Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Changi General Hospital and IHiS -- the Health Ministry's IT arm -- have clinched the Asia Pacific HIMSS Elsevier Award for using innovative techniques to improve patient care.
SINGAPORE: Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Changi General Hospital and IHiS -- the Health Ministry's IT arm -- have clinched the Asia Pacific HIMSS Elsevier Award for using innovative techniques to improve patient care.
One technique employed by Tan Tock Seng is a bedside tablet which records a patient's vital signs -- such as blood pressure, oxygen levels and pulse -- and uploads them wirelessly to the hospital's medical records.
Another breakthrough technology is the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to track patients' temperatures and locations in real time.
Using a transparent dressing, the RFID tags are attached at all times to the patient around the lower abdominal area.
A metal tubing tracks the patient's temperature every half an ho ur, with the data being uploaded directly into the patients' hospital records.
If temperatures go below or above a certain range, nurses will be alerted to immediately attend to the patient.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Nursing Service director, Yong Keng Kwang, said: "It's an old tech used in a different way. For example, the thermistor that's placed on the tag is available and present in all thermometers, but we place it on the tag that the patient wears.
"It does improve a lot of efficiency from a staff's point of view. It cuts down nurses' time in measuring temperature, because we now no longer have to go to the patient to manually take the temperature -- it's updated, uploaded automatically, wirelessly.
"For the patients, they also benefit because we no longer have to interrupt their sleep by placing an ear thermometer in their ear."
During pandemics, the limited contact between patients and nurses also reduces the risk of contamination.
Another feature of the RFID tag is its ability to track the patient's location.
When a patient is discharged, the bed management unit and housekeeping department is immediately notified, allowing them to free up beds more efficiently.
It also provides nurses with real-time information on their patient's location.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital's nurse manager, Chen Li, said: "It makes things easier for nurses. We don't have to ask around where the patient is; based on the dashboard we will know exactly the location of the patient.
"For example, if patient goes in to the operating theatre (OT) for surgery, we know that the patient is in OT."
Changi General Hospital also received the award for its medication management system, which uses Quick Response (QR) instead of conventional bar codes to verify the doctor's prescriptions, drugs and patient data.
QR codes can hold several hundred times more data than conventional barcodes and can be scanned from any angle -- which helps to minimise the amount of time nurses spend on administrative work.
By Melissa Chong