S'pore clinