Posted by: happyangelclub | 一月 13, 2013

Media report of Class C Ward daily charges of $35 Vs Bed Sore Mattress rental cost of $10 per day

2-1-2013 新明日报:

newspaper-xin ming-1

http://www.todayonline.com/Hotnews/EDC130104-0000049/Blogger-questions-hospitals-mattress-policy

Blogger questions hospital’s mattress policy

Account of negative experience at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital has gone viral and put the spotlight on hospital practices
by Ashley Chia
04:45 AM Jan 04, 2013

SINGAPORE – Patients of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) are advised to rent anti-bedsore mattresses from its approved vendor, rather than use their own, as the former are meant for “high usage in a hospital environment”.

Those who wish to buy and use their own in the hospital can do so, although they must indemnify the hospital, as well as agree to have their mattresses tested for safety reasons.

The hospital made these clarifications after a blogger’s account of her friend’s bad experience with it went viral and put the spotlight on practices of hospitals here.

Ms Jane Lim’s blog on active-ageing issues claimed in a Dec 26 post that KTPH had told her friend its anti-bedsore mattresses were only for rent for S$10 a day and not for sale, adding that each mattress cost more than S$1,000. The friend, whom she named only as “Mr F”, was looking for such mattresses for his ailing father, who has since died.

When the friend bought an anti-bedsore mattress that was “10 times cheaper” and wanted to stop renting from the hospital, he was rejected, with KTPH giving the reason that “the hospital’s electricity would be overloaded”, wrote Ms Lim.

“Eventually, the hospital (sic) had softened the tone, but gave a condition that the vendor must send a technician to conduct a demo before they were allowed to install it,” she said.

When contacted, Ms Lim, 49, said the incident happened in June. She added that she lodged a complaint on behalf of her friend on Dec 29, and she is waiting for a response from the hospital.

In response to queries from TODAY, a KTPH spokesperson clarified why it advises patients to rent such mattresses – formally known as pressure-relieving mattresses – from it, as well as its reasons for requiring prior safety checks on mattresses patients bring in themselves.

“Our mattresses are of medical grade, clinically-tested and meant for high usage in a hospital environment versus those purchased off the shelf for individual use. The vendor also takes care of the maintenance of the mattresses,” said the hospital spokesperson.

Those who wish to use their own mattresses must sign a “hospital indemnity form and have their mattress commissioned jointly by the product vendor/manufacturer and our bio-medical engineering staff”, the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson said that the “demo” Ms Lim referred to was actually the “commissioning” of mattresses – or checks conducted on the equipment – brought in by patients or their family members to ensure its compatibility with the hospital’s electrical load.

“Equipment that is not commissioned may short-circuit and result in a fire risk and/or power supply shutdown in the room/ward. This may compromise staff and patient’s safety, especially for patients who are hooked up to other medical equipment such as life-support systems.”

KTPH also noted that its staff had explained to the patient’s immediate family the reasons for the commissioning: “The family was satisfied with our explanation and also agreed to bear the cost of the commissioning.”

Other public hospitals here have similar practices to KTPH, checks by TODAY show.

At the National University Hospital, patients can use their own pressure-relieving mattress only after the mattress has been evaluated by its healthcare professionals.

Such checks also “ensure the effectiveness and safety of electrical devices brought in by patients or their family members”, a Changi General Hospital spokesperson added.

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