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16
Jan
2021

Technology set to change face of medical care

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of technology has been on the rise in many industries. The healthcare industry was one of them with telehealth services being rapidly rolled out and offered to patients with different care needs. For example, Alexandra Hospital senior physiotherapist Tan Ee Ling was able to demonstrate wrist-stretching exercises to a patient during a virtual consultation over Zoom, a video-conferencing tool.

Over time, National University Health System has seen a marked up-take in telehealth services and its group chief digital officer Peter Forbes further shared that, “NUHS is currently working on the expansion of its telehealth services across all institutions within the healthcare cluster in order to offer this service to more patients.”

A/Prof Mahesh Choolani, head and senior consultant of the obstetrics and gynaecology department at National University Hospital, remarked that other than telehealth services, the adoption of innovations and technology has also changed the way healthcare institutions manage patient flow. The use of robots and internet-enabled devices also allow physicians to remotely track patients' vital signs and make diagnoses without being physically present. Apart from managing the spread of infection during a pandemic, the use of such technology also reduces manpower requirements and makes hospital operations more efficient and less costly.


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8
Jan
2021

50,000 fruits for frontline workers

Tabla! © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​A local Indian vegetarian restaurant, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, distributed 50,000 fresh fruits to 20 hospitals, including NUH and AH, on 31 December 2020 to thank frontline healthcare workers.

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27
Dec
2020

Current measures in S'pore adequate against new Covid-19 strains, say experts

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Discussing how the new coronavirus strains affected vaccination plans, Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of SSHSPH, said it may now be important for more Singaporeans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, noting that “this is the only way we can continue to ensure that the community as a whole is protected”.
 
A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean of Global Research and Programme Leader of Infectious Diseases at SSHSPH, noted that the vaccine would still protect against the new COVID-19 strains as they have not mutated to the extent that vaccines are not able to protect against them.   
 
Reports also quoted experts who spoke at the NUSMed webinar series “Covid-19: Updates from Singapore”, including A/Prof David Allen and Prof Dale Fisher from NUSMed, and Dr Louisa Sun from Alexandra Hospital.


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18
Oct
2020

狮子乐龄之友与六公共医院合作 免费远程看诊降低年长者感染风险 (Lions Befrienders partners with 6 hospitals to provide free remote consultations for elderly)

联合早报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​To reduce the risk of infection amongst the elderly, Lions Befrienders has partnered with six hospitals to provide free remote consultations. This includes National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital.


This initiative currently covers services such as chronic disease management, general and geriatric consultations. Elderly residents are able to consult with psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists and other healthcare staff remotely.

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25
Sep
2020

NUHS harnesses tech to help manage hospital facilities

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​NUHS embraces drones, touch-free technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to transform hospital operations. The suite of technologies includes: 

  • A security robot that will patrol the grounds of the hospitals namely NTFGH and NUH for a start;
  • ‘Kenobi’, a security and concierge robot that can conduct thermal scanning and check for SafeEntry;
  • Drones for hospital inspections and security surveillance;
  • IoT solutions to predict and prevent flood and fire incidents; and
  • Touch-free technology in visitor and patient lifts to improve infection control.
 This will enable hospitals to move from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance, improve operational efficiency, reduce risks and hazards, and build a future-ready workforce. 

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22
Aug
2020

NUHS won’t seek $296k repayment of bills from worker

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Healthcare group NUHS, which runs National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital, has said it is not pursuing a $296,000 award it won in court against a quadriplegic foreign worker, whose employer had defaulted on paying his medical treatment bills.

Mr Janaed, 44, had suffered severe injuries from a 3m-high fall at Westgate Tower in Jurong, in November 2018. He was warded at NUH for 91 days before being transferred to AH, where he stayed for 152 days.

Responding to queries, an NUHS spokesman said that as with other cases involving defaults on payment, it had exercised its options as part of the legal process. It added: “Mr Janaed was a patient whom we have cared for, and we understand his circumstances. We will not be pursuing any repayment of the medical and hospital bills from him. We, however, reserve our rights to take any necessary action against the employer.” 


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3
Aug
2020

Fighter jets to soar over hospitals, heartland in tribute to front-line, essential workers

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​In this year’s National Day Parade, six F-15 fighter jets will perform a segment called the Roar of Unity and fly past eight hospitals including NUH, NTFGH, and AH to pay tribute to front-line and essential workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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19
Jul
2020

When will it be safe to…?

The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

The article discussed when it is safe to restart activities like working out at the gym or going on vacation. It includes quoted comments by Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of SSHSPH, Prof Paul Tambyah of NUSMed and Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases at NUH, Assoc Prof Hsu Li Yang, Leader of Infectious Diseases Programme at SSHSPH, Ms Julianah Omar, Nurse Manager at AH's Urgent Care Centre, and Dr Laureen Wang, Associate Consultant at the Department of Cardiology at AH.

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4
Jul
2020

Shared care for more patients with stable chronic conditions

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

In Covid-19 times, it is an option for patients with stable chronic conditions who may not want to go to a hospital to have a shared care arrangement between a hospital specialist and a family physician. The Straits Times featured the example of Mr Chua Kee Huat, 70, who is part of such an arrangement with his specialist, Dr Anita Lim, senior consultant at NUH’s Division of Rheumatology and a family physician at Frontier Family Medicine Clinic. With shared care, the specialist can handle the more challenging aspects of the illness, while the family physician will monitor the patient and manage his other medical problems.
 
Ms Joanne Yap, executive director of the NUHS Regional Health System Office, said: “We have hope that the Covid-19 pandemic may drive changes in patient preferences for safety and convenience over choice of a specialist setting only. We intend to ride on the expediency of Covid-19 to expand the number of conditions managed through the shared care programme and to involve more specialists in NUHS-managed hospitals.”
 
