Business Architecture of Hospitals – Part 3

Hospitals are complex organizations and that is mainly because of the complexity of the business. This article elaborates on this topic by focusing on a single element of the hospital business: the dialysis treatment.

Dialysis is needed for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. These patients can only be cured by kidney transplantation or they otherwise need a frequent dialysis that emulates the function of the kidney. Estimations of the ESRD patients fluctuate. The company Rockwellmed that offers dialysis services made a taxation of about 2 million ESRD patients.

The business is concentrated around the required treatment (and previous diagnosis) of these patients. This obviously requires first of all active participation of the patient. Different kinds of treatment (hemio or peritoneal dialysis) require more or less involvement of the patient. This requires information or brochures about the treatment and formal acceptance of the patient.

Then, this business (process) must be organized, and that involves at least the following actions and resources:

  • a medical / nursery assistance
  • space to accommodate the treatment
  • medical equipment
  • medicine
  • information systems to update the treatment with the patient dossier and general clinical databases.

There are a large number of issues that requires a management decision for this specific client group. To name a few issues, just think of the following:

  • Should we execute these treatments in-house or are more specialized centers a better solution for both the client and the hospital?
  • From what kind of supplier do we buy the dialysis equipment or the medicine)?
  • How is the information updated when the treatment is outsourced?

Now, the architectural element lies in the fact that these apparent singular issues are interrelated. Not only amongst them, but also with other issues from other business areas of the hospital. For example: if the treatment is outsourced there is no need of equipment, but there is need of information about the treatment.

Each types of treatment has its own risk-profile and influences the way to organize the activity: “Peritoneal dialysis is typically done in the patients’ home or workplace… has a higher potential for infection. Peritonitis is the most common serious complication…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peritoneal_dialysis)

Also important is the relation of these patient groups with other patient groups.

to be continued …

© 2008 Hans Bool

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Two Excellent Hospitals in Jinan, China

Jinan is the capital city of Shandong, the second largest and most economically important province in China. Jinan has 6 districts and a population of 6 million. The city is one of the 15 sub-provincial cities of China. It is actually a very old city, occupied for about 4000 years. Jinan is beautiful, has a high GDP and is the cultural, financial and political center of the region. China’s remarkable development has had a great effect on its health care sector as well. Today, most of the major cities like Jinan have a well-developed medical sector with lots of good hospitals and doctors. This is an overview of some of the leading hospitals in Jinan.

Qilu Hospital is situated at the 107 West Road, Jinan City: 250012 and is a leading hospital in Jinan. This giant general hospital is governed by the Ministry of Health. It is also a famous medical education and research center. The hospital has 1800 beds and is a modern health care facility that offers the best medical care to 1,974,000 patients annually (this number is taken from the outpatient section alone). Qilu Hospital is affiliated to Shandong University and was established in 1890 and received its present name in 2000. Qilu Hospital has academic exchange and association programs with more than 20 renowned health care facilities and universities in various countries. The modern surgery department at Qilu Hopital has sections in all branches including thoracic, pediatric, bone, laparoscopic and hepatobiliary surgery. The emergency department at Qilu Hospital is the best in the province and has emergency triage, medical and surgical wards as well as an operating room with 100 beds and an emergency pharmacy. Tel: 0531 -82,169,114

Qianfoshan Hospital is another major hospital and is located at 66 Jing Shi Road 250014. This general hospital is managed by the Health department of Shandong Province and has been offering modern and effective health care service since 1960. This tertiary level medical facility is connected to the Shandong University. The physical hospital has a construction area of 105,000 square meters, 1000 beds and 1,800 staff members. It has acquired several accolades including the “National Model Hospital Award” and the “Provincial Civilized Unit Award”. The hospital has over 50 full-fledged medical departments which cover all major areas of medicine. Besides this, there are provincially approved centers for dental care, liver disease, counseling, and bone and joint disease treatment. Qianfoshan Hospital’s outpatient complex of 51,000 square meters was built by a globally known Australian firm and is of international standard. The surgery unit is well equipped to carry out all types of operations and is particularly famous for neurosurgery, minimally invasive procedures and transplants. The hospital offers round the clock service in its emergency care department and ICUs.

