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26
Nov
2021

Pandemic preparedness can no longer be defined by static benchmarks, say experts

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

Straits Times reported that the final episode of the webinar series, "COVID-19: Updates From Singapore" on 25 November, was jointly organised by NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS Medicine International Council, National University Health System and World Health Organization's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. The webinar series was co-hosted by A/Prof David Allen and Prof Dale Fisher from NUS Medicine, and Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant. 

Responding to a query at the webinar, A/Prof Sophia Archuleta, Head and Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, said the healthcare team's health takes priority, when the healthcare system was under pressure, given the competing demands of manpower, training and balancing patient care in both COVID-19 and non COVID-19 areas. 

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11
Nov
2021

S'pore hospitals bringing in volunteers to stop nurses burning out

Others

​Mothership carried the National University Health System (NUHS) statement in The Straits Times on how its hospitals are finding ways to lighten nurses’ load, such as by training volunteers and administrative staff to take over some basic duties. More than 80 administrative staff at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) have been trained to help ease the load in the general wards. Alexandra Hospital has trained a group of its regular hospital volunteers to screen and swab visitors and caregivers. Staff are also advised to plan their leave early with their departments so that everyone gets a turn. While NUHS has provided the option to carry over or encash unutilised leave, staff are encouraged to take leave to rest and recharge.

Media ArticlesNUHS in the NewsNTFGH in the NewsAH in the News
7
Nov
2021

Hospitals find ways to lighten nurses’ load amid staff shortage

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

Sunday Times reported that hospitals are finding ways to lighten nurses' load, such as by training volunteers and administrative staff to take over some basic duties. At NTFGH, these staff and volunteers serve meals and clear trays so that nurses can focus on their core duties. More than 80 administrative staff at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) have been trained to help ease the load in the general wards. The National University Hospital COVID-19 staff volunteer group which has more than 90 members, mostly from administrative areas, help with simple tasks such as ushering of patients or visitors at the clinics. Alexandra Hospital has trained a group of its regular hospital volunteers to screen and swab visitors and caregivers.

A National University Health System (NUHS) spokesperson said the cluster wants to ensure that staff get adequate support, so as to reduce staff burnout. To combat exhaustion and reinforce support to staff, NUHS is recruiting additional staff to boost manpower across the cluster both locally and internationally. Staff are also advised to plan their leave early with their departments so that everyone gets a turn. While NUHS has provided the option to carry over or encash unutilised leave, staff are encouraged to take leave to rest and recharge.

  • AsiaOne, 7 November 2021, Faced with staffing crisis, hospitals in Singapore find ways to lighten nurses’ Covid-19 load

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31
Oct
2021

Memilih tidak bertudung semasa kerja kerana prihatin tentang kawalan jangkitan (She choose not to wear a headscarf during work due to concerns of infection control

Berita Harian © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Muslim nurses, allowed to wear the tudung to work from 1 November 2021, may use their own headscarves if they follow guidelines set by their organisations, said hospitals. The National University Health System said its nurses are not allowed to have any embellishments on their headscarves, and they are encouraged to use those made of breathable or sweat-wicking material if working in non-air-conditioned settings.

Alexandra Hospital Nurse Manager Norhasidah Wahid has decided not to wear the tudung with her work uniform even though it is allowed. She explains her concerns of infection control and patient safety to Berita Minggu, sharing her professional reasons for the decision.

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24
Oct
2021

New plant-based meat brands hit the market, some developed in Singapore

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

In a feature on the new trend of plant-based meat, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital's Annabelle Johnson, Dietitian said that it is important to read labels to look out for the ingredients which go into these products. Alexandra Hospital's Senior Dietitian Lye Wye Li said not all meat substitutes are the same.  It is recommended that one chooses original plant-based ingredients that are naturally produced.

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21
Oct
2021

Queenstown to be a health district designed to help seniors stay active

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

​Media reported that National University Health System (NUHS), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Housing & Development Board (HDB), along with stakeholders from the public, private and people sectors are collaborating on a health district pilot programme, which will support residents to lead healthier and more productive lives through more integrated planning and design of the estate and more community-driven programmes. The boundary of the Health District @ Queenstown includes National University Hospital (NUH), Alexandra Hospital (AH), Queenstown Polyclinic and NUS.

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21
Oct
2021

NUHS hospitals, polyclinics to get teleconsultation service on app

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

With just a click of a button on the OneNUHS App, a patient can attend a video consultation with a clinician and have medications delivered to their doorstep. This is enabled using the one-stop app jointly developed by National University Health System (NUHS) and Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), which provides patients with greater convenience and saves on travel and wait time.

The OneNUHS App is the first mobile app by a public healthcare cluster to provide teleconsult functionality.  Alexandra Hospital (AH) has been using the mobile video TeleConsult feature since end August 2021. To date, some 100 patients have tried out the feature. Plans are also underway to introduce the feature to National University Polyclinics (NUP) patients in February 2022, as well as National University Hospital (NUH) and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) within the next year.

The Straits Times quoted Ms Clara Sin, Chief Operating Officer, Group Service Transformation & Medical Records, NUHS, who commented that the introduction of the teleconsultation feature is especially timely, considering the COVID-19 situation. NUHS wants to ensure continuity of care for all patients and save them the trouble of travelling physically to the hospital, especially elderly patients. Lianhe Zaobao quoted Mr Peter Forbes, Group Chief Digital Officer, NUHS, who shared that NUHS is currently performing around 6,500 teleconsultations per month and hopes that by December 2021, at least 90 per cent of patients scheduled for teleconsult at AH will benefit from the app.

Mediacorp Channel 8 also quoted Dr Ivan Chan, Director, Group Digital Office, NUHS, who said that among the 100 AH patients who have benefited from the app's TeleConsult feature, more than half were young patients; one quarter were between 50 to 64 years old and 11 per cent were 65 years and above. Dr Teng Gim Gee, Senior Consultant, Rheumatology and Head of Chronic Programme, AH added that patients suitable for teleconsultation include those with stable chronic conditions such as chronic kidney, liver or heart diseases, as well as those with hypertension, diabetes or arthritis.

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18
Oct
2021

Start-up Bot MD’s AI platform helps docs monitor patients’ vital signs

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

​National University Health System (NUHS) is one of the partners working with AI healthtech start-up, Bot MD, on a pilot programme to monitor selected patients who are recovering from COVID-19 at home. Since the start of October 2021, more than 80 patients have taken part in the programme. A previous iteration of the bot, SGDormBot, was jointly developed with NUHS amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in migrant worker dormitories. Bot MD also partnered with Alexandra Hospital (AH) and NUHS CareHub on a post-discharge transitional care programme to monitor patients with hypertension and diabetes.

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12
Oct
2021

Keeping seniors safe and saving beds

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

​AH and NTFGH initiate tele-triaging and right-siting for seniors and elderly patients at emergency departments, to save beds for critical care patients, both COVID and non-COVID alike, while keeping seniors safe.

(a) Tele-triaging hotline by AH for discharged patients who include seniors. Prevented emergency visits/ readmission by 37%. (started in Aug 2020)

(b) Case management protocol by NTFGH’s ED to refer non-COVID seniors out of admissions to other pathways. Avoided hospital admission by about 30%. (started in Aug 2020)

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital’s programme is called “CARED” or “Case Management for At-Risk patients at ED”, which, at the onset of ED admission, triages cases involving seniors 65 years and above or frequent re-admitters with complex medical history, frailty and/or challenges with function. A case manager at the emergency department provides comprehensive assessment, acute intervention at ED if necessary, and right-sites the patient either to the hospital’s specialist outpatient medical, nursing or allied health clinics, arranges for home or centre-based care, or refers them to appropriate community care services.

Dr Satya Gollamudi, AH’s Head of Department of Medicine, piloted a virtual care centre (VCC) led by doctors and multi-disciplinary care personnel. Manned by care managers, the pilot started in August 2020. Patients can call the triage helpline for any post-discharge care and follow-up by their primary doctors to enable early detection of deterioration and faster access to acute care by tele-triaging patients and matching their needs with the most appropriate resources or right site. This is to prevent unnecessary admissions nor visits to the 24-hour Urgent Care Centre, or calling 995 for admission through other A&E departments.

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11
Oct
2021

Keeping seniors safe and saving beds

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

Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital initiate tele-triaging and right-siting for seniors and elderly patients at emergency departments, to save beds for critical care patients, both COVID and non-COVID alike, while keeping seniors safe. 

