Mr. Nasser Al Naimi: we are preparing to launch evening clinics in the coming period.
Doha 25 February 2023: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has announced a set of system changes to enhance the outpatient appointment booking process and improve access to care for patients.
The changes include implementing a new appointment booking system and establishing new referral management sections in each of HMC hospitals under the control of appointment management teams in coordination with the individual outpatient department management teams. Highly experienced staff have been selected to work in these sections. This means that hospitals have more control of booking appointments for their patients and helps to avoid unnecessary delays. This plan also empowers clinical team and facilities with referral and booking management resources.
Mr. Nasser Al Naimi, Deputy Chief of Quality for Center for Patient Experience and Staff Engagement and Director of Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute explained that this project was launched in March 2022 with the support of Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, and it included a comprehensive review of the end-to-end booking process to identify and resolve issues with respect to referral, e-triage, in-calling, and appointment booking processes.
“These changes are being made in stages, with the first stage covering seven HMC hospitals, Ambulatory Care Center, Hamad General Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital, Al Khor Hospital, Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, National Center for Cancer Care and Research, Women's Wellness and Research Center, as well as the Bone and Joint Center and Hamad Dental Center. The project will be carried out in the remaining hospitals this year as we successfully continue to make significant changes to improve patient care,” said Mr. Al Naimi.
Speaking about the positive impacts following the launch of the new referral booking management system, Mr. Nasser Al Naimi stated that through this system, the OPD appointment waiting list issues for Qatari patients is no longer existing in any of the mentioned facilities.
“We achieved an unprecedent rate in wait times elimination at ACC OPD as Qatari patients are now able to book their appointment on the same day of receiving their referrals. The project was launched in March 2022 and the wait times lists included 10000 patients awaiting OPD bookings.”.
Al Naimi stated that another initiative will soon benefit patients and ensure faster access to care is the upcoming launch of evening clinics at the Ambulatory Care Center for the following specialties: Ophthalmology, Ear, Nose and Throat, Urology and Audiology.
“Once we launch the evening clinics, we will add this service to the Nesma’ak 16060 hotline and helpline services to facilitate the management of patient appointments.”
“ The 16060 Nesma’ak Customer Service helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients can call the 16060 Nesma’ak helpline and then select the appointment hotline service to manage their upcoming appointments at HMC facilities whether they want to change or cancel it. In 2022, the Nesma’ak teams received more than 971,000 calls from patients with enquiries related to their appointments, with around 25% of patients failing to attend their appointments,” said Mr. Al Naimi.
“These changes are already starting to lead to early improvements in wait times and clinic utilization across HMC and as time goes on and the full range of initiatives are implemented, we expect to see further improvements for our patients. We encourage patients to contact the 16060 Nesma’ak helpline and then select the hotline services if they have any appointment related queries, especially if the patient wishes to postpone or cancel the appointment, which gives the opportunity for other patients to benefit from the appointments, and we will do our best to accommodate their request,” added Mr. Al Naimi.
For more information about Nesma’ak, and other services go to www.hamad.qa