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Teething troubles in RAK Hospital's 'smart' system upgrade causes delays for patients

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

RAS AL KHAIMAH // Delays in patient treatment at RAK Hospital have been blamed on a new “smart” system designed to increase efficiency at the private clinic.A switch in online systems for medical records and diagnostics created chaos on some days, with patients claiming to be left waiting for hours longer than usual at the Al Qusaidat facility.The database transition went live on March 1, and the hospital has reassured patients operations would be running smoothly again as quickly as possible.One patient said he arrived for an appointment on the first day after the hospital had switched to the new computer system, and faced confusion among staff.”There were clearly a lot of patients waiting around and, when I got to see the doctor, he said it had been chaos,” he said.”The doctor was unable to access my patient records and was unable to write a prescription on-screen.”When the nurse took my weight, height and blood pressure, there was an IT guy in the room and a posse of nurses crowded around the computer with him because they all needed to see how the new system worked.”Another patient said the changes placed extra strain on staff.”The nurses said they had not been trained [on the new system] and they were clearly stressed with the situation and increasingly irate patients who had been waiting for a long time,” he said.”For something that should have taken me less than an hour, I was there for two hours without even getting everything completed. I’ve heard of others who have been held up for more than three hours with small children.”I couldn’t believe it when I heard that, a week on from the computer system switch, the same problems were occurring, with patients waiting hours.” Established in 2007, RAK Hospital is a flagship brand of Arabian Healthcare, a joint venture company between the government of Ras Al Khaimah and ETA Star Healthcare of Dubai.The hospital is managed by Sonnenhof Swiss Health, a Switzerland-based healthcare company.Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director of RAK Hospital, said the changes were intended to bring “increased efficiency” and “higher throughput”.”The new smart system is aimed at providing superior delivery and automation in health care, which will eventually benefit the patients,” he said. “Complete transition of a system takes some time and, as such, may have inadvertently caused slight inconvenience to our patients initially. “We have, however, been trying to keep the teething issues to a bare minimum during the transition phase, and at no point in time has treatment been delayed or records not been accessible.”For this reason, we are working on two parallel systems and as we systematically shift our database to the new system, the issues faced by our patients will automatically iron out as well.”

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