SGH clinic should improve operations

On Feb 8, I took my mother, who is hearing-impaired, to the Orthopaedics Clinic H at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for her appointment at 3pm.

By 4pm, my mother was still not called.

I had to knock on two doors in the clinic before I could find out why we had not been called.

In the second room, a patient-care aide said that she had called out for my mother at 1pm and there was no reply - presumably why we were being bypassed.

When I explained to her saying that my mother is hard of hearing and that our appointment was at 3pm, she berated me for not informing SGH of my mother's disability.

Even if her hearing had been perfect, she would have missed her appointment as the nurse called for her at 1pm when the appointment was for 3pm.

Before leaving the clinic, I told the registration counter staff to pin an alert or flag a remark in the patient file to indicate that my mother is hearing-impaired.

I was surprised to be told that the current software does not have a function to cater for such alerts.

They also said it could not be manually flagged in the hard copy files, and I concluded that the hard copy files no longer existed.

SGH should upgrade its systems to allow the flagging of certain issues, so that patients with disabilities will not be unduly berated by clinic staff.

Furthermore, the nurses in the clinic have all congregated at the registration counter instead of the patient assessment counter.

I suggest that signs should be put up when such ad-hoc changes are made, so that patients will know where to go to for their assessments.

These will minimise clinic staff berating caregivers, or worse still, elderly patients.

Juliana Ang Hiok Lian (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2018, with the headline 'SGH clinic should improve operations'. Print Edition | Subscribe