence patient relations.
  • Dr. Munira Al-Osaimi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Supportive Medical Services, Ministry of Health, will discuss the importance of the patient-nurse relationship.
  • Dr. Marc Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, will talk about how to deliver on a patient experience strategy within a health system.
  • Dr. Wael Kaawach, Chief Executive Office, Healthcare Development Holding, will discuss service excellence in healthcare.
  • Dr. James Merlino, Chief Experience Officer, Cleveland Clinic, will discuss the paradigm shift in healthcare surrounding patient experience.

The conference, held at the Movenpick Hotel & Resort, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, is organized in partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, Directorate of the Health Affairs in Madinah Region, Healthcare Development Holding Company, and Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic was one of the first major academic medical centers in the country to establish an Office of Patient Experience and appoint a Chief Experience Officer, as well as the first major academic medical center to host a summit focused solely on patient experience. Cleveland Clinic’s 2012 Patient Experience Summit drew about 900 attendees from 28 countries.

Cleveland Clinic has had a relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for more than 40 years. In 2012, Cleveland Clinic opened an outreach office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to further that relationship through collaborations on medical education, training and consulting capabilities. The office also provides expanded access for patients in Saudi Arabia who may need medical second opinions and/or appointment requests from Cleveland Clinic physicians in the U.S.

The complete International Patient Experience Conference agenda is online at

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, currently under construction, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at Follow us at

Media Contact

Wyatt DuBois, 216.445.9946,