Changi General Hospital (CGH) has achieved Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) stage six, an international benchmark for the use of advanced IT to improve patient care.
EMRAM is a global standard that measures the use of technology to transform healthcare to improve patient safety, care quality and efficiency. Stage six, on a scale of zero to seven, indicates significant IT capabilities.
The achievement ranks CGH and Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) among hospitals with the most advanced clinical technologies worldwide. IHiS, the Health Ministry’s IT arm, manages IT systems at all public healthcare institutions, and was pivotal to CGH’s achieving the benchmark.
As of the third quarter of this year, only 2.5 per cent of 613 hospitals in Asia Pacific tracked by HIMSS have stage six or seven capabilities. Across US, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, just 8.5 per cent of over 8,300 hospitals have achieved these benchmarks.
Singapore continues to have the highest number of public hospitals with stage 6 in Asia Pacific
In 2011, Singapore’s KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, National University Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital became the first public hospitals in Asia Pacific to achieve the benchmark.
CGH Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lee Chien Earn, said: “IT is an essential component of healthcare, enabling simple administrative tasks to complex medical procedures. This award is a testament to the hard work and creativity of our staff and partners to come up with innovative processes and solutions to derive the optimal benefit in terms of care outcomes, productivity and staff satisfaction from our investment in IT.”
He added: “In CGH our aim is to transform the way we work and enhance the human touch by enabling healthcare professionals and providers to deliver safer, better and more personalised care through the wise use of IT.”
IHiS Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chong Yoke Sin, said: “In working towards Stage 6, CGH and IHiS staff also explored creative solutions to significantly improve clinical efficiencies. For example, CGH is one of the region’s first to deploy QR code technology instead of barcodes in its medication management process. This allows more information to be stored and scanned in labels, and thus more checks to ensure patient safety.”
QR codes can hold several hundred times the information in conventional barcodes vertically and horizontally. They can also be scanned more quickly and be printed on narrow surfaces.
Dr Chong added: “The HIMSS global benchmark highlights our hospitals’ focused efforts to harness IT to overcome Singapore’s healthcare challenges. IT is being used to transform clinical processes and maximise staff productivity to provide quality and affordable care to our increasing numbers of elderly ill.”
“Today, IHiS has integrated IT systems at all public hospitals, specialty centres and polyclinics. Doctors and healthcare staff directly enter electronic orders into computers, access instantly patients’ medical records across institutions, and view radiology images and lab test results immediately when they are known.
“We are also expanding the advanced IT environment beyond the hospital walls to provide tele-health solutions at community facilities, nursing homes, and patients’ homes. These include doctor tele-consultations, and healthcare staff monitoring and guiding patients through remote monitoring devices, tele-care hubs and mobile applications.”