Long waiting times patients' biggest concern
Long waiting times for outpatient services is the top item patients want leading medical facilities to improve, according to a survey on patients' comments about public hospitals in Shanghai.
Over 20,000 people who have received outpatient care participated in the survey.
To improve health services, hospital officials said they have introduced measures to tackle the biggest problems, such as long waiting times, hygiene and safety of toilets and outpatient reservation services.
The reservation rate for patients using outpatient services was 60.5 percent last year, 27 percent higher than 2019. About 35.8 percent of patients waited for less than one hour, an increase of 3 percentage points, while those having to wait for three hours or more was 12.25 percent, 5 percentage points less than 2019.
"The adoption and promotion of online reservations through WeChat, Alipay, other apps and hospital websites have greatly streamlined reservations, improving efficiency and convenience. The DIY machine for registration, test checks and bill payments also reduces patients' time in outpatient departments," said Xue Di from Fudan University, the survey's leading expert.
The waiting time for undergoing checks like ultrasonic, CT scans and MRIs is another major complaint of local patients, especially in leading hospitals.
"We suggest public hospitals should further streamline processes to reduce patients' waiting time for imaging tests," Xue said.
Shanghai has been stepped up health service and education to enhance clinical capability and public awareness on disease prevention and control, officials said.
To promote health awareness, the Shanghai Center for Health Promotion introduced a public WeChat account called Huxiaokang, where medical experts from local hospitals provide health education in interesting, fun ways.