  1. Tele-triaging hotline by Alexandra Hospital for discharged patients who include seniors. Prevented emergency visits/ readmission by 37%. (started in Aug 2020)
  2. Case management protocol by Ng Teng Fong General Hospital's Emergency Department to refer non-COVID seniors out of admissions to other pathways. Avoided hospital admission by about 30%. (started in Aug 2020)

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital's programme is called "CARED" or "Case Management for At-Risk patients at Emergency Department", which, at the onset of Emergency Department admission, triages cases involving seniors 65 years and above or frequent re-admitters with complex medical history, frailty and/or challenges with function. A case manager at the emergency department provides comprehensive assessment, acute intervention at Emergency Department if necessary, and right-sites the patient either to the hospital's specialist outpatient medical, nursing or allied health clinics, arranges for home or centre-based care, or refers them to appropriate community care services. 

Dr Satya Gollamudi, Alexandra Hospital’s Head of Department of Medicine, piloted a virtual care centre (VCC) led by doctors and multi-disciplinary care personnel. Manned by care managers, the pilot started in August 2020. Patients can call the triage helpline for any post-discharge care and follow-up by their primary doctors to enable early detection of deterioration and faster access to acute care by tele-triaging patients and matching their needs with the most appropriate resources or right site. This is to prevent unnecessary admissions nor visits to the 24-hour Urgent Care Centre, or calling 995 for admission through other Accident and Emergency departments.

NUHS in the NewsNTFGH in the NewsAH in the News
6
Oct
2021

Hospitals set up temporary structures for Covid-19 cases

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

​Straits Times reported that public hospitals such as Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital are using tents they had first set up last year for screening patients to deal with the "continuing flood" of COVID-19 cases presenting at the emergency departments. The article carried a photo of an ambulance outside National University Hospital Emergency Department.

Media ArticlesNUH in the NewsNUHS in the NewsNTFGH in the NewsAH in the News
30
Sep
2021

ART kit vending machines make a difference at S'pore hospitals, firms

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

​Straits Times reported that vending machines which dispense antigen rapid test (ART) kits have been installed at hospitals including National University Hospital (NUH), Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Alexandra Hospital (AH). The vending machines at NUH dispenses ART kits so that unvaccinated visitors can be tested under the supervision of NUH staff. Vaccinated visitors can obtain those kits for free at the hospital’s visitor management service counters.

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21
Sep
2021

Patients, caregivers get more resources

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

On World Alzheimer's Day, which falls on Tuesday, 21 September, the National University Health System's Mind Science Centre opened the Mind Art Experiential Lab (MAELab), a mental wellness centre focusing on the Asian culture, lifestyle, phenotype and issues, at Alexandra Hospital.

The launch was attended by Senior Minister of State for National Development and Foreign Affairs Sim Ann, who is also an MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. Ms Sim also announced that her ward in Bukit Timah will be adopting the Mind Science Centre's Age Well Everyday programme early next year, joining eight other community clubs who have already done so. The programme is a depression and dementia risk prevention programme designed to delay cognitive deterioration, reduce anxiety and increase socialisation.

NUHS in the NewsAH in the News
20
Sep
2021

Some public hospitals in S’pore seeing surge in Covid-19 positive & suspect cases at A&E

Others

Mothership quoted an National University Hospital Facebook post noting that the hospital has put in place extra precautionary measures in its emergency department to ensure the safety of the patients, and waiting time will be longer than expected. Patients with more serious conditions and who require admission will be prioritised. National University Hospital also encouraged patients with non-critical conditions to visit a GP or polyclinic, or the 24-hour Urgent Care Centre at Alexandra Hospital.

NUH in the NewsNUHS in the NewsAH in the News
15
Sep
2021

Covid-19 heroes get a boost

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

In an ST report on local initiatives that recognise health workers, it was mentioned that more than 25,000 healthcare workers from 11 healthcare institutions including National University Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital have been given complimentary one-year membership to the Fuzzie Corporate Club, which offers discounts and privileges from over 600 brands in Singapore. Dr Janice Lam, Consultant, Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital, said that it is a useful and meaningful gift to healthcare workers, and the special perks boost healthcare workers’ morale. The report also carried a photo of Alexandra Hospital healthcare workers with their care packs.

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