Dear Partners and Friends,
While value has been central to our care delivery system, how do we define value? The textbook definition of value in healthcare is health outcomes per dollar spent. Outcomes should be measured not just from a provider’s perspective, but also and perhaps more importantly, from the patient’s and client’s. For example, an improved rehabilitation MBI score for the provider should translate to the patient’s ability to walk to the coffee shop.
In the October issue, we conducted an online poll to find out what value means to you as a care provider. Most of us pointed towards delivering good quality care and services as the top priority, followed closely by client satisfaction. As providers, we are always keen and ready to deliver person-centric care but how do we align our efforts with what our patients and clients value and truly understand what good care means to them. Here are some insights that we have gained from our polls.
Many of us have embarked on care and service transformation journeys to tackle challenges that impact care quality and sustainability like manpower limitation, disease burden and fragmented care. In this last issue of 2021, let’s take a look at what some of our partners are doing to manage either side of the value equation of outcomes over cost.
Harnessing Technology to Transform Workforce and Care Model
Technology is an important enabler to provide safe and effective care. It enables organisations like Ren Ci Hospital to better plan for their manpower resources and provide better patient care experience. Ren Ci Hospital introduced an exercise instructor robot, ‘Robo’ to lead their seniors for group exercises, this initiative allows therapists who used to lead the exercises to take on more value-added roles like focusing on seniors who need higher level of care.
At Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charity (THKMC), their transformation journey focuses on building up their staff capabilities, process redesign and technology adoption. To bring better care to their seniors, THKMC implemented systems to capture real time data for more timely care review and closer monitoring of care delivery. The systems also successfully reduced the manual paperwork process and allow their healthcare professionals to focus on caring for the seniors.
Bringing Value To Our Patients and Clients
As care providers, while we should continue effecting system-level changes that are beneficial to our patients and clients, it is equally important that we consider how they see value and what matters to them. As individuals, patients and clients always want to be clear about their medical care preferences that are aligned with their personal values and beliefs. Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) partnered with some nursing homes to roll out Project RESPECT, an initiative to support the nursing homes to sustain the awareness and adoption of Advance Care Planning, a conversation that plans the individuals’ medical care preferences early and give them a voice in their own care.
Returning to one’s healthy self after falling ill is always the recovery goal. TTSH introduced a seamless care and rehabilitation journey for hip fracture patients to have better access to day rehab services. The findings showed that patients who completed the journey experienced much better improvement in their functional ability. This is made possible with the strong partnership amongst different care providers.
This year, the pandemic may have slowed down some of our plans but it has definitely offered an opportunity for us to make changes and adapt more quickly than ever. Some of us have come together closer to support each other during difficult times. Rounding this last issue of the year, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and looking forward to a healthier and happier 2022!
Loh Shu Ching
Division for Central Health
Tan Tock Seng Hospital & Central Health