THERE seems to be poor coordination between the different units at a specialist heart hospital where I am an outpatient. This is causing inconvenience and confusion to me and other patients as well, I would think.
I went for an appointment on May 31. When the session was over, the doctor scheduled my next appointment at a date that was about four months later. The administrative staff keyed the relevant information into the computer system and confirmed the next appointment date, which was Sept 6.
After this, I went to the pharmacy where I was handed a three-month supply of the medicines I needed. I was expecting to get a four-month supply since I would only be back at the hospital in four month’s time for my next appointment. However, the computer system could not dispense beyond three months!
So, for June, July and August, I was given 90 tablets, which I have to take daily. On the calendar, this works out to 92 days. To cover for the two-day gap, I may have to skip the medicines, which is not advisable for illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.
Moreover, the medicines are not over-the-counter drugs that can be bought at a pharmacy. I need a doctor’s prescription to get them. This means I would have to go to the hospital to collect the balance of medicines that I need for six days from Sept 1 to Sept 6. This can be an expensive affair for outstation patients.
I strongly feel that the systems should be flexible and allow human discretion to make amendments to the dispensing schedule to avoid inconveniencing patients.
Hospitals should also dispense medicines according to the number of days in the month. In my case, I should have been given medicine for 98 days so that I do not need to skip doses or make an extra trip to the hospital to collect the balance that I require.
Doctors always write out prescriptions using the day/week formats, which is accurate. Unfortunately, the computer systems do not tally with this standard operating procedure.