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Home > Central Health > Central Health Stories > Redesigning Patient Service Associates' Jobs For The Future

 By Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Redesigning-Patient-Service-Associates-Jobs-For-The-Future.jpgWith an ageing population and a rising demand for healthcare services, we need to challenge traditional healthcare delivery models to be ready for the future. To do so, the hospital recognises the need to work in new ways in a fast-changing landscape and to develop the right capabilities with our workforce. One of the key workforce in the hospital that has undergone job redesign is the Patient Service Associates (PSAs).

Under the PSA Framework, job redesign has created clear career paths for the PSAs. This framework was co-developed with the PSAs and formally introduced in 2013. PSAs now have career three tracks - Management, Clinical Support, and Training. The PSA Framework started with outpatient PSAs and the attrition rate dropped from 34% in 2013 to around 13% in 2020.The development of Value Added Services (VAS) through job-redesign also provides our PSAs with expanded career pathways and gives them more opportunities for career progression to executive roles. There are three career tracks for PSAs to pursue - management, clinical support and training. 

PSAs undertaking VAS, will be trained to perform some clinical tasks that have been traditionally undertaken by nurses, phlebotomists and pharmacy technicians.  These include venepuncture, uroflowmetry, electrocardiogram, basic medication supply verification and inpatient discharges.

The eye clinics provide a good example of a team-based job transformation initiative. PSAs have started performing visual field tests which were earlier performed by the ophthalmic technicians. As a result, ophthalmic technicians now perform primary grading which was earlier done by optometrists. Suba Kumaran, PSA Supervisor for Eye Clinic, is one of the pioneer PSAs that went through a VAS training. “I was excited that this development allows me to expand my job scope to include clinical components, such as performing electrocardiograms (ECG) for Visual Acuity. This is a welcome change from earlier when I used to only perform administrative tasks. As a Visual Acuity Trainer, I now serve patients in roles usually reserved for nurses and ophthalmic technicians. This also allows me to learn how to provide better care to our patients,” said Suba. 

TTSH is the first hospital to embark upon a PSA job redesign framework to provide the PSAs with expanded career pathways and opportunities. The PSAs are a party to discussions about their own job redesign. We hope that through this job redesign journey, our PSAs will have better job satisfaction and be able to better deliver on what our patients value.

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