Name: Serena Yong
Position: Chief Executive Officer
Company: Regency Specialist Hospital
Serena Yong does not primarily come from a Health and Medicine Services industry. Prior to joining HMI Group under Regency Hospital as a Chief Executive Officer, Serena has clocked up close to 30 years of experience in the Information Technology industry.
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Her long tenure with HP Singapore began in 1988 when she joined the company as a Product Specialist responsible in managing personal computer and printing demos as well as presentations. After taking some time off to enjoy motherhood, Serena came back to the IT industry in 2000 as a Product Marketing Manager in HP Asia Pacific Region and rose through the management ranks right up to Managing Director of HP Inc Singapore.
In 2018, Serena Yong was appointed the CEO of Regency and is responsible in spearheading the overall growth and development of the Hospital into becoming a leading comprehensive care hospital in Johor Bahru and Malaysia.
Tell us more about Regency Specialist Hospital and its uniqueness
Founded in 2009, Regency Specialist Hospital (Regency) based in Johor, Malaysia, is a reputable progressive tertiary care private hospital with a current bed capacity of 218 and serving more than 172,000 patients annually through quality medical services at affordable rates.
Strategically located within Iskandar Malaysia in the growing township of Bandar Seri Alam, Johor, Regency’s patients have access to advance specialty care from more than 80 full-time specialists and visiting consultant specialists across a wide range of medical and surgical disciplines supported by advance medical and diagnostic facilities.
As the only private hospital in Malaysia offering 24-hour emergency and trauma service by specialists who are board-certified in emergency medicine; Regency has five Centres of Excellence focusing on Emergency and Trauma, Digestive Healthcare, Heart and Lung, Neuroscience and Neurospine, and Women and Children. It is also the only hospital in the Southern region of Malaysia to offer Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) service for seriously ill patients in need of cardiac and respiratory support. The hospital’s team of specialists, nursing and allied health care providers are always ready to serve with competence, compassion and collaboration.
Has there been a change in business continuity during this COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, there has been. Our top priority is to ensure the safety of our patients and their loved ones, doctors, nurses and support staff. Our services continue to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but we have put in place several initiatives for our customers to safely access our medical facilities as well as services at the convenience of their home. Appointments can now be made online via https://appointment.regencyspecialist.com/#home/ and refilling of prescriptions for patients who are on chronic medications during the MCO period can be made over a phone call; the delivery and pick up service for our retail services is made available (for more information: www.regencyretail.com), and those who want to make an appointment for COVID-19 screening can make an appointment with us two days in advance and upon screening, the results will be ready within three days.
New medical services and facility enhancements will be announced on Regency’s website, Facebook and Instagram from time to time.
What are some of the measures and SOPs initiated by Regency to curb the spread of COVID-19?
We have taken enhanced measures to protect everyone. Our frequency of cleaning using disinfectants has been increased and we also carry out deep cleaning at the counters, office, lobby area and common areas. Hand sanitizers are prominently and sufficiently located. Mandatory pre-screening and filling up of health declaration form at hospital entrance has been introduced.
We introduced a traffic light inspired systems which segregates patients into Red, Amber or Green zones according to the individual health status. Ward restrictions have also been imposed with no inpatient visitors being allowed into our wards. Only 1 caregiver is allowed to stay overnight for patients who are bedridden or restricted in movement. COVID-19 screening is mandatory for all patients for both elective and emergency surgery.
Keeping in mind personal health and wellbeing within Regency, everyone is always encouraged to maintain good personal hygiene. Reminders are given to maintain physical distancing and more importantly, we have ensured that sufficient provision of PPE is provided for all our staffs. All team members are supplied and required to wear 3-ply face mask at all times and a Regency Care Pack which consists of some health supplement as love and care for their health has been handed out.
Any of our team members who are unwell or have come in to contact with anyone returning from overseas, or have come into contact with anyone suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been reminded to seek medical attention and inform their supervisor, HR or infection control team immediately.
Can you share some advice with us in regards to how important personal hygiene is to our health?
Taking precautionary measures like personal hygiene can be one of the many ways to reduce health risks. As we interact with different living organisms on a daily basis, it exposes us to a wide range of infectious or communicable diseases. Therefore, poor hygiene can increase the risk of developing any kinds of infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are caused by living organisms like viruses and bacteria, and it can be passed from person to person through body secretions, insects or other means.
Most importantly, maintain good personal hygiene to reduce the risk of infections and spreading to others. A simple action such as hand washing can prevent illnesses. People tend to forget to wash their hands after using the washroom or before handling food, and this can cause a great deal of illnesses and even death.
A good personal hygiene can also help in our psychological health. As we present ourselves as clean and tidy, it can influence our levels of confidence and self-esteem which can affect many aspects of our lives.
On a personal note, why did you make a change from IT to Healthcare?
I have been comfortably serving 30 years in the IT industry, and the thought of shifting into healthcare is a personal decision to do good for the community. Moreover, I wished to gain more insights on health-related matters. In healthcare, I’m surrounded and work closely with experienced healthcare professionals. Through these interactions, I’m happy to learn and update myself on the many interesting health issues.
The healthcare industry is not a sunset industry similar to the IT industry. Both are fast paced which are driven by constant improvement and advancement. It demands one to be actively updating ourselves with the latest development within the healthcare industry and to make the right decision based on our value system.
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy being active in both physical activities and character building. I practice yoga and also exercise. When I’m not exercising, I still keep myself active through learning by reading or attending talks and seminars. I also do charity work as I wish to help and leave a positive impact in people.