Singapore’s healthcare system is faced with multiple challenges including an ageing population and a shortage of healthcare specialists.
The current model of care in a hospital, where one patient is looked after by a number of specialists, is no longer practical or sustainable. The demand for care in the community is becoming more of a necessity.
Healthcare institutes have to work closer with their Primary Care partners. As healthcare becomes more community-oriented, the aim is to empower the patients and enable them to self-manage their health from the comfort of their home and to enable more independent living.
A new smart campus which is located in the North of Singapore is trying to ensure that more focus is on community care rather than hospital care. The campus is designed to fully integrate a general hospital, a community hospital, a nursing home, as well as daycare facilities for seniors into a single development; incorporating SMART technology throughout the whole campus.
The smart hospital aims to collaborate with partners across health and social sectors, putting increased focus on treating patients more effectively within the comfort of their homes and communities supported by Technology-Enabled Care equipment.
By introducing more community-based health care, it will enable the hospital to free up hospital beds quicker and gives healthcare staff more time to focus on their priorities.
A crucial element to the success of SMART healthcare is technology, which both the healthcare providers and patients can use within a hospital and home setting.
Telehealth projects are being introduced to improve delivery of care outside the hospital and enable community health providers to play a more significant role in taking care of older people, as well as patients with chronic diseases.
Today, hospitals are like a repair shop as they wait for people to be sick or injured. Dr Soh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Tan Tock Seng Hospital, thinks Healthcare leaders need to change their way of thinking and become more like an Activation shop, which incorporates:
- Track 1 Smart Healthcare – Smart ward and logistic building
- Track 2 Smart Home – Bringing technology into the home.
- Track 3 Smart Systems Wellness - Relationships with patients
and managing risks
To do this Smart Healthcare System needs to look at a patient’s journey from hospital to home and how quickly and effectively that patient gets home. Beyond technology, a systems-based approach to innovation will be key to transforming and sustaining the future of healthcare by integrating Care Redesign, Enabling Technologies and Job Redesign.
Information was sourced from a speech given at the EAHM Congress, Ghent, by Dr Soh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore.