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Apr 18

Patient waiting time at HGH Emergency Department improves significantly – The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: The Emergency Department at Hamad General Hospital has improved the average waiting time for patients to be seen by a doctor, according to a senior official.

Prof. Aftab Mohammad Umar, Chair of Emergency Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) speaking to The Peninsula yesterday, said efforts made to improve the level of care provided to patients at the Emergency Department have contributed to reducing the median waiting time for patients to be seen by a doctor to between 15 to 25 minutes from arrival.

The time is considered very good compared to emergency departments in the region, according to Prof. Aftab.

We have implemented new changes in operations and in the flow of patients, said Prof. Aftab, explaining about the reasons for the improvement in waiting time.

The Emergency Department at Hamad General Hospital treated more than 1,700 cases during the first three days of Eid Al Fitr holidays.

About 50% of the cases were with minor problems and the most common complaints were related to gastrointestinal system.

Prof. Aftab explained that HMC follows the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) which allows prioritising patients based on their medical condition.

Critical cases receive immediate attention upon arrival at the Emergency Department, they have zero waiting time, he said.

Low priority cases will be seen by a doctor at an average of 15 to 20 minutes, said Prof. Aftab, adding that the waiting time is subject to change depending on the condition and number of patients visiting the Emergency Department at a given time.

According to Prof. Aftab, almost 50% of the cases at the Emergency Department present with conditions which are at low acuity. CTAS is considered the most predominantly accepted method for grouping patients according to the severity of their condition. Patient acuity refers to the severity of an illness or medical condition. It is often used to designate which patients should be seen first. A high-acuity patient is one who is severely ill and should receive care before others.

Prof. Aftab also noted that all emergency departments across HMC operate around the clock, seven days a week, with a medical team consisting of consultant physicians and specialists. They are scheduled according to patient volumes throughout the day.

We have medical teams ready around the clock to handle all cases, he said. The Ambulance Service, trauma and emergency departments across HMC hospitals and paediatric emergency centres provide care to patients with the most critical, life-threatening conditions.

Some 11 Urgent Care Units operated by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) provide urgent care services to patients with urgent but non-life-threatening conditions. Among the units, five offer services to adults and paediatrics. HMC and PHCC also operate Urgent Consultation Service helplines.

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Patient waiting time at HGH Emergency Department improves significantly - The Peninsula

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