With close to 15 years of experience, Dr Soong Poh Luon, who manages a myriad of complex face, mouth and jaw surgery cases in the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Department at the National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS), has led several initiatives that have benefited both patients and his colleagues.

During his term as Head of the Dental Officers Advanced Practice Programme, Dr Soong created a “Central Common Pool” to ensure that patients without appointments are still attended to in a timely manner.

Previously, patients who walked in to any level in NDCS usually had to wait until a dental officer from that level became available to see them. By creating a “Central Common Pool”, all walk-in patients are triaged and seen by the next available Dental Officer at any clinical level within the Centre. This has significantly reduced the waiting time for walk-in patients.

“Many ideas for improvement stem from my desire to make processes better for patients and staff alike. I am always on the lookout to see how the system can be improved in a sustainable manner to enhance our patients’ experience,” shared Dr Soong.

Despite having a heavy clinical load, Dr Soong always puts patients first and never hesitates to go the extra mile for them.

When he sees that a patient might have difficulty getting to the SGH pharmacy to pick up their medication before it closes, he makes the trip there himself to collect the medicine on their behalf. This saves patients a trip back to the hospital or to a private pharmacy to purchase their medication.

He also coordinates his appointment slots with other clinicians in NDCS whenever possible, even when he is not rostered to be in the clinic, just for his patients’ convenience.

Outside of NDCS, Dr Soong volunteers his time and expertise in humanitarian mission trips to countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Cambodia. Such trips open his eyes to how things are elsewhere in the world, and serve to keep him grounded.

“I have a collection of cards and mementos from patients and colleagues over the years which are pinned on a board in my operatory. It is a source of affirmation and warms my heart to see that what I have done is appreciated, and that motivates me to deliver even better care for my patients,” said Dr Soong.

Dr Soong Poh Luon
Senior Consultant
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
National Dental Centre Singapore

Recipient of the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) 2020 Superstar Award - Clinician Category