With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many patients and visitors prefer to reduce out-of-home journeys to stay safe.
Some have expressed concern about making in-person trips to the hospital — either to follow up on their medical appointments or to see their loved ones. They are worried that the commute and visit to a crowded hospital might increase their risk of contracting the virus.
Their concerns are understandable, but hospitals in Singapore have put in place strict guidelines and safety precautions to ensure that patients are able to keep to their appointments and seek treatment with peace of mind.
For patients with chronic conditions that require regular management or urgent medical attention and treatment, it is important that they do not put off their hospital visits.
Private healthcare provider Parkway Pantai — which manages Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Parkway East Hospital — has launched a #HealthcareMadeSafer campaign to promote a safer working environment for its staff, as well as to assure patients and visitors visiting its hospitals.
Dr Prem Kumar Nair, CEO of Parkway Pantai’s Singapore Operations Division, says: “Our patients, staff and visitors should always feel safe and well-cared-for at our hospitals. It is important that they know the safe management measures and safeguards in place to ensure their safety and well-being. Providing this peace of mind is essential as we safely resume healthcare services at all our hospitals in Phase 2.”
Here are some key measures that Parkway Pantai has implemented to reassure its staff, patients and visitors of their safety — even before they enter the hospital premises.
Stepping into a safe space: Temperature screening and contact tracing
Each of the four hospitals adheres to a set of stringent protocols, which includes requiring everyone stepping into the hospital to wear a mask, and undergo mandatory temperature screening and contact tracing procedures.
All staff are also required to wear masks and practise frequent health monitoring. Where required, healthcare teams put on personal protective equipment.
Inside the hospital: Maintaining social distance
Social distancing guidelines are observed in all waiting areas, which have been modified to ensure that different groups of visitors keep an adequate distance from one another.
Floor and seat markers clearly demarcate designated areas to sit or stand while waiting, and by establishing an average wait time of 30 minutes at the A&E, your risk of exposure is also limited.
En route to visiting loved ones: Disinfecting with hand sanitisers
Because the virus and other germs can live on common surfaces — such as lift buttons, railings and doors — that people touch, hand sanitisers and sanitising liquid are made readily available at all lift lobbies and the wards of all four hospitals.
Other high-touch and high-traffic areas are also cleaned and disinfected hourly to keep spaces and surfaces safe for everyone.
In the wards: Eliminating the risk of transmission
All hospitals under Parkway Pantai have dedicated wards and teams to care for Covid-19 patients, if any. To mitigate the risk of community spread, the ventilation systems in these wards are self-contained and do not circulate around other parts of the hospital.
To minimise cross infection, disposable cloths and mops are also used to clean each ward thoroughly.
When conditions permit, patients may be able to do in-room discharge to reduce waiting time in public areas.
These measures — on top of mask wearing, good personal hygiene and social distancing — will safeguard the health of patients, visitors and staff, and help curb the spread of community transmission.
With the easing of restrictions after Circuit Breaker in Singapore, Parkway Pantai Hospitals have resumed all healthcare services. If you or your family members require treatment for a medical condition, make an appointment with a specialist or visit its 24-hour A&E clinics.