Innovation, skills upgrading part of healthcare transformation roadmap unveiledShared by:
SINGAPORE — Jobs redesign, greater use of technology and measures to keep healthcare professionals working for longer were part of the Healthcare Industry Transformation Map unveiled on Wednesday (Nov 8). New hospital developments such as the Woodlands Health Campus will try out solutions such as RFID technology to track patients in real time. Virtual monitoring of patients and “smart” logistics solutions to top up consumables and medication will also be test-bedded. To help the ageing workforce – which stands at 96,000 today – the government will reduce the physical strain of healthcare jobs. It will bulk purchase nearly 600 bed transporters and deploy them at Changi General Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, National University Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital in phases from June next year. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said he welcomed more Singaporeans of all ages to join the healthcare sector – especially nursing – at the FutureHealth 2017 conference at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. The government launched a community nursing scholarship in July and will help more mid-career professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) to join nursing, he said. To enhance productivity of nurses, hospitals will help reduce the time they spend on inventory management, documentation, food services and transportation of patients, said Mr Gan. Skills upgrading is also “critical” and the authorities will develop skills frameworks for nurses, allied health professionals, pharmacy technicians and support care staff by the end of next year. Patient service associates, for instance, are already being trained to perform clinical tasks beyond administration work, such as drawing blood, electrocardiography and checking basic medication. Last October, the government said it planned to add another 30,000 healthcare workers to the sector by 2020 — expanding its current workforce by 33 per cent — to meet the needs of an ageing population. The Healthcare ITM will support ongoing shifts in the healthcare system towards health promotion, moving care more into the community instead of in acute hospitals, and having cost-effective care. The ministry said it would work with healthcare providers, unions, researchers and workers to implement the strategies. To help the public make more informed decisions, the ministry also said on Wednesday it would develop an online matching platform called Health marketplace that will link patients and caregivers to home care services and supplies. “This is to improve matching of demand and supply, and unlock untapped resources,” it said.
9 Nov 2017 - General