NTFGH came on board the shared care programme at the end of last year, and AH will start to enrol patients for the programme from this month, Ms Yap added. Last year, NUHS enrolled 188 new shared programme cases, exceeding the set target of 170. This year, it has raised its target to 200, given its expansion plans ahead.

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4
Jul
2020

如何处理冷冻食物? (How should you handle frozen food?)

新明日报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant of Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme at Alexandra Hospital and Ms Lynette Goh, Principal Dietitian of the National University Polyclinics commented on the importance on handling frozen food properly to avoid bacterial infection. Among the tips shared with readers were avoiding refreezing defrosted food and using an ice pack or cooler bag if the trip from the supermarket to home takes longer than 30 minutes.

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16
Jun
2020

Ella helps keep Alexandra Hospital clean

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​NTFGH Chief Operating Officer, Ng Kian Swan shares that the current Covid-19 situation has stretched our resources, hence our housekeeping department is leveraging technology to drive efficiency, safety and be less dependent on labour.

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4
May
2020

Stretched but coping: How Singapore’s healthcare system has cranked up efforts to deal with COVID-19

Channel NewsAsia

This report delves into the measures that local public hospitals have adopted to cope with the surge in COVID-19 patient numbers, and precautionary measures for the approaching dengue season.
 
A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, programme lead of infectious diseases at SSHSPH commented that Singapore’s strategies were generally very effective up until mid-March, but the nation was unprepared for the explosion of confirmed diagnoses in the migrant worker population. However, he is confident the nation will be able to cope.
 
NTFGH saw a spike in cases at its emergency department and has had to rapidly re-purpose areas such as its Community Hub (at JCH) and six floors of wards, and extend its fever tent, to cater to the increasing load.
 
AH has turned two empty wards into isolation wards and increased its intensive care capabilities from 4 to 11 beds. It aims to have 20 ICU beds by this month.
 
NUH has been creating surge capacity since January by decreasing elective workloads, reconfiguring its facilities and has created family-friendly areas where parents and children with COVID-19 can be cared for together.
 
Hospitals have also ramped up training to equip nurses with skills needed in the current situation. At AH, Ms Doreen Heng, Assistant Director of Nursing, provides “express course training” to help former ICU nurses refresh their knowledge, and equip nurses from other backgrounds with ICU certification. 

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5
Apr
2020

Bouncing back from SARS with more love for nursing

The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Ms Noor Melati Ahmad (Nurse Clinician, NUH) and Ms Pauline Chong (Senior Nurse Clinician, AH) who contracted SARS in 2003. They share about their SARS experience and recovery journey, what it’s like fighting COVID-19 on the frontline, and how they combat stress and stay positive.

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23
Oct
2019

Satellite clinic for geriatric care to open at Queenstown Polyclinic

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Elderly care will be more accessible by December 2019 when Alexandra Hospital opens its first satellite clinic for geriatrics at Queenstown Polyclinic. Visits to the satellite clinic, which is located between Queenstown and Commonwealth MRT stations, will be on a referral basis. It will charge lower-than-specialist clinic rates and provide one-stop geriatric assessment and management for conditions such as dementia, frailty, malnutrition, and fall and fracture risk assessment.


Speaking at AH Care Day 2019 at Tanglin Halt on Sunday, AH Chief Executive Officer, A/Prof Jason Phua said: “It is important to ensure early comprehensive geriatric care in order to reduce downstream complications such as falls, fragility fractures and hospitalisations".

Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), Lee Siew Hui shares how patients are able to benefit from this as healthcare professionals are able to see all of a patient’s conditions in one setting. This makes care more holistic and seamless, especially when APN Lee Siew Hui does house visits for general check-ups and administering wound care – she is able to immediately activate a doctor in the one-care team should there be any medical issues be detected when visiting patients.

Separately, Alexandra Hospital is also set to open two smart wards in the first half of next year which will allow for the deployment of assistive devices, robotics, artificial intelligence with predictive capability, and other solutions such as smart beds with built-in sensing capabilities to predict and alert patients’ conditions.

This month, LTA had also granted permission to allow a first hospital-to-hospital free shuttle bus to ply between National University Hospital (NUH) Emergency Department and AH’s 24/7 Urgent Care Centre from Monday to Friday. AH and NUH are “sibling” hospitals within the same healthcare cluster, and doctors shuttle across both hospitals. Currently, about 50% of AH admissions are through transfers from NUH’s emergency department.

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12
Oct
2019

亚力山大医院药剂师走入社区登门指导病患服药 (Alexandra Hospital pharmacists pay house visits to assist patients in medication compliance)

Others

From January 2019, Alexandra Hospital (AH) rolled out an initiative where hospital pharmacists make house-visits to help elderly patients facing polypharmacy and issues with medication adherence.

AH Pharmacist, Joshua Low shared that the combination of polypharmacy, a lack of understanding and poor memory may cause elderly patients to be confused with their medication dosage and timing which is alarming. A scenario he gave was an elderly mistaking high blood pressure medication for painkillers, which could result in low blood pressure and subsequently a fall.

Studies have shown that 14.5% of the patients who face the issue of polypharmacy are 66 years and older.

Chang Wei Terk, Principal Clinical Pharmacist, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH), shared that for patients who see multiple doctors and are on a variety of medications, it can be challenging to trace the history and side effects of medications that were previously prescribed. This may constitute to the issue of polypharmacy in patients.

Apart from AH and NTFGH, the National University Hospital also has similar initiatives to help their patients cope with Polypharmacy.

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