Outpatient department to have electronic queue control system
I am writing in response to the letter by Anthony R. C. Green ('Long waits at specialist clinics show need for a more efficient system', February 27).
I wish to outline the improvement measure we are implementing in our queuing system in the Specialist Out-Patient Department (SOPD).
I agree with Mr Green that the existing queuing system in our department needs to be improved.
In particular, we will soon implement an electronic queue management system in the department.
Upon registration, the patient will be assigned with a queuing number, an estimated queuing time and the location of the consultation room.
Queuing information will also be displayed on a number of large monitors in the waiting hall.
The system will increase the transparency of queuing information and also decrease the occupancy of waiting halls at peak times.
The same system will first be implemented in our Aberdeen General Out-Patient Clinic in June, and the Accident and Emergency Department and SOPD of Queen Mary Hospital will follow later this year. The standard queuing time for outpatient consultation in our SOPD used to be less than 60 minutes.
I am aware that patients might at times need to wait longer when the respective doctors are engaged in unexpected patient care work in wards, emergency operations or resuscitation.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr Green for his patience, tolerance and invaluable suggestions.
Manpower shortages and heavy workloads of medical staff is a generic issue in most public hospitals, and the Hospital Authority is now critically reviewing how to improve the situation.
Like Mr Green, I treasure the devotion of our doctors and nurses, and it is certainly my duty to enhance their working environment to facilitate them to take good care of our patients.
This will be one of the top priorities for QMH and Hong Kong West hospital cluster in the financial year 2011-12.
Dr C. C. Luk, cluster chief executive, Hong Kong West Cluster