Get hospital queue number from home
Mobile registration service set to be rolled out at more SingHealth institutions
A mobile registration service aimed at reducing the time spent waiting in line at outpatient clinics is set to be rolled out to more SingHealth institutions.
The service, which is part of SingHealth's Health Buddy mobile application, allows patients to register for their consultations using their mobile devices. They then receive real-time updates on their queue status and can plan to arrive at the clinic just before their queue number is called.
The service had been piloted at the Singapore General Hospital's (SGH) Musculoskeletal Centre and Clinic 5A at the National Heart Centre Singapore since last October, and at SGH's Diabetes and Metabolism Centre from this February.
SingHealth now aims to introduce it in KK Women's and Children's Hospital and clinics in the National Cancer Centre by the end of this year to get more people to use the service.
"There is this high level of uncertainty and anxiety (among patients)," said Ms Lee Chen Ee, director of the SingHealth Office for Service Transformation.
She cited how some patients even avoided going to the restroom out of fear that they might be skipped over in the queue.
"Patients can now register with the mobile registration function from home and have a leisurely breakfast, read newspapers, knowing they have already registered," she added.
SingHealth hopes that by October, at least 20 per cent of the 7,000 to 8,000 patients at the three pilot clinics will be using the service.
Currently, the take-up rate is only about 5 per cent.
The service was started in response to demand from patients, with 75 per cent indicating in a 2015 SingHealth survey that they wanted a mobile registration service for clinics.
Patients are reminded via SMS to register remotely on the day of their appointment before being issued a queue number.
Mr Sabir Ahamed, 49, said that the application gives him greater flexibility to plan his time before consultations.
He has been going to the National Heart Centre around five times a month for rehabilitation after he had heart bypass surgery more than a year ago.
"Now I don't have to keep looking at the TV screen for my queue number."
Plans are also underway to introduce similar services to reduce waiting times at SingHealth polyclinics.