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Forging a new frontier

04-Oct-2010 (Mon) Advertorial, The Business Times

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is running the fifth year of its biennial National Infocomm Awards (NIA). The honour is given to Singapore’s infocomm thought leaders who have inspired and led the way to create a vibrant technology landscape in the country through innovation and ingenuity.

Jointly organised by the IDA and the Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF), the Awards is the industry’s highest accolade for infocomm innovation.

The NIA Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology category highlights inspiring examples of public and private organisations in Singapore who have effectively deployed innovative infocomm technology. These nominees have reaped significant improvements in productivity and competitiveness, thanks to their forward-looking IT plans. This category is split into three subcategories honouring the public sector, the private sector, and SMEs in the private sector.

PUBLIC SECTOR FINALISTS

National University Hospital (NUH) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)

Efficiency: For NUH and TTSH, automating the process on an intelligent system helps reduce human errors and bring patient safety to a higher level.

NUH, TTSH, in collaboration with Integrated Health Information Systems Pte Ltd (IHiS) have jointly implemented a fully electronic end-to-end Closed-Loop Medication Management (CLMM) system in the hospital wards.

This marks a radical departure from the traditional way of preparing medication for inpatients, because automating the process on an intelligent system has helped reduce human errors and bring patient safety to a higher level.

Dr James Yip, Chief Medical Information Officer, National University Health System (NUHS) and Senior Consultant, National University Heart Centre Singapore (NUHCS), said the system has enhanced medication safety and improved operational efficiency.

“Patient safety is paramount and to provide better patient care, NUH, TTSH, together with IHiS have implemented the system to enhance our medication safety process by ensuring that patients are given the right drug with the right dose at the right time.”

Specifically, an automated tablet dispensing and packaging system dispenses packed and bar-coded unit-doses of medicine in sachets. These are stored in secured intelligent cabinets placed in inpatient wards, and linked with hospitals’ electronic medical record system to provide patient and medication information.

Apart from safety and accuracy, the solution has been a boon to staff operational efficiency, allowing them to better focus on patient-centric activities.

Furthermore, cost due to wastage is lowered. Unconsumed and undamaged medicines that are still in their packaging can be returned and reused. Pharmacy staff are also able to monitor real-time medication stock levels in all the medication cabinets, allowing them to schedule resupplying schedules based on actual consumption needs, and supply only what’s needed.