Okay, okay. These are Not the mermaids that were rumored to have caused the recent floods in Dumaguete. These cute and friendly serenas are the resident mermaids of the SU Medical Arts Building. The purple-haired serena is one of the many sea creatures that float around the under-the-sea themed clinic of pediatrician Dr. Betty Parrenas-Flores while the red-haired kataw joins Peter Pan and other cartoon characters in Dr. Aideline E. Sison's Disney themed children's clinic. These are just some of the amazing interior designs that can be found in the doctors' clinics at the MAB.
Just in case you're not very comfortable with fish-tailed females, here's someone else to welcome you, Miss SUMCFI herself, Dr. Stephanie Miaco! She's pointing to the Doctors Directory which is color coded according to specialty. Orange for Family Medicine, green for Internal Medicine, yellow for Obstetrics and Gynecology, pink for Pediatrics and blue for Surgery.
"May I help you?" says Dr. Miaco
If you are a patient needing a consultation, first you have to find your doctor's name in the directory shown above or on the computer screen in the Patient's Queuing Kiosk. If you don't have a doctor yet, you can ask for assistance from the receptionist at the counter who will help you choose a doctor based on your specific condition.
The Patient's Queuing Kiosk is a table with a touch-screen computer and a printer that will give each patient a priority number for the computerized queuing system. An instruction sheet goes:
PATIENT'S QUEUING KIOSK
Steps to follow:
1. Press the name of your doctor on the screen.
2. Press "Get a Priority Number".
3. A print out of your priority number will come out from the printer.
4. Get your priority number slip.
5. Proceed to the waiting area and wait for your priority number to be called.
6. If your priority number is called (it will be indicated in the display screen and an automated voice will call your number), please proceed to your doctor's room/clinic.
Note: The automated voice will call your number in this manner:
"Room _____ (room number of your doctor) now serving Priority _____ (the number in your priority slip)."
It's not very difficult to follow, really, but I realized that Dumaguetenos are basically shy and many patients were quite reluctant to try out the touch screens, preferring to ask their accompanying persons or the hospital personnel assigned to help patients at the queuing kiosk, to touch the screen for them. Computer savvy members of the younger generation were less hesitant.
Not surprisingly, there were some glitches and confusion on the first day but none that were not immediately rectified. SUMC President Mr. Bert Montebon, together with his staff, engineers and computer experts, were at the MAB reception area the whole time to oversee the entire process. By the third day, queuing went very smoothly already.
The MAB ultra mod queuing system is akin to the flight arrival-departure monitors in airports, or to the now-serving numbers display in some banks. The numbers in red are the room numbers of the doctors. The numbers in white on a blue background are the priority numbers. Patients should periodically check their priority numbers, watch the screen and listen for the automated voice to call out the number on their print-outs.
Though this techno tool has transformed doctors and patients into flashing numbers on a cold screen, rest assured that the same warm and personal attention by each physician to every patient remains.