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Digital Transformation of Healthcare at Singapore’s JurongHealth Services Jurong Health Services, or JurongHealth, is one of themselves and obtain an e-pass from the Visitor Singapore’s six public healthcare clusters. Health Registration counters that grants them access to the care clusters provide holistic and integrated care wards that they want to visit. The identification card when patients move from one care setting, like a or e-pass must then be scanned at the 2-in-1 Gantry clinic to another, like a hospital. Overall, Singapore’s when entering and leaving the ward. The 2-in-1 Gan- healthcare system comprises 8 public hospitals, 10 try logs not only visitor information but also tracks private hospitals, 8 national specialty centers, and staff, as they are also required to use the same gan- an island-wide network of general medical practitio tries to visit a particular ward. Through the imple- ners. JurongHealth primarily manages the 700-bed mentation of the Visitor Management system, the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, the 400-bed Jurong hospital can control access to the wards, and visitors Community Hospital, and the Jurong Medical Cen or staff can be easily tracked and contacted in case of ter, all of which are located in western Singapore. an epidemic. JurongHealth’s goal is to provide transformative Another IT system implemented is the Warehouse medical care for its patients through the use of inno Management System, which eliminates the tedious vative information technologies. Underscoring this process of manually counting inventory. The system commitment, in September 2016 JurongHealth’s Ng uses passive radio frequency identification (RFID) Teng Fong General Hospital was awarded the Health technology and a two-bin shelving system to auto- care Information and Management Systems Society mate inventory top-up requests and improve inven- (HIMSS) Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model tory management. Once the primary compartment (EMRAM) Stage 7 Award-there are 8 stages, from of the storage bin is empty, the clinical staff transfers 0 to 7, that measure a hospital’s implementation of the relevant RFID tag into a drop-box, where the IT systems, and Stage 7 represents the highest level. reader automatically sends a request for drug replen- Ng Teng Fong General thus became the first hospital ishment, thus avoiding stock-outs. in Singapore and the ASEAN region, and fifth in the JurongHealth has also implemented a Real-Time Asia Pacific, to receive the award. Location Tracking System to automatically track JurongHealth has integrated more than 50 health patients and medical equipment using Wi-Fi triangu- care IT systems as part of the Project OneCare lation, low frequency exciters, and about 6,000 active initiative. The systems’ implementation and integra RFID tags attached to patients or medical equipment. tion took four years and has enabled the hospital to These tags continuously communicate with the low- become paperless, scriptless, chartless, and filmless. frequency exciters to transmit data to the backend Among the many systems implemented by the hos system for processing, allowing hospital staff to pre- pital are self-service kiosks to enable patients to reg cisely locate patients and equipment, thus eliminat- ister themselves by merely scanning their national ing the need for tedious manual searching. identification cards and obtaining a queue number In another major move, JurongHealth made a generated by the Enterprise Queue Management conscious effort to ensure that the different IT sys- System. This unique number is used throughout the tems would not be stand-alone. The hospital thus patient’s visit that day for all service itineraries in implemented an integrated Electronic Medical the hospital. Patients refer to live screens located in Record (EMR) system that combines all the func- the waiting areas that display a real-time queue sta tional modules of the hospital in addition to being tus that shows their turn. This system has not only interfaced with 140 medical devices and equipment. enabled JurongHealth to cut down on expenses but Using the vendor-neutral Medical Devices Middle- also to improve efficiency, as patients do not need ware Integration System, data from these medical different numbers for different services. It reduces devices is directly uploaded into the EMR system, waiting time and increases patient satisfaction. and thus no time or effort is wasted by clinical staff Similarly, the Visitor Management System self having to manually enter such readings, and the hos- service kiosks enable visitors to scan their identifi pital no longer has to worry about charting errors. cation cards and register themselves to gain access Being vendor-neutral also means the freedom to to the hospital wards. Visitors can also register 52 Part One Organizations, Management, and the Networked Enterprise adopt best-of-breed individual modules as well as a lack of reliance on a single vendor. The EMR system has spurred other innovations such as the Electronic Patient Information Board, which enables clinic staff and nurses to view essen- tial patient information on digital tablets, unlike most hospitals, which manually compile the informa- tion and display it at the bedside. Another example is the Inpatient Pharmacy Automation System, which receives prescriptions entered by the doctors via the EMR system and then sends machine-packed medi- cines to the wards using Automated Guided Vehicles that travel on pre-programmed routes and help in moving not only medication but also linen, meals, etc. At the ward, the patient’s wrist tag is scanned and matched against the doctor’s prescription before the medicines can be retrieved from the medical carts. Thus, only the required medication is supplied and administered to the right patient. Another innovative use of technology is the Daily Operations Dashboard, which integrates data from different systems to show key metrics for various departments, such as emergency, outpatient clinics, inpatient wards, and surgery areas. It also analyzes, compares, and displays daily, weekly, and monthly statistics, which act as vital input for management decision making. IT has played a key role in enabling JurongHealth to achieve its mission of providing world-class medi- cal care at an affordable cost. As a result, Jurong- Health has developed a reputation as a leading technology-driven healthcare provider as well as a role model not only in Singapore but also the entire region. This is also evident from its many accolades, which include awards for IT-driven transformation, the Project of the Year 2015-16 award by SPMI, the Singapore branch of the global professional accredita- tion body Project Management International-and for overall organizational transformation=”Best Com- panies to Work for in Asia 2014″ by HR Asia. Sources: P. Bhunia, “The JurongHealth IT Journey-Integrating IT from the Ground-Up into a New Digital Hospital,” opengovasia.com, November 13, 2016, accessed December 21, 2016; JurongHealth, “Integrated Healthcare IT Systems at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital win the Project of the Year Award at the SPMI Symposium 2016,” www.jmc.com.sg, accessed Decem- ber 21, 2016; JurongHealth, “Our Milestones,” www.juronghealth. com.sg, October 2016, accessed December 21, 2016.
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