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Santiago, Chile’s Best Hospitals

Santiago is the capital of Chile and also the largest city of the country. Santiago is the center of finance and trade in Chile and the headquarters of many multinational companies in the country are located here. The city has many well-known shopping centers and high-rise architecture and has become one of the most modern metropolitan areas of Latin America.

Santiago has many good hospitals in both public and private sectors. Many of the leading private hospitals offer world-class health care service, which is affordable too. These hospitals are well equipped and accept all major health insurance companies.

This is a brief description of some of the major hospitals in Santiago.

Clinica Las Condes located at Lo Fontecilla 441 – Las Condes, Santiago is a reputed private hospital in Chile and Latin America that has all modern medical facilities to deliver excellent health care. The hospital founded in 1978 by a famous doctor has now achieved the prestigious Joint Commission International accreditation and has affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International for training. This 220-bedded modern hospital has well equipped specialties in every branches of medicine. The hospital’s surgery department is well known and performs most modern laparoscopic surgery for digestive endocrine tumors, breast surgery using advanced technique like mammography, stereotactic biopsy equipment, and trauma surgery. CLC has facilities in blood bank, clinical laboratory, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine and physiotherapy. The hospital has many special centers like anti smoking center, kidney stone, travel medicine, advanced center for epilepsy and spine center. Its new emergency service with separate laboratory system was built under the guidance of Johns Hopkins Hospital,US. This favorite hospital among the foreign patients offers luxurious accommodation and has agreements with all major insurance companies. Phone: (56-2 ) 210 4000

Clínica Alemana is one of the leading private hospitals in Chile and is situated at Av. Vitacura 5951 – Vitacura – Santiago. This hospital was founded by a well-reputed nonprofit foundation-“Sociedad de Beneficencia Hospital Alemán”- that has established many modern hospitals across the country. This 350-bedded hospital with 18 operating rooms offers best medical service to over 35, 000 patients annually by employing more than 700 eminent doctors and 3000 dedicated staff. This multidisciplinary healthcare facility has full-fledged departments in cardiology, ENT, neurology, pediatrics, gynecology, gastroenterology, psychology, bronchopulmonology, physical therapy and many more. Clínica Alemana has many special centers like comprehensive adolescent care unit, breast care center, center for oral and maxillofacial surgery, round the clock blood bank, radiation therapy center, maternity ward, and five well-equipped ICUs. This hospital possesses an outstanding diagnostic imaging department with service in radiology, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, mammography, MRIs, Computed Tomography and angiography. The hospital staffs some of the best surgeons in the country and its surgery department has five different kinds of operating rooms (OR) including main operating room, cardiology OR, obstetrics/ gyn OR. The hospital has well equipped emergency department with separate general emergency room and pediatric emergency room. Clínica Alemana offers comfortable accommodation in various rooms and suites including rooms for non-paying patients and provides all modern facilities. Phones: (56-2) 210 1111

Hospital San Juan De Dios situated at Huérfanos 3255, Santiago, is another major hospital in the city that offers complete and cost effective medical service. The Western Metropolitan Health Service manages this service-oriented polyclinic, founded in 1954.This is also a premier teaching hospital and has affiliation with the University of Chile. Hospital San Juan De Dios has four large buildings and staffs 332 doctors and 17 dental practitioners. The hospital has lounges and restrooms for users, well-equipped coronary care unit, new custom delivery rooms and modern Surgical ICU. The hospital has adult and children sub specialties in all major departments. The hospital has an emergency sector featuring 3 focus rooms of 19 beds, an observation room, a modern recovery room and a procedures room. Hospital San Juan De Dios has implemented AUGE system to improve care for the sick and included more than 50health problems in this like chronic renal failure, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, advanced palliative care and congenital heart diseases in children. Phone: (0)2 360 1053

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Three Good Hospitals in Baku

The Republic of Azerbaijan is one of the previous constituent republics that made up the United Soviet Socialist Republic or the USSR. The country is located in Transcaucasia, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It has Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran, as its neighbors. Azerbaijan underwent a lot of political assaults and disputes. However, as of late, it has come out of its past and is gradually developing an independent economy, by banking on its oil and gas resources. The healthcare industry is not very well developed, but it has come a long way from the past.

