Formation of IHiS in 2008
Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) was formed in 2008 to pursue an integrated approach in IT implementation of public healthcare systems. Over the last 10 years, IHiS has been the architect and implementer of IT systems that have supported the operations of 46 public healthcare institutions including acute hospitals, specialty centres, and polyclinics, as well as some 1400 partners such as community hospitals, nursing homes, general practitioners and voluntary welfare organisations.IHiS’ purpose is closely aligned to the priorities of the Ministry of Health, to provide our citizens with quality healthcare that is accessible and affordable.
The IT systems are designed with the patient in mind, with the following aims:
a. Improve patient accessibility to healthcare services;
b. Improve quality of patient services; and
c. Improve cost effectiveness for our healthcare system through IT-enabled productivity measures.
IHiS maintains and manages around 800 IT systems, many of which ensure 24x7 delivery of services across various care settings such as acute hospitals, community hospitals and nursing homes. The span of the systems is wide, and includes areas in electronic medical record, medical imaging, laboratory test records, medication dispensing, patient registration and billing, financial aid, community care, telehealth and more. Every year, IHiS delivers an average of 1000 new projects and enhancements to improve the quality of care for our patients and productivity of health professionals in public healthcare, and extend to private and VWO healthcare partners such as general practitioners and nursing homes. Collectively this has benefitted more than 12 million patient visits annually.
IHiS has supported all major public healthcare institutions in Singapore in achieving either HIMSS EMRAM1 stage 6 or 7, which is the international benchmark for advanced technology used in patient care. These are amongst the highest for hospitals in Asia.
Re-organisation of IHiS from late 2016
In late 2016, IHiS merged with MOH Holdings’ IT division to advance Singapore’s long term healthcare plans. The aim was to create an effective organisation with combined capabilities that could drive synergies and efficiencies across the spectrum from individual healthcare institution IT systems to national IT systems.
With the merger, IHiS took on the role as the Ministry of Health’s HealthTech agency to advance healthcare IT in Singapore. The expanded role and responsibilities has necessitated a transformation of IHiS, in terms of its focus and efforts in healthcare IT delivery. IHiS is now a 1,800-strong organisation that supports the work of more than 50,000 healthcare users and manages more than 60,000 end-point devices, such as PCs, laptops, and others, in public healthcare.
Following the merger, IHiS worked to improve the IT systems operation. System availability and resiliency had improved with fewer operational issues reported by the public healthcare users. There was an increased focus on cybersecurity, which is reflected in the increase in resources committed into security enhancements.
While the transformation is still underway, the organisation needs to stay ahead of the curve and meet the demands of an ageing population, rise in chronic disease burden, and shrinking workforce. IHiS is looking into new applications of IT innovation to improve the health of our population and enhance healthcare delivery for our citizens.
1 The HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) incorporates methodology and algorithms to automatically score hospitals around the world relative to their Electronic Medical Records (EMR) capabilities. This eight-stage (0-7) model measures the adoption and utilisation of EMR functions.