SINGAPORE, 1 July 2021 – While the COVID-19 outbreak has placed unparalleled demands on healthcare systems, it is through crises that innovations often emerge.
The healthcare sector in Singapore continues to demonstrate its resilience and ability to redesign processes and develop technology to ensure value-driven care for patients amidst the pandemic and other challenges such as an ageing workforce and population. The annual National Healthcare Innovation and Productivity (HIP) Awards has been a platform for holistic and innovative solutions to be introduced.
Launched in 2016 and supported by the Ministry of Health to foster a more hands-on effort in productivity and innovation, the National HIP Awards inspires and celebrates healthcare professionals who have pushed the boundaries with breakthrough ideas.
This year's seven winning projects from four healthcare institutions have achieved excellence in three award categories: "Care Redesign", "Automation, IT and Robotics Innovation", and "Workforce Transformation".
Award Winning Projects
The National HIP Excellence Champion Medal, the top award which recognises the most outstanding initiative that excels in multiple categories, goes to Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities (THKMC), a first for a community care organisation. THK Home Care Services Division, successfully redesigned the care and service teams across five key care programmes to improve services for clients. Tapping on digital technology, the initiative cross trained staff and significantly enhances staff capability and allowed for flexible deployment of manpower whenever client loads are high in the programmes, which is crucial particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of body cameras enables safety surveillance, better service compliance and staff training; raising overall productivity and clients' satisfaction.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP) received the Best Practice Medals in Care Redesign. KTPH introduced Singapore's first ambulatory emergency care service which provides same day assessment and management of selected patients with acute medical conditions referred from Emergency room to reduce the need for inpatient admissions. Subsequent outpatient visits are scheduled once an acute episode is over, reducing costs and improving patient experience.
SGH formed a multi-disciplinary workgroup to improve the quality and efficiency of the Code-Blue Teams, which are activated when patients suffer a cardiac arrest on Campus. Cardiac arrest response times were reduced to less than 5 minutes within 6 months of implementing the revamped system. Rapid treatment lowers the risk of brain damage and improves the chance of recovery.
Catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP) expanded and enhanced its suite of tele-consultation services to connect safely with patients, and reduce the risk of infection transmission. These services include Tele-Consultations (with Doctors), Tele-Consultations (with Care Managers), Tele-Wound Monitoring, Tele-Direct Observed Therapy (DOT), Tele-Dietetics, Tele-Physiotherapy and Tele-Psychology. 98% of the patients on these services reported a positive overall experience; and 94.5% expressed willingness to use these services again.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) picked up the Automation, IT and Robotics Innovation Best Practice Medal for Heart Track™, a mobile application for patients who just had heart procedure to exercise regularly at their own pace anywhere at their convenience. The automated prescription and remote monitoring system, which leverages on wearable technology, mobile application and gamification, provides personalised and self-directed exercise trainings for patients.
Another winner under the same award category, RadiLogic, is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered diagnostic tool jointly developed by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and TTSH. RadiLogic can interpret and rapidly flag-up abnormal chest X-ray findings of individuals being tested for COVID-19 to the radiologists for timely review.
TTSH also clinched the Workforce Transformation Best Practice Medal for empowering its staff and community partners to be skilled in process improvement methodology to improve patient care. The team redesigned training from classroom to digitally enabled microlearning modules, achieving higher take-up rates, productivity savings and wider outreach. This microlearning platform enables staff members to upgrade their job skills rapidly, anytime and anywhere.
The National HIP Medals are sponsored by the Ng Teng Fong Healthcare Innovation Programme, managed by the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Community Fund and the Centre for Healthcare Innovation.