From 8 December 2013, Al Wakra Hospital will be implementing a new fixed time appointment system for outpatient appointments, which will ensure patients see the right doctor at the right time and will also give priority to urgent or critical cases.
Under the new system, if a patient in Al Wakra is referred to see a specialist by their Primary Healthcare doctor, this referral will go straight to the Referral Management Office at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). There, a specialist will review the patient’s case and determine the level of urgency. A hospital representative will then call the patient to arrange an appointment within the clinically advised time frame and at a convenient time for the patient. This means that there will be no need to visit the Outpatient Department at Al Wakra Hospital to book an appointment if a referral has been made from Primary Health Care. If a patient is referred from a private doctor, they should visit Al Wakra in person with their referral and their referral will be sent to the Referral Management Office, to be handled in the same way as those referrals from Primary Healthcare.
According to Executive Director of the Center for Healthcare Improvement, Nasser Al Naimi, whose team has developed the new system, it’s all about patient centered care. He said:
The new system is very beneficial to patients. It means they know they will see the right specialist to treat their condition, because their referral has been assessed by a doctor. It also saves the patient referred from Primary Healthcare from travelling to the hospital to fix their appointment, as our call center team will phone them to arrange an appointment for the right time, based on clinical advice. All patients will also receive reminder phone calls about their appointments a few days before so they don’t forget.’
Chief Executive Officer of Al Wakra Hospital, Wilson Ross, sees the new appointment system as a valuable service enhancement as it prioritizes patients according to clinical needs and offers the convenience of a fixed time for specialist consultation. He said:
With a properly assessed referral and fixed time appointment system in our Outpatient Department, we have the opportunity to improve patient access, reduce waiting times in the clinics, and help ensure patients receive the attention and care they need, when they need it. The implementation of the fixed appointment system is a vital part of HMC’s commitment to providing the safest, most effective and compassionate care to our patients.’
This is part of the ongoing roll out of a fixed time appointment system across HMC. Hamad General Hospital (HGH), the Department of Dentistry, Women’s Hospital, Al Khor Hospital and the Maxillofacial Department all provide a fixed time appointment system for outpatients.
To ensure clinics run smoothly for the benefit of all patients, HMC is asking all patients to respect their appointment times and arrive at least 15 minutes early, in case any pre-assessment is required. If they are unable to keep their appointment, they should call the Patient Contact Center ahead of time on 4439 5777 to reschedule a new appointment at a time convenient for them.
HGH Open Refurbished Clinics in Outpatient Department
HGH announced the opening of newly refurbished clinics on the ground floor of the outpatient department. Gastro-Intestinal, Infectious Disease and Emergency Short Stay clinics will all be moved to this new location. Any patients with appointments in the affected clinic should take note of their new location.