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Dec 12, 2022

Transforming the Delivery of Cardiovascular Care in Singapore with SingHealth

Estimated reading time: 3-5 minutes

SingHealth recently rolled out the Philips IntelliSpace ECG to better integrate and improve access to patients’ electrocardiogram (ECG) information across its network of institutions, thereby enhancing workflow for its healthcare staff and improving care delivery for CVD patients.

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Digitalization has long been a priority for Singapore’s health system, as it sought to transform the delivery of healthcare to enhance affordability, accessibility, and quality of care. For complex and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which accounts for nearly a third of all deaths in Singapore annually, pressure is growing for healthcare providers to balance high-quality care for a growing number of patients while streamlining workflow and improving operational efficiency. Innovative approaches and advanced digital technologies enabled by strategic industry partnerships are much needed.


SingHealth, as one of Singapore’s largest public healthcare clusters has been at the forefront of this digital transformation journey across the group’s four public hospitals, three community hospitals, five national specialty centers, and a network of eight polyclinics. Promoting a data driven culture, championing data to enhance workflow and patient management, and modernizing its IT infrastructure to facilitate the shift towards real-time information sharing across healthcare departments have been its key focus areas. With these priorities in mind, SingHealth recently rolled out the Philips IntelliSpace ECG to better integrate and improve access to patients’ electrocardiogram (ECG) information across its network of institutions, thereby enhancing workflow for its healthcare staff and improving care delivery for CVD patients.

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There are significant opportunities to harness the power of technology to overcome these issues, and partnership between healthcare institution and technology has been key to break down barriers and complexity to deliver better health and lower cost of care,” 

Associate Professor Lim Soo Teik

Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology at National Heart Centre Singapore

Simplified access to ECG optimizes workflow and patient care

Electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the world’s most widely prescribed cardiac diagnostic test, and key to the detection and management of CVD conditions. The ability for healthcare providers in different institutions across the cluster to have fast and easy access to patients’ ECG information empowers the drive towards better continuity of care for patients. Through the new solution, ECG data can be more easily processed, distributed, and integrated throughout the entire continuum of care across SingHealth’s institutions. Clinicians across SingHealth are able to review and analyze patients’ previous and current ECGs real time from multiple connected locations. Having patient study data available in one place with a single point of entry also simplified workflow and enhanced patient care. Through the aggregation of all of these data across the health continuum, clinicians are able to make more informed treatment decisions and better collaborate with peers in patient management. The automation in the flow of ECG data across SingHealth also creates a seamlessly integrated experience and brings ease in clinical and operation workflow management.


“If a patient comes into the emergency department with chest pains or palpitations, we can quickly compare his previous ECG and the new ECG for any changes. This has really helped improve care delivery for the patient. The journey to electronic medical records has also allowed us to pull data that will tell us information such as how many ECGs have been performed in a particular location or even the number of abnormal readings there are in a certain number of ECGs,” said Associate Professor Lim Soo Teik, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), a SingHealth institution.

 

Increased efficiency and staff experience

Assistant Professor Daniel Chong, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology at NHCS, and Head, NHCS Cardiology at Sengkang General Hospital, shared the issues clinicians had prior to the adoption of the new ECG solution. “In the past, oftentimes, clinicians will have difficulty looking for previous ECGs because they would need to manually hunt for that piece of ECG printout among archived files. Sometimes, some of the ECG printouts from old records may be faded, which makes it difficult for the clinician to be certain what the patient's previous ECG waveform looked like.”

 

With the new solution, SingHealth’s clinicians can now easily retrieve and access ECGs from other point-of-care applications for review, comparison, and printing. This has led to a reduction in human errors and improved staff experience.

In the past, oftentimes, clinicians would need to manually hunt for previous ECG print outs among archived files. With the new solution, clinicians can now easily retrieve and access ECGs from other point-of-care applications for review, comparison, and printing. This has led to a reduction in human errors and improved staff experience,” 

Associate Professor Daniel Chong

Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology at National Heart Centre Singapore, and Head, NHCS Cardiology at Sengkang General Hospital

“The roll out of this smart solution is a significant next step in our digitalization journey. It has closed the gap in the entire electronic medical system and demonstrates how healthcare digitalization can enhance patient as well as staff experience,” said Assoc Prof Lim.

 

Healthcare leaders around the world are increasingly unlocking the power of data in both operational and clinical workflows to improve healthcare delivery according to 2022 Future Health Index, which polled 3,000 healthcare leaders across 15 countries. However, challenges remain in overcoming data silos and embedding data across the care continuum to drive better clinical decision making.

 

“There are significant opportunities to harness the power of technology to overcome these issues and partnership between healthcare institution and technology has been key to break down barriers and complexity to deliver better health and lower cost of care,” said Assoc Prof Lim.

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Tan, Yi Xian

Brand and Communications Manager, Philips ASEAN Pacific

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