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CGH responds to complaint on care standard, promises to learn from incident & improve care delivery processes

Will do better.

Nyi Nyi Thet | May 15, 09:11 pm

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You might have read about Isabella Lim’s post on Changi General Hospital.

S’pore lady highlights difference in care standard between CGH & NUH for terminally-ill grandmother

In short, Lim expressed displeasure with the care standard shown by staff over at CGH while taking care of her grandmother.

Associate Professor Lim Si Ching, Senior Consultant, Department of Geriatric Medicine, of CGH, has now issued a statement regarding this incident.

In the statement, Professor Lim gave some insight into the situation.

“The patient was admitted to CGH on 7 April 2019 and transferred to NUH on 3 May 2019. Following the family’s feedback, CGH Medical Board conducted a thorough review of the case. Appropriate medical care was given during her stay at CGH.”

And even though the care team provided regular updates to the family members, she did acknowledge they could do better.

“However, there were communication gaps which could have been prevented. While the care team provided regular updates to the family member designated as main caregiver, we could have done better in engaging the different family members and helping them understand the diagnostic and therapeutic interventions by the care team.”

Professor Lim also described how they had handled skin issues Lim’s grandmother had developed.

“The patient was assessed to be at risk of developing pressure sores. We promptly took preventive measures which included close monitoring of her skin condition, placing her on a pressure-relieving air mattress and turning her at regular intervals to prevent pressure sores from developing while respecting the request from family members to minimise disrupting her rest.”

CGH also gave their take on the issue of transferring a patient in that type of condition.

“During a subsequent family meeting, the family asked about the process to seek a second opinion at another hospital. The high risks associated with a hospital transfer due to the patient’s condition, was highlighted. The family decided to proceed with the transfer and the care team facilitated with a doctor’s letter to NUH Emergency Department to enable continuity of care.”

She ended the statement by stating that they will learn from this incident.

“We are sorry for the anxiety caused to the family. Owing to patient confidentiality, it would be more appropriate for us to meet with the family to address their concerns, and provide full details of the case. We will do our best to learn from this incident and improve our care delivery processes.”

Here is the statement in full.

“We are saddened by the news of the patient’s passing and empathise with the family’s anguish.

The patient was admitted to CGH on 7 April 2019 and transferred to NUH on 3 May 2019. Following the family’s feedback, CGH Medical Board conducted a thorough review of the case. Appropriate medical care was given during her stay at CGH. However, there were communication gaps which could have been prevented.

While the care team provided regular updates to the family member designated as main caregiver, we could have done better in engaging the different family members and helping them understand the diagnostic and therapeutic interventions by the care team.

During the patient’s stay at CGH, she did not respond to the antibiotics treatment due to pre-existing conditions and advanced age, and required invasive procedures for further investigation.

The care team explained the treatment options and risks involved to the family and they agreed on conservative treatment that focused on alleviating symptoms that caused discomfort to the patient. The patient was assessed to be at risk of developing pressure sores.

We promptly took preventive measures which included close monitoring of her skin condition, placing her on a pressure-relieving air mattress and turning her at regular intervals to prevent pressure sores from developing while respecting the request from family members to minimise disrupting her rest.

During a subsequent family meeting, the family asked about the process to seek a second opinion at another hospital. The high risks associated with a hospital transfer due to the patient’s condition, was highlighted. The family decided to proceed with the transfer and the care team facilitated with a doctor’s letter to NUH Emergency Department to enable continuity of care.

We are sorry for the anxiety caused to the family. Owing to patient confidentiality, it would be more appropriate for us to meet with the family to address their concerns, and provide full details of the case. We will do our best to learn from this incident and improve our care delivery processes.”

Related article

S’pore lady highlights difference in care standard between CGH & NUH for terminally-ill grandmother

Image collated from CGH FB page and Lim’s Instagram

 

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