The country has Baku as its capital city. Baku is a top tourist spot and draws huge numbers of visitors, from all corners of the world. The medical facilities are among the best available in all of Azerbaijan. There are both public hospitals as well as privately run clinics in Baku. The public hospitals house ample beds but suffer from lack of adequate practitioners or related staff. However, for basic treatment tourists can seek the aid of these public hospitals.

The private clinics are a better option for more specialized treatment and complications. These clinics along with few international hospitals offer up to date, quality treatment to their visitors. There are separate wards for accidents and emergencies as well. The doctors are well qualified. The hospitals have labs attached that give accurate test results. The nurses are well trained and extremely caring as well. The hospitals have a sufficient number of beds. However, patients are recommended to bring their own basic toiletries as Baku clinics often fall short in that area.

Language seems to be the main concern of foreign patients of Baku hospitals. As of late it has been observed that many Baku doctor are comfortable conversing with their patients in English. It is, however, always safe to get in touch with your respective embassies, in order to obtain a list of doctors who speak your language.

The most popular hospitals and clinics among tourists visiting Baku are Western Medical, Turkish-American Medical Centre, Oil Workers Hospital, Mediclub Centre, Mediclub Paedriatic, German Medical Hospital, and Central Clinical Hospital.

MediClub Centre:

More than a traditional Hospital, the MediClub Centre can be branded as a complete medical assistance organization. Tourists can receive excellent treatment at MediClub Centre. The doctors and staff are very conversant in English, the wards are clean and there are specialized departments to treat various types of illnesses. The food served at this center is of great quality and the help lines to the clinics are open round the clock. The ambulance service is very active and will be able to provide emergency transportation easily. The doctors and nurses take proper care to ensure the satisfaction of all of their patients. All that expats need to receive care from this center is a card that allows them to access the quality services on offer by the MediClub group.

German Medical Hospital:

Set up under German authority, the German Medical hospital is one of the leading medical service providers in Baku. The staff members are well qualified and trained in the western methods of medicine. The facilities are up to date as is the equipment which is state of art. Tourists may also come across staff who possess a working knowledge of English.

Turkish-American Medical Centre:

Dating back to 1998, the Turkish-American Medical Centre is one of the most modernized medical centers that caters to tourists and residents alike. The treatment methods, labs and facilities are all at the latest standards. The staff and doctors are committed and well qualified. The hospital has departments for almost all aspects of medicine and diseases.

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Where Are the Best Hospitals in Sao Paulo, Brazil?

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and world’s 7th largest metropolitan area. This Alpha World City with many tourist hot spots is the second most populous metropolitan area in the Americas. This prominent commercial and entertainment center has a famous nickname “Sampa”.

São Paulo has a large number of well-equipped hospitals that offer health care service of international standard. Its private health care sector is very large with many world-class hospitals and most of the major hospitals in the nation are situated in São Paulo. All these leading hospitals in São Paulo offer service of English speaking staff.

Here is a short description of some of the leading hospitals in São Paulo.

The Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz (Oswaldo Cruz German Hospital) situated at RuaJoaoJuliao,331-Paraiso CEP 01323-903- Sao Paulo is a prominent hospital in Brazil with international reputation. This 239-bedded hospital was founded in 1897 by a group of German immigrants. This Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospital has also achieved TEMOS, Telemedicine for the Mobile Society, certification. This famous German agency has given top marks to Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz for providing best health care service to Europeans visiting Brazil. By conducting many highly complex surgeries, the hospital has attained the highest-level certification from Brazilian Accreditation Organization (ONA) also. The hospital has 239 beds, 13 ICU beds, 13-operation theaters with4 laminate flow system, sterilized materials store, equipment room, a best equipped emergency room and 15 PRA (Post Anesthesia Recovery) beds. The hospital offers excellent clinical, diagnostic and surgical service in different departments including cardiology, imaging diagnosis, endoscopy, memory stimulation, metabolic surgery, nephrology and dialysis, orthopedics, diabetes treatment, Physical therapy, hematology, oncology, human reproduction and transplants. The center offers warm accommodation in a friendly and caring environment. Telephone: 55 11 3549-0093

Hospital Sirio Libanes located at Rua Dona Adma Jafet, 91Bela Vista – São Paulo – S.P.CEP: 01308-060 is one of the most popular, modern hospitals in Brazil and Latin America. This 300-bedded premier health center, established in 1965 has 4,500 employees, performs 50 surgical procedures daily and conducts 2,000 types of various diagnostic examinations. The hospital has achieved international reputation by offering high quality health care service in more than 40 medical specialties and possessing all latest advances in medical technology. They offer medical service of global standard in their various centers of excellence, which include oncology center, cardiology center, diagnostic center, substitute renal therapy, rehabilitation center, urology, gynecology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, magnetic resonance, and memory diagnostic center and their oncology center is particularly acclaimed. The hospital provides fine accommodation in comfortable apartments/suites with an anteroom, cable TV, internet connection, a mini bar, telephone and background music. The hospital started well-equipped and round the clock emergency service with special area for children in 1992 and has modern ICUs with 22 beds for adult patients. This service oriented hospital well known for its patient focused approach is also the most reputed medical education and research institution of the country and has established the famous IEP – Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa (Teaching and Research Institute).This hospital, a member of Brazilian Healthcare Products and Services, attracts large number of patients from abroad especially from Europe and the United States, accepts many international health plans and has an excellent International relations area with English speaking staff. Phone.: 55 11 3155-0900

Samaritano Hospital São Paulo is another major hospital in Brazil with wide reputation. This is one of the oldest hospitals in the city that came in to existence in 1890. The hospital founded by a group of American, of British and German immigrants had a modest start and then grew considerably to become a JCI accredited, modern health care center of international standard. This 200-bedded hospital offers complete and effective medical and surgical service in various departments like cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, orthopedics, gynecology, neonatology, oncology, urology and emergency procedures. More than 1100 physicians and surgeons are practicing here and the hospital’s surgery section has achieved wide recognition for carrying out high complex surgeries and video-assisted surgeries. Samaritano Hospital is a popular center for epileptic surgery, plastic surgery and cochlear implants. This hospital well known for its advanced technology and best personal care has special facilities for international patients. The hospital offers excellent accommodation in large private rooms with comfortable bathrooms, phone, internet, automatic safe box and cable TV. The customer care section assures best service in hotel booking, bus and air ticketing, translation, foreign exchange, laundry, valet parking etc. Cafeteria and restaurant with various delicious dishes are also provided in the premise. Phone: (+55) 11-3821-5300

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Yoga and Meditation: How It Reduces the Hospital Visits and Changes Your Mind and Body

The yoga and meditation reduces stress and risk for various diseases, improved well-being and a rewired brain. But there are a few experiments to support these claims. A study published in Biological Psychiatry shows that a mindfulness meditation can change the brains of ordinary people and potentially improve their health. The yoga and meditation can curb the need for common healthcare services by almost 50% according to researchers. A regular practice of both you can limit your healthcare costs to yoga classes, healthy food and an occasional homeopathic.

A study reveals that evoking the physiologic state of deep rest or the relaxation response can help alleviate stress and anxiety and also affect the heart rate and blood pressure (BP). This study also finds that programs that train patients to elicit the relaxation response can also dramatically reduce health care utilization. These types of programs can improve wellbeing and could ease the burden on our health delivery systems at minimal cost and at no real risk. This study is done by the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) the Institute for Technology Assessment and Benson-Henry Institute (BHI).

A mindfulness meditation demands ”an open and receptive, nonjudgmental awareness of your present-moment experience,” says J. David Creswell, who is an associate professor of psychology and director at Carnegie Mellon University.

In some studies, some participants receive treatment while others get a placebo. The people are getting different treatment while they are think that they getting same treatment. For many years yoga and meditation have been used as an everyday way of life to improve good health and wellness. The both used for thousands of years in the East and increasingly popular in the Western world. The people want to be healthy but they are not aware or educated about how they can change their lifestyle to be healthy. Yoga, prayer and meditation make you health conscious.

In a study, first recruited Thirty Five unemployed people who were looking for work and experiencing considerable stress. The brain scans were given and blood drawn was given. Half of the people were taught formal mindfulness meditation and half were taught a sham mindfulness meditation that was focused on relaxation and distracting from stress. The first group paid close attention to bodily sensations and second group was ignore their bodies and encouraged to chatter cracking jokes.

After three days the brain scans showed differences in only mindfulness meditation group. All participants told to the researchers that they feel refreshed and better able to withstand stress. After 4 months first group showed much lower levels of unhealthy inflammation of blood than the second group. The yoga and meditation offers an opportunity to connect within. It can improve our health care system and also improve the quality of our lives. Here it is unclear that how much mindfulness is needed to improve health and have no idea about the ideal time.

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Benefits of Installing Hospital Wayfinding

One of the most neglected projects at the hospital is installing hospital wayfinding signs. These signs lead you to the right direction whether you are outside or inside the hospital. For outside wayfinding, you will usually see signs such as ‘hospital ahead’ or ‘ambulance parking’. These signs tell you where to go and where not to go, in case of ‘ambulance parking’ since you do not want to go to the parking area for ambulance and be in their way.

If you are a staff at your local hospital and you think it needs an efficient wayfinding system, you should consider purchasing these signs from professional shops that sell signage for hospitals and other facilities. You can either buy painted signage or digital signs that light up or blink at night. Make sure that you put these wayfindings on locations that can be easily seen by patients and visitors.

Installing wayfinding at the hospital provides a lot of benefits. Some of the main benefits are listed in the paragraphs below.

• The most important benefit of installing wayfinding at the hospital is the reduction of stress and frustration among the patients and visitors. Most people are not familiar with the layout of the hospital even if it is their local hospital, unless of course they work there or is staying there for an indefinite period of time. People who go to the hospital, whether they are patients or visitors, usually feel stressed out not only because of their or their loved one’s illness but also because of the difficulty of finding the right direction, even if this is only subconscious. This can be solved by having an efficient wayfinding system inside and outside the hospital.

• Another important benefit of installing hospital wayfinding is safety to the visitors and patients. If a visitor is pregnant, she is not allowed near an x-ray room which is in use because she will be exposed to x-ray radiation. Pregnant women can be prevented to go near the x-ray room if there is a sign that says ‘caution: x-ray radiation’.

• Wayfinding system makes the rooms more accessible to the visitors. Visitors can easily go to the restrooms, cafeteria, and nurses’ station in case they want to relieve themselves, eat, or have questions about their loved ones’ condition. This makes it easy for the visitors to go about the hospital on their own without getting lost in a maze of rooms and busy people.

• A good wayfinding system also shows that the hospital is organized. Organized hospitals have a more positive impact to their patients and visitors than hospitals that are disorderly. People will feel more comfortable staying in organized hospitals. If they have a good experience during their stay in the hospital, they will surely choose the same hospital in case they need medical attention and might even refer the hospital to their friends and loved ones.

These are some of the benefits of installing an efficient hospital wayfinding system. You should suggest this to your hospital administrators the next time you have a meeting.

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Hospital Digital Signage Systems

There are businesses that will get the most out of digital signage systems, while there are some that won’t find its advantages very beneficial. In my previous articles, I have discussed the businesses that will find the use of digital signage very beneficial. In order to give you a better idea, we will be discussing more about the use of such system in hospitals. Reading this article will save you from all the problems that you may encounter and will ensure that you will always get the best results from it.

Hospitals are some of the establishments that use a lot of posters and information boards to inform their patients with the latest updates and news regarding the services that they are offering. The problem with it is that they need to print posters regularly, and their information board will be filled with outdated information, which is not impossible for a person to see. However, if you are going to use a digital signage, you can easily avoid this problem and you don’t have to worry about anything when it comes to passing the information that you need.

Aside from being saved from the task of printing thousands of posters every year, you will also be saved from the problem of ruining the cleanliness of your establishment. Since you can easily edit all the information that you want to show your patients, you don’t have to worry about dealing with trash and “marks” on the walls of your hospital. This will help you be more productive and will reduce the time that is required to clean your establishment.

Getting someone who can work on the content that you want to display will also be very beneficial for you. All you have to do is to look for someone who has the skills that is required to maintain your digital signage system, and they will already be taking care of everything that you need for your business. All you have to do is to tell them about the things that you want them to display, and you will already be able to get the most out of your board.

Aside from this, you also need to make sure that you are going to work with a company that has the ability to give you the best signage for your business. There are things that you need to consider in order to get the best boards for your business, but with the help of a reliable company, it will be easy for you to choose the best for your hospital. You can also search the Internet to find the one that can provide you with the services that you need, and to see whether you are already looking at a reliable digital signage company or not.

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Hospital and Medical Tourism in Singapore

Singapore is the next big mantra in the ever evolving landscape of the global medical tourism industry. Singapore is no longer just the leisure or business destination it used to be till a few decades ago. With a population of about 5 million, a strong workforce of skilled doctors and some of the best state-of-the-art hospitals in Asia, Singapore is fast positioning itself as a global medical tourism hub. Approximately 250,000 overseas patients visit Singapore per year and the hospitals are aiming to increase the numbers manifold. The plan is to serve over 2 million international patients annually and generate USD 5 billion in revenue.

Medical tourism can be broadly defined as the service of providing cost effective private medical care packages in collaboration with the tourism industry for international patients requiring surgical and other forms of specialized intervention. Typically this kind of medical care is not available in the patient’s home country or is priced too high. Singapore’s healthcare services are built on a foundation of world class quality, hygiene, safety and trustworthiness. This is coupled with advanced research facilities and international accreditation. The medical sector gets sustained support from the government agencies and this helps make Singapore one of Asia’s leading medical hubs. Over the last few years eleven hospitals and medical centres in Singapore have obtained Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation. Quite a few of them are ISO-9001-2000 certified too.

Patients visiting Singapore mostly originate from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Burma. However, in the last decade the patient numbers from India, China, the Middle East and Africa have been witnessing an accelerated growth. Many patients from developed countries such as United States and Europe have been choosing Singapore as their preferred medical travel destination for its relatively affordable quality and yet hassle free healthcare services in a clean cosmopolitan atmosphere. Singapore has been making news for many complex and innovative procedures such as the separation of a pair of conjoined twins and the case of a, ‘tooth in eye surgery’ a few years back. The successful separation of the 10 month old Nepalese conjoined twins in 2001 put Singapore’s medical acumen onto the world’s newspaper front pages. Singapore has since accomplished many more milestones both in Asia and in the world stage.

In the year 2006 many Singapore Hospitals initiated the process of getting accredited themselves through the Joint Commission International (JCI), a US-based organization. This could be a reason why in 2006 JCI thought it would be prudent to set up its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Soon Singapore hospitals may starting looking towards other American or European or Asian-based systems of hospital accreditation in an attempt to enhance their brand equity.

Some top Singapore based hospitals are as follows:-

1) Changi General Hospital:

This medical care provider is one of the largest hospitals in Singapore. Its present infrastructure at Simei was established in the year 1998. It was formed as a result of coming together of two well known hospital brands, the Toa Payoh hospital and the Changi hospital. The hospital can therefore trace its roots back to year 1957, when the Thomson Road Hospital had started its construction.

2) Alexandra Hospital:

This founded operations in the year 1938, this hospital served as one of the primary hospitals for the British Empire in the far east and was known as the British Military Hospital. After the World War II ended and even till the early 1970s, Alexandra went onto remain as one of the most modern and well maintained hospitals in Singapore.

3) National University Hospital:

The NUH is a hospital in Singapore that lies in the vicinity of the medical faculty of National University of Singapore at Kent Ridge. Besides being a professional teaching hospital for the university, it also acts as a well equipped research centre. This hospital specializes in Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Ophthalmology among other specialties.

4) eMenders Singapore:

eMenders is a group of Singapore-based doctors, medical practitioners and surgeons representing more than 25 different branches of medicine and dentistry

5) National Cancer Centre Singapore:

The National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) is a regional and national centre focused at the prevention, management and treatment of different cancers including those involving the skin, lung, breast, stomach, uterus, liver, pancreas, lymphomas and head and neck cancers.

6) Raffles hospital:

Raffles Hospital is a leading medical group and one of the largest private group practice in Singapore operating a network of over 78 multidisciplinary clinics across Singapore. Raffles Hospital is JCI accredited.

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Importance of Communication in Hospitals

Interaction with the front desk staff generally forms the patient’s first impression of a hospital. Lack of communication is also often the root cause of a majority of incidents that occur in a hospital. In today’s customer focused healthcare scenario, communication plays a massive role in a hospital. Sadly, it is also one of the most common and overlooked problem areas in a majority of the hospitals.

Communication can be a very effective tool for improving patient satisfaction in a hospital. Hospital feedback forms often reflect issues where improper or inadequate communication is the root cause. Long discharge time is a common cause for patient dissatisfaction in most of the hospitals, however, a major cause for disconcert could be that the patient/patient relative were not explained at the onset about the discharge process and the time taken for it and hence expects a discharge the minute the doctor orders it. Similarly, if patients are informed beforehand of the expected time delay and reasons for delay in an OPD, they are less likely to complain about the waiting time and the services at the hospital. Patient Safety is another area which relies to a great extent on communication. Improving effective communication is also one of the patient safety goals. Even a minor mistake during handover between shifts can effect patient safety. Similarly, critical test values need to be communicated instantly to the concerned consultant and in case of a code blue, alerting the code blue team or the concerned personnel is indispensable. In a healthcare set up where a critical test result or a change in the patient condition can be a matter of life and death the importance of communication cannot be emphasized enough.

Some strategies for effective communication in hospitals:

• Soft skill training should be given to staff for better patient handling. Rude staff and inadequate information and attention by staff are frequent complains of patients at the registration and enquiry desk during the peak hours of patient flow.

• The hospital should plan and prepare for communication strategies in situations where enhanced communication is required and train their staff for the same, for e.g. sudden death of a patient, violent patient relatives etc.

It is also important that the patient relatives are periodically updated about the condition of the patient.

• Senior clinical and management staff should always encourage an open channel of communication with staff down the line. There have been incidences in hospitals where patient care was compromised because the nurses were apprehensive to contact the doctor. A good communication culture in the organization also improves employee satisfaction as it improves transparency and increases accountability.

• Good intra and inter departmental flow of information is essential to improve the efficiency of hospital services. Quality indicator trends, audit results and patient feedback results should be communicated down the line to the concerned staff down the line, without which the activity is useless.

External and internal communication play a major role in a hospital set up where timeliness, adequacy, accuracy, completeness of information could play a vital role in avoiding errors and saving a life. At the end of the day, however good the clinical care given it will be useless if it is not communicated appropriately to the patient.

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