HGH extends appointment system to all clinics
LANI ROSE R DIZON
DOHA THE new fixed time appointment system which was recently launched at the Hamad General Hospital (HGH) outpatient department (OPD) has been extended to all clinics on the second floor of the OPD including general medicine, diabetes and endocrinology, and chest medicine.
“The new system has been successful and we are receiving positive feedback from patients. They are pleased with the short waiting time and doctors and patients have enough time to discuss treatments and the patients’ illnesses.
The system is moving fast and soon all clinics will run the same system by end of May,” Dr Yousef al Maslamani, chief of staff at the Hamad General Hospital, told the media on Tuesday.
He however stressed the need for the community to cooperate, as there were still a large number of patients who have not been showing up for their appointments.
“Thirty percent of the patients calling for appointment don’t show up. We need patients to arrive on time for their appointment. If a patient is unable to attend the appointment at the outpatient department they need to call the patient contact centre on 44395777 and arrange to book another appointment. This will help us to offer this appointment to another patient and continue to maintain the appointment times that we have committed to,” Maslamani said.
Maslamani also said that the new system has now covered 60 percent of its target at the Hamad General Hospital OPD and that it would be implemented at the surgery department soon. It is also expected to be rolled out to the other HMC hospitals.
Also, the HMC is now targeting to work and improve the dentistry new system, Maslamani added.
According to Nasser al Naimi, executive director of the centre of healthcare improvement at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), the patient contact centre called about 32,000 patients between January and March, and has received about 5,700 calls from patients. About 40,000 SMS have also been sent to follow-up patients with their appointments.
“It was found that about 24 percent of the patients registered have given wrong information.
This must be corrected.
Most of the referrals we receive come from the primary healthcare centres (PHCs). Through the new system, we cannot see any walkin patient anymore. All patients at the OPD must have referrals. So far, we received 19,442 referrals from the PHCs, clinics, and other private hospitals during the period,” Naimi said. “As promised, this resulted to shorter waiting times. The waiting time for the urology department alone has decreased to only a week, which before lasted for months.” As part of the new system, patients obtaining a referral from a PHC don’t need to visit the OPD to book their appointment.
The patient contact centre will call the patients to arrange a suitable appointment time for them.
However, patients with a referral from a private clinic or hospital still need to visit the OPD to hand in their referral letter because private hospitals have still not been linked with the HMC’s patient contact centre.
All patients will receive a reminder phone call three days before their appointment and an SMS on the day before the appointment.