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New healthcare innovation centre will mean faster admissions, better solutions for patients

SINGAPORE — At Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), it takes 30 minutes to get a hospital bed ready for the next patient after one has been discharged. With a command, control and communications (C3) system at the hospital’s new operations command centre, the time taken can be cut by at least 20 per cent, or six minutes.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new operations command centre will be housed at the Ng Teng Fong Centre for Healthcare Innovation.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital's new operations command centre will be housed at the Ng Teng Fong Centre for Healthcare Innovation.

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SINGAPORE — At Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), it takes 30 minutes to get a hospital bed ready for the next patient after one has been discharged.

With a command, control and communications (C3) system at the hospital’s new operations command centre, the time taken can be cut by at least 20 per cent, or six minutes.

The system is able to indicate where patients should be warded, by showing which beds are vacant and which ones are being turned around.

It also shows which patients are scheduled for discharge, allowing them to be more effectively allocated.

In the future, C3 will also connect with the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s ambulance system to get a heads-up on incoming patients before they physically arrive at the hospital.

Like an airport control tower, the system acts as a nerve centre to provide visibility of hospital operations and boost productivity rates, said TTSH’s chief operating officer Jamie Mervyn Lim.

“Because we are able to manage our day-to-day operations more effectively and efficiently, our patients do get faster admissions into the beds,” he said.

C3 is set to go “live” progressively from the third quarter of this year and TTSH will be the first to use it. It will be scalable to other public hospitals at a later stage, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Thursday (May 9).

He was speaking at the official opening of the nine-storey Ng Teng Fong Centre for Healthcare Innovation, where TTSH’s operations command centre is housed.

VIRTUAL INNOVATION CENTRE IN THE WORKS

Innovation does not take place in silos but requires networks, as ideas build on one another, said Mr Gan.

To encourage collaboration, the Centre for Healthcare Innovation has a co-learning network involving all three public healthcare clusters as well as local and overseas partners. They include NTUC’s Healthcare Academy, the Ribera Salud Healthcare Group from Spain and the Oxford Centre for Triple Value Healthcare from the United Kingdom.

There is also the Ng Teng Fong Healthcare Innovation Programme, funded by a S$52 million donation from the family of the late tycoon to support projects and training.

Supported by the Ministry of Health, its IT arm Integrated Health Information Systems and other partners, the Centre for Healthcare Innovation is building a national knowledge management system that will provide institutions and other players with a virtual platform to brainstorm and learn together.

It will reduce duplication and have a “live” repository of best practice stories and ongoing projects, Mr Gan said.

The building has a simulation centre, as well as a facility called the “living lab” to help translate ideas into prototypes for testing.

Mr David Dhevarajulu, executive director of the Centre for Healthcare Innovation, said: “Anyone including patients, doctors and nurses as well as the community can come into the lab.” 

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