• Reorganised workflow reduces waiting time for blood transfusion to just half an hour
  • Patients requiring blood transfusion will proceed straight to the ambulatory chemotherapy centre instead of waiting for admission
  • Winning poster in the Service Quality category in the Singapore Healthcare Management 2014

Blood transfusion, a relatively common procedure, used to be a long-drawn process for chemotherapy patients at the Women’s Day Therapy Centre in KKH.

Traditionally, patients who needed both chemotherapy and blood transfusion after their blood count review would first be admitted to the inpatient ward before they can receive both treatments.

This entire process would take up to five hours.  Patients either had to wait to be admitted, or for the chemotherapy drug to arrive from the pharmacy.  There is also a strain on trained staff for certain tasks like setting the intravenous plug for chemotherapy.

Consequently, patients were unable to receive their scheduled treatment on time.  They often had to spend an extra day in the ward, increasing the cost and duration of stay.

To address this issue, Nurse Clinician Ms Chong Lai Foong and Senior Nurse Manager Ms Ding Na decided to reorganise the workflow.

Their effort significantly reduced the waiting time to just half an hour.

“This group of patients is usually unwell due to the numerous side effects caused by the drugs used to treat cancer.  Spending unnecessary time waiting can be very exhausting,” said Ms Chong.

“This new workflow ensures that patients requiring blood transfusion will proceed straight to the ambulatory chemotherapy centre instead of waiting for admission to the inpatient ward,” she explained.

While receiving chemotherapy, both blood transfusion and inpatient bed will be arranged.  After completion of chemotherapy, the patient will be sent to the pre-designated ward for blood transfusion.

The new workflow now sees almost 1,080 inpatient hours being saved per year.

Bed utilisation has increased, and patient and staff satisfaction also improved as a result.

“There is strong collaboration and excellent coordination among staff from the various departments. We have a common aim to deliver patient-centered services,” added Ms Chong.

“Though waiting time has been a longstanding issue for decades in the healthcare setting, we as healthcare providers have the responsibility to provide seamless delivery of care and a positive treatment experience for our patients.”

To Reduce the Waiting Time for Chemotherapy Patient Receiving Blood Transfusion was a winning poster in the Service Quality category at the 2014 Singapore Healthcare Management.

The Singapore Healthcare Management is the premier congress for healthcare administrators, with thought leaders from the areas of healthcare management, supply chain management and enterprise risk management sharing their insights and best practices.