Alternative therapy investigated

Dubai practitioners to be monitored.

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) has become the first organisation outside the US to implement an electronic monitoring system for the regulation of complementary and alternative therapies (CAM).

The Complementary and Alternative Medicine Council - part of the DHCC's Center for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ) - has implemented the coding system that systematically monitors episodes of CAM care in a bid to improve quality assessment.

The system is known as ABC coding, because it uses the first five characters of the alphabet to encript each treatment episode, including type of patient seen, treatment given and the type of practitioner who delivers the care - such as a doctor or a nurse.

CAM refers to healthcare practices that are considered to sit outside conventional medicine such as ayurveda, traditional chinese medicine and homeopathy.

Implementing the codes is the first step to integrating CAM into mainstream healthcare, according to Dr Ayesha Abdullah, senior vice president of DHCC.

"The CAM codes have been adopted within DHCC based upon our firm belief that this system greatly improves the entrance of CAM into conventional healthcare within our community," she said.

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