SINGAPORE: The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital have unveiled some new features that will help to improve processes and provide a conducive environment for patients as well as their caregivers.
The commemorative superstructure signing ceremony between Jurong Health Services (JurongHealth) and GS Engineering & Construction was officiated by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Saturday morning.
It signifies a joint commitment to build a seamless integrated healthcare hub.
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital will see the first Intensive Care Medicine Department in Singapore which will streamline care by combining the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency (HD) unit.
It will cut across different conventional ICUs such as surgical, medical, cardiac and neurosurgical.
The ICU will adopt a multi—professional team approach, involving critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, critical care dietician and pharmacist.
This will allow flexibility between the ICU and HD units and will reduce the need for physical and care team transfers.
This means that intensive care patients whose condition have improved will be seamlessly managed as high dependency patients in the same room, cared for by the same team.
CEO of JurongHealth Foo Hee Jug said: "The first benefit we get is optimisation of resources. ICU are expensive assets within a hospital. When we put it under one single management and one single space, we can optimise it from a perspective of having the ICU under one managment through the Intensive Care Medicine Unit.
"We actually would be able to standardise care, have one point of contact for our patients and their caregiver and overall we think care is going to improve."
The hospital also prides itself with "a window for every patient" concept as it believes that access to natural lighting provides a conducive environment for patients’ healing process.
Its Emergency Department is also designed for faster care, shorter waiting time and is scalable to accommodate an anticipated increase in patient load.
To prevent bottlenecks, it will have a central registration desk replaced with kiosks and greeters, bedside registrations and documentation.
Dr Quek Lit Sin, senior consultant and head of JurongHealth’s Emergency Medicine Department, said: "Patients coming through the emergency department want to see a healthcare professional —— be it a nurse or a physician.
"We try to put these healthcare professionals right upfront, meaning they will attend to the patient as quickly as possible, not making them register, not making them wait for the next step in the whole consultation process, but actually address their problems right from the beginning and try to allocate resource as quickly as possible for these patients, meaning they will get treatment as soon as possible."
The Emergency Department is also designed to be trauma—ready to step up to any crisis involving mass casualty or hazardous materials incidents in nearby Jurong Island.
With Singapore’s ageing population, the hospital will also have built in elder—friendly features such as handrails and large face clocks.
The community hospital will also have a purpose—built 3—room HDB flat mock—up rehabilitative zone so that the elderly can get the necessary skills to return to their daily activities upon discharge.
One challenge for the hospital would be manpower, as it needs some 4,000 healthcare workers.
Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong said: "For the immediate near term, we will still need to depend on foreign manpower to help supplement the local manpower.
"For doctors, for example, we are also reaching out to Singaporeans who are studying overseas and through our pre—employment grant, we want to attract more Singaporeans to come back to serve in Singapore."
"We will also look at how we can tap onto the resources of the various hospitals in Singapore. Today, for example, the National University Hospital is helping Ng Teng Fong to build up its manpwer needs," Mr Gan added.
"So we will go to many different avenues to try our best to recruit locals."
Mr Gan said his ministry will continue discussions with the Ministry of Manpower and various government agencies to see how MOH can have access to foreign manpower to meet its needs in the short term.
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