Doctors and staff at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) are turning to smart mapping technology to design and enhance clinical services for different segments of the population.
The technology, from leading geospatial solutions provider Esri Singapore, will allow users to map and analyse medical and demographic data so decision makers can clearly understand and predict community health needs and design effective interventions.
Michael Leow, Director for Operations at TTSH, said the initiative comes as part of the National Health Group’s (NHG) efforts to raise the quality of patient care by moving towards an integrated and patient-centric Regional Health System (RHS).
“NHG is actively overseeing the development of the RHS in the central region, with Tan Tock Seng Hospital being a main acute hospital tasked in managing the health of the population in the area,” Mr Leow said.
“By using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, we canbetter understand the health patterns of patients, embark on the design of appropriate healthcare services, and create an effective network of community partnerships that includes polyclinics, General Practitioners (GP), and social services.”
More importantly, the technology will help NHG address a key challenge concerning frequent hospital admitters who utilise a disproportionate amount of healthcare resources.
“We will be conducting spatial analysis using GIS technology on our frequent admitters in terms of their demographic profile, housing type, disease type, proximity to other healthcare providers – such as polyclinics and participating Community Health Assist Scheme GP clinics – and availability of community and social resources, such as Family Services Centres,” Mr Leow said.
“This will enable us to understand and anticipate the needs of these patients, and work with community partners to proactively provide them with holistic support in order to reduce avoidable hospital admissions and Accident and Emergency visits.”
Esri Singapore CEO Thomas Pramotedham said as the public health system evolves toward a relationship-based health care system - that aims to care for a patient through a network of care providers across primary, acute and community care sectors - the relevance of location becomes even more important to ensure that it is built onto a sustainable care network.
“Understanding these relationships can help organisations like NHG and TTSH provide a holistic care plan for all patients as they transfer to different locations and different levels of care,” Mr Pramotedham said.
Mr Leow said the use of GIS technology will also help TTSH designtargeted healthcare services needed to facilitate timely discharge from acute hospital and specialist outpatient clinics.
“For example, GIS technology can help us come up with the most time-saving and efficient way to organise collaborative home help for a patient who just got discharged from TTSH,” Mr Leow said.
“This will enable us to minimise transportation and manpower costs while delivering seamless patient care.”
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