Jurong Health’s New Integrated Hospitals Maximise Healthcare Efficiency via ICT
Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH) have recently formed an integrated healthcare hub to provide patient-centric services in a cost-effective manner. As NTGFH focuses on intensive and immediate healthcare, JCH provides rehabilitative services.
NTFGH is the first hospital in Singapore to co-locate the nurse triage and consultation in one room. The payment and collection of medication are done at once to simplify and quicken healthcare procedures.
Unlike other hospitals, NTFGH requires just one queue number per visit. Using their advanced database system, NTFGH schedules patients with multiple appointments within a day to minimise recovery time for every patient.
This process is done through the Daily Operations Dashboard which pulls data from different systems. It provides a one-stop information dashboard and a centralised overview of real-time key indicators for the Emergency Department, Outpatient Clinics, Inpatient Wards, Surgery areas.
The system enables analysis and comparison of daily, weekly and monthly statistics for monitoring. It also supports timely operational and management decision-making.
In addition, NTFGH uses an Electronic Information Patient Board which replaces paper notes and enables clinicians and nurses to view essential information on patient conditions without separate retrieval of patient records.
This gives a comprehensive overview of the patient’s records in an instant. Clinicians and nurses can be well-informed of the patient without the arduous process of going through their physical records.
To enhance efficiency, NTFGH is the only hospital to combine the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency (HD) Unit into one. This means that a patient need not be transferred to another ward after intensive care and is managed by the same team.
As much as these time efficient processes seem a privilege for Singaporeans, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong deems them as a necessary form of progress. This is due to Singapore’s ageing society that drives the nation in innovating new healthcare systems.
Just over 5 months since their opening, the feedback has been positive towards their ability to improve the efficiency of their services. Future hospitals in Singapore will model this hub similarly, as Singapore continues its efforts in housing an ageing population.
The Singapore Government released a report in July stating that the population of senior citizens above 65 years old has doubled to 440,000 from since the year 2000.. By 2030 the population of this group is expected to reach 900,000.
"We need more hospitals and capacity because our patient numbers have been rising steadily. And the numbers have been rising mainly because our population has been ageing, ageing very rapidly," said PM Lee during NTFGH’s official opening.
PM Lee Also assured Singaporeans that lesser time in the hospital, does not equate to lower output.
‘’Our challenge is, even as it (our healthcare system) becomes more complex, we maintain the highest quality’’ said PM Lee.
In September, NTFGH achieved the HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 status, placing it as one of the top medical institutions in world in its establishment of IT healthcare.
The EMRAM award is an international benchmark for the use of advanced IT to improve patient care.
This is a remarkable achievement for NTFGH considering it has been less than 6 months since its opening.
According to John Daniels, Global Vice President, Healthcare, Advisory Services Group, this is only the beginning for the hospital in located in the west end of Singapore. "The closed-loop medication administration process with IPAS, designed by NTFGH nurses, is a great example for other hospitals to study ‘’ he said. He also demonstrated confidence in the hospital’s potential and fully expects it to "be ready for stage 7 soon."