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Patient discharge lounges in some hospitals help ease bed crunch problem

The lounges help free up hospital beds as patients ready for discharge can be moved to a separate location. Such facilities are in place at the National University Hospital, Changi General Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

SINGAPORE: Some acute care hospitals in Singapore have patient discharge lounges, which free up hospital beds by moving patients for discharge to a separate location. The Health Ministry said on Wednesday (Aug 20) that this will ensure hospitals have enough beds to meet the needs of the ageing population in Singapore.

Patients preparing to be discharged can use the lounge to wait for their medication, documents and family members. The National University Hospital (NUH), Changi General Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital already have such facilities in place. 

NUH sees about 150 admission and discharge cases each day. On average, its patients wait for about 1.5 hours to be discharged. "Under some circumstances when the family members are unable to pick up the patient on time, the waiting time will be even longer - maybe up to two to three hours," said Ms Karen Wong, a nurse clinician at NUH. "We will bring the patients to the discharge lounge and at the same time, we can clean up the beds to receive another new admission or patient."

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