Polyclinic lapses: Healthcare group replies

We thank Mr Gary Teo Teck Chye ("Tighten processes at polyclinic to prevent more errors") and Dr Leong Choon Kit ("Valuable lessons in integrity and vigilance"; both published last Thursday) for their feedback regarding Madam Karen Koh's experiences at Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic (CCK Polyclinic).

The National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP) has apologised to Madam Koh for our errors.

We also acknowledge that we could have done better in our communication with Madam Koh regarding her medical condition and test, as well as the coordination of her Medisave application process.

On the administering of the wrong vaccine, our nurses at CCK Polyclinic reported the incident as soon as they realised they might have made an error.

CCK Polyclinic immediately conducted a thorough investigation, which confirmed that a wrong vaccine had been administered because our nurses had not adhered to our established protocol.

The polyclinic's nurse-in-charge and clinic head then contacted Madam Koh to explain the error, check on her well-being, assure her regarding the safety of the administered vaccine and offer the correct vaccination.

In addition, we looked into Madam Koh's feedback regarding her experience during her earlier visit in May.

Our management team also met Madam Koh to address her concerns.

NHGP places a strong emphasis on safe care. We have in place processes for the administration of vaccines, supported by an electronic verification system.

Since the incident, we have counselled the staff concerned and reinforced to all our employees across the NHG polyclinics the importance of strict adherence to protocols and processes at all times.

We are looking into how we can further strengthen our verification system to prevent similar errors in future. We will continue to review and improve our systems, processes and staff training in order to better serve our patients at all our polyclinics.

Lew Yii Jen (Dr)
Senior Director, Clinical Services
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2016, with the headline 'Polyclinic lapses: Healthcare group replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe