Cut paperwork at hospitals, polyclinics

Hospitals and polyclinics generate a vast amount of paperwork in the form of things like invoices and summary of appointments.

In the national push to make Singapore a smart nation, it is timely to re-examine the need for such a voluminous paper trail.

Perhaps, hospitals and polyclinics could consider letting patients choose to receive the paperwork in a digital format rather than providing hard copies by default.

As it is, patients and their next of kin are already receiving notifications for matters concerning their appointments via SMS and e-mail.

The connection between insurers and hospitals can also be relooked.

For now, only inpatient consultations and treatments are submitted electronically to insurers for claims to be processed.

Any follow-up outpatient visits have to be submitted manually by patients to their insurers.

Insurers also accept "interim" bills resulting in even more paperwork, as the "final" invoice needs to be generated for claims.

This is an unnecessary waste of resources and time for everyone.

The parties involved should seriously study how the volume of paperwork can be reduced substantially.

Bernard C G Law

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2018, with the headline 'Cut paperwork at hospitals, polyclinics'. Print Edition | Subscribe