Digitalising to Enhance the Outpatient Journey for Patients Page Content SingHealth and IHiS colleagues at the "My Visit" booth at the Public Sector Transformation Exhibition in July 2019. The Opportunity When a patient visits the hospital or polyclinic for an outpatient visit, they are often anxious about their state of health and dislike spending a lot of time there, especially for paperwork and payment. The Solution With the aim of making the outpatient journey a more seamless experience for patients, SingHealth formed a workgroup on the Future Outpatient Journey (FOJ) project, partnering with IHiS to develop digital solutions that would transform the end-to-end outpatient care experience. More about the SingHealth Future Outpatient Journey Taskforce: There are 3 areas the taskforce is working on:1. Intelligent triaging and appointment-booking (leveraging AI)2. Virtual concierge3. Home monitoring and telehealth All three have the potential to help patients and staff save time and optimise healthcare resources. For instance, the FOJ taskforce has piloted auto-appointment booking of diagnostic tests and consultations for patients with chest pain at two polyclinics. If scaled up to all referrals from SingHealth Polyclinics to Specialist Outpatient Clinics, it could potentially save Patient Services Assistants 13,700 hours (about 7 Full-Time Equivalent) and patients 50,000 hours annually. Design-thinking workshops were conducted to map out the patient journey and existing processes, and to explore changes that could resolve patients' pain points. The insights gleaned from these workshops and guidance from the senior leadership teams birthed new innovations. One was the new MyVisit module within the Health Buddy app, which incorporates features and functionalities that facilitate the treatment process. For example, patients can now view a summary of their consultation, while doctors can access patient reported outcomes and also "prescribe" educational materials such as videos. Patients who use the module can also expect to have their time spent at the Specialist Outpatient Clinic (SOC) reduced, as they get to fill in some of the forms at home and also register for a queue electronically. Developing the MyVisit Module IHiS' RIEP (Research Industry & Enterprise Partnerships) squad team designed and built a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the MyVisit module in an iterative manner using the agile approach. As the project specifications were constantly evolving, this approach allowed for flexibility in application design and continuous improvement after feedback is obtained from users. The SingHealth and IHiS project teams met regularly to review the prototype at the end of each sprint to improve on the design of various functionalities. After eight sprints, the beta version of the MyVisit module was ready for trial and rolled out on 15 July 2019. Overcoming Challenges A patient's journey in the SOC touches multiple backend systems, such as the Outpatient Administrative System (OAS), Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM) and even SingPass. This made integration of the MyVisit module complex as it had to pull information from different systems, each with its own 'language' and integration requirements. As such, the RIEP squad team and respective team leads met regularly to ensure that the interface parameters and business logic were correctly designed. Enhancements were made to OAS and SCM so that consultation summaries could be created for patients in the trial. Other teams had to ensure that the MyVisit module was properly configured to connect with other applications, and set up the servers for MyVisit to be hosted in H-Cloud. Given the evolving cyber environment that the healthcare sector operates in today, the MyVisit module was subject to rigorous risk assessment and stringent security requirements, and the team put in place comprehensive security measures to mitigate the vulnerabilities and risks. The Outcome The MyVisit module within SingHealth's Health Buddy app is currently on trial for selected patients at the Diabetes and Metabolism Centre at Singapore General Hospital. With direct access to their consultation summaries and test results via the MyVisit module, patients will be empowered to better take charge of their health. Their time spent in the clinic is also potentially reduced as they can fill in their pre-consult questionnaire and post-consult feedback form at home. What's next? The SingHealth team will continue to review the pilot and introduce additional functions to the MyVisit module in the second phase to further enhance the outpatient experience, as well as assess the suitability of making this module available to patients of other clinics. Given the great potential that technology has to transform a patient's outpatient journey, IHiS will continue to work with SingHealth's FOJ Task Force to deliver and enhance digital solutions to achieve a better patient experience.