Dr. Hon. Christopher Tufton officially launched the Ministry of Health’s Reduction in Waiting Time Project at the Bustamante Hospital for Children on December 15, 2016. The project, which was introduced in April, was rolled out in six other hospitals across the island at a cost of approximately $350 million. The hospitals include the Mandeville Regional, May Pen, Kingston Public, Cornwall Regional, Spanish Town and St Ann’s Bay hospitals.
During launch Dr. Tufton said the customer service experience was enhanced at the Bustamante Hospital for Children as part of the qualitative improvement of the administration of care in the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department.
“By doing so we have added more windows for registrations; created a registration process that is immediate even before you get to the triage, which is the doctor or nurse which assess the state of the individual and then directs you to your most appropriate place,” He explained, noting that additional personnel have been added to the triage process.
He further noted that the patient’s experience must be shortened as best as possible in the initial assessment of their current state, so that they can be directed to where they can be dealt with appropriately.
“There has been a marked improvement in that process and anecdotally we have tested that by just dialoguing with the patients who come in and the way the system is structured where they see someone as they enter as opposed to sitting down waiting and wondering when they are going to see someone,” he said. “The process of registering allows them to get immediate attention.”
The project has also seen the extension of opening hours of selected health centres to support the hospitals in terms of treating non-urgent cases referred from the hospitals.
“We have added four more opening hours to the clinics and so in triaging the doctors or the nurses who are involved in that process [in the hospital] have a wider window to redirect non-essential cases to the clinics and therefore free up space and time to focus on what are truly emergency cases,” he said adding that the results since the implementation of the project has shown an increase in the throughput in the health centres.