Doha, 24 October 2021: Evidence shows longer wait times can not only affect patient care and patients’ willingness to seek health-care services but also their experience and satisfaction. Through a collaborative approach delivered by clinical and administrative teams at Hamad Medical Corporation’s Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI), wait times for a range of outpatient clinics have been significantly reduced at the specialist rehabilitation facility.
Since January 2020, wait times have fallen at the QRI’s Pediatric Speech Therapy Clinic, Neuro and Geriatric Physical Therapy Clinic, Pediatric Rehab Feeding and Swallowing Clinic, as well as the Prosthetic Unit, giving patients faster access to the specialist rehabilitation services they require.
Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad, Medical Director of the QRI and Rumailah Hospital, explained the importance of reducing wait times to improve patient care and experience. “Since the opening of the QRI in 2016, we have seen an increasing number of patients year on year. Our dedicated therapy teams provide a wide range of specialist rehabilitation services within our state-of-the-art facility. Ensuring patients are seen quickly, without delay, is crucial to ensuring good patient outcomes. By addressing the needs of our patients early on, our therapy teams are able to begin treating their conditions early, before they develop into more complex conditions.”
Between January 2020 and July 2021, outpatient wait times have fallen by 76 percent at the Pediatric Speech Therapy Clinic; 75 percent at the Neuro and Geriatric Physical Therapy; 65 percent at the Pediatric Rehab Feeding and Swallowing Clinic; and 39 percent at the Prosthetic Unit.
“These impressive reductions in wait times have been achieved through a collaborative and integrated approach from clinical and administrative teams across QRI. By working together as one joined-up service, we have been able to significantly improve access to care for many thousands of patients,” explained Dr. Al Hamad.
“A number of key interventions have been crucial in reducing wait times, including working with our patients to decrease the number of missed booked appointments, thereby maximizing appointment utilization; increasing the number of new patients on therapists’ schedules; improving the flow process for patients from initial assessment through to treatment intervention and follow up; and establishing effective and convenient virtual clinics for eligible patients,” stated Dr. Al Hamad.
Ms. Eman Yousef Al-Mulla, Chief of the Speech Therapy Department at HMC, explained the importance of timely treatment for children with speech developmental impairments: “If a child has a speech impediment they are less likely to be able to communicate well with others and this can affect their overall development, including self-esteem and independence. The earlier we can assess a child and tailor the treatment to their needs, the better their chance of improvement and recovery. Therefore this initiative has been excellent for the children and their families who seek our help.”