Today, we put the focus on a primary care doctor practicing in Punggol – to get a feel of what it’s like running a GP clinic in a residential neighbourhood in Singapore.
Dr. Paul Ang belongs to a new generation of young doctors establishing themselves as the community’s trusted general practitioners (GPs), providing primary care to the residents in Punggol.
As a millennial, Dr. Ang is tech savvy and fully cognizant of the importance of harnessing technology to reap improvements to traditional work processes.
Having spent the past three and a half years practicing at Zenith, the Gen-Y doctor’s greatest frustration is with the typical fluctuations of patient volumes at GP clinics.
As most practitioners or patients would have observed, a typical primary care clinic can be really crowded at times eg. on Saturdays and Mondays, and at different times of the day.
With many traditional first-come-first-serve basis, the staff has to cope with long lines of patients vying for an earlier time slot, with tempers occasionally flaring up.
This puts a huge load on the typically small staff in private clinics during peak hours, with patients having to wait hours before they get to see the GP.
Dr. Ang’s main concern is that the intense stress that is placed on the stretched staff and GPs can result in a potential for errors in medical care, either because of the rush for time or because the staff or doctor are simply too tired.
This is something which Dr. Ang and his fellow doctors strongly feel should not be allowed to happen.
As a solution to address the problem, Dr. Ang has implemented an appointment system based on the MaNaDr healthcare app which is available free on the Apple and Google app stores.
Patients who are planning to visit Zenith for consultation can fire up the MaNaDr app on their smartphones and pick from one of the available slots listed for their trusted doctors.
They then turn up slightly before their chosen time and get to see their doctor without having to wait for hours.
For Dr. Ang, this gives GPs the control over how many patients they want to see, to ensure they have enough time to provide quality healthcare to every patient.
For their patients, it means that they do not need to wait for hours in discomfort before getting to see their GP, risking exposure to germs from fellow waiting patients while queueing.
Instead, they can rest in the comfort and safety of their homes and proceed to the clinic only when their appointed time slot is due – fully expecting to see the doctor at the appointed time – barring emergency cases.
Since implementing the system a month ago, Dr. Ang has seen the crowds become more manageable.
The doctors and staff are also better able to regulate the flow of patients at all times, unless there is an emergency case – in which case priority would naturally be accorded to it.
He is excited that the app has successfully leveraged technology to solve pressing problems that GPs face on the ground.