The DTAP Experience
A DTAP Stay Home Series Part 1
The recent COVID-19 infection has gripped the world. With countries such as China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and the cruise ship Princess Diamond all badly hit. The infection rate has been fast and furious with global infections soaring to more than 85,000 cases and nearly 3000 deaths worldwide as of 1st March 2020.
On the local front, Singapore has been fortunate to keep the total cases at 102. With zero deaths, more than 72 discharged from hospital and less than 1 third remaining in hospital.
These encouraging numbers in Singapore are brought about by Quarantine Orders (QO) – to isolate suspected carriers or close contact of carriers and also Stay Home Notices (SHN) – for Singaporeans, PRs and Long term pass holders who have been in mainland China, Daegu or Cheongdo in South Korea in the last 14 days, to stay at home at all times.
On the ground, how this has translated to us as a healthcare group on the ground has been a lot of behind the scenes hard work, sweat and meticulous changes.
I remember when news first disseminated on the night before CNY eve (23rd Jan) that Singapore had its first case, I stayed up late into the middle of the night to review the facts and prepare our team as best as we can operationally.
Being at the frontline of Singapore’s healthcare provider community, our core priority was to protect our patients, protect our staff and most importantly the general public.
Everyone that stepped through the doors were asked travel screening questions – especially travel to China then, had their temperature taken and given a mask.
And if they had done so in the last 14 days and exhibited symptoms of fever, cough or breathlessness, they would be brought to a separate isolation room for assessment to prevent mingling with other patients. On our own, we also would have taken precautions with personal protective equipment. And if they were suspected to be infected, we would then call an ambulance for transfer to the NCID.
We had also increased the number of hand sanitizers across the waiting areas for our patients and complete sanitization of the isolation room after each patient and for our own consult rooms. I personally wiped down the door handles, seat and table surfaces regularly after each patient.
This period of uncertainty resulted in 3 distinct situations. The first one resulted in a surge of patients coming for a longer duration of the refill of their prescriptions.
The second situation saw an increased number of patients coming in to get their Fever and Flu symptoms checked out (i’ll share more on this in the next article, a patient’s journey in getting their Flu or recurrent sneezing symptoms checked out and even the benefits of a Flu/Pneumonia vaccination). These were patients who often self medicated previously and rested but were now worried during the COVID 19 situation.
And the third situation was one where our patients, especially those who worked from home during this period, did not want to mingle too much in public, contacted us for an offsite refill of their medication prescriptions.
We put in place many measures to protect our patients. From the stringent operational changes, proactive screening of our patients, minimizing the mingling of patients – spacing out of patient appointments, to increased regular sanitization of the clinic.
But there was still the third situation and group of patients who needed their medications but were not willing or able to come down to the clinics. And we had to do right by them and not allow their health to suffer in light of the COVID 19 Dorscon Orange precautions.
We thus took the active step at team DTAP to put in place a robust medication delivery system – DTAP Delivery. This system is aligned with the Singapore Standards – SS644 guidelines for the supply and delivery of medication. This robust framework ensures the a) integrity of the medication delivered b) confidentiality of one’s medical records, medications and c) ease and accessibility for our patients. Here at team DTAP, we spared no expense to ensure that our patients always received the medical care that they need and in a timely manner.
You can explore our medication delivery service further here: DTAP Delivery
Last but not least, in view of the recent COVID19 happening during the Chinese New Year, I will leave with you my dear readers a short acronym H.U.A.T to stay safe during this heightened medical situation.
Help keep a lookout for your friends and family. If they are unwell with a cough flu or cold, encourage them to put on a mask and seek medical attention
Understand news from the right channels. Alot of fake news out there aimed to cause panic. Gov.sg has a whatsapp account with regular updates
Avoid fear mongering, keep calm and carry on life as per usual
Take necessary precautions – Hand sanitizing, Putting on Masks