Renny Salim, Systems Analyst, relates how her work in IHiS is a calling to put her tech skills to design greater solutions in healthcare to build a healthier nation.
Tech for Singapore Health
Some 14 years ago, Renny asked herself when she graduated how she can better contribute to the future of Singapore’s landscape. She decided to join IHiS because she was attracted to its primary work.
IHiS is Singapore’s national technology agency for public healthcare, responsible for digitising, connecting and analysing Singapore’s health ecosystem. A member of the Outpatient Appointment System (OAS) team, she and her teammates provide daily application support to mission- and business-critical systems. They are also involved in various stages of project cycles like requirement gathering, system design, functional testing, end-users training and even crucial support for Go Live systems.
“Since joining IHiS, my interest in healthcare has only grown even more,” she says, “every day I see HealthTech as an increasingly meaningful vocation. Health is very important for us all, more so, the many services that go into the care of a patient.”
She recalls an incident involving a family member that solidified her resolve further.
“It was five years ago when my father had to undergo a major heart surgery. I still remember every step of his recovery journey. I saw how the outpatient solutions that IHiS had implemented seamlessly connected to his healthcare needs. The sense of purpose and pride I felt then on the efficiency we experienced further fuelled my personal ambition to enhance healthcare through technology,” she said.
Challenges that become Victories
Admitting that her profession is not one without challenges, she regards these as important learning points in her career that help her hone her expertise further. She explains: “We work in a fast-paced environment where a project based on a national initiative requires commitment and precision. My work involves updating our systems to incorporate new policies and schemes introduced every year. Like the Pioneer Generation Package that affects some 450,000 Singaporeans and, Merdeka Generation Package that affects about 500,000 Singaporeans. It is challenging every time because there are complexities on how we integrate the schemes to the existing systems developed. So some of my most memorable experiences are my most challenging times.”
Citing the example of a latest project, she feels greatly encouraged in realising better efficiencies to the outpatient systems because she knows that completing the targets set out for her part contribute to a nation-wide system of changes that will help so many seniors like her parents.
“Not long ago, we worked on enhancements to the 12 key systems that enabled disbursement of the Merdeka Generation subsidies. It was a celebratory moment for us all to know that thousands of Singaporeans will be able to benefit once the systems went live at midnight with minimal hiccups from 1 November 2019,” she said.
Renny admits that her work grounds her to look beyond the tech solutions or successful project completions but that the hard work put in brings support toward helping others.
“That sense of achievement is indescribable,” adding, “because when you look around at the patients, healthcare partners and people using it and see how they are benefitting from its reliability and user-friendly features, it assures me more that everything that was a challenge is now a victory.”
The Best I can be
Renny also counts herself lucky to be able to grow her study specialisation into a meaningful career in a rapidly emerging sector like HealthTech. Pursuing her passion at IHiS is also more rewarding because the senior staff and management have mentored and guided her well in her professional growth track.
“Personally, I am most grateful for the opportunity to be able to excel with such a talented and diverse team,” she adds. “We often face changes in project and challenges in business demands but we encourage and learn from each other all the time. In fact, I find great meaning in what we do because much of what we do in technology affects outpatient systems directly. By utilising technology to improve hospitals’ operational processes, we help make healthcare more affordable and efficient to serve a rapidly ageing population and cope with the increased demand.”
Over the years, Renny and her teammates have also garnered two local awards and one international award for their work at IHiS. Renny herself was a recipient of the National Day Awards Commendation Medal in 2018. These achievements while a great boost and testimony to their passion, she says cannot overshadow her calling to contribute in building Singapore’s national health ecosystem to benefit every citizen.
Asked if she has any advice for her juniors, she offers: “If you dare to dream big and want to make a difference then this is the place for you. I feel fortunate that I can contribute to the national initiatives that improve the lives of patients and being the best I can be. Through the solutions in IT, we help to support a better quality of life and continue to bring everyone closer to building Singapore as a healthier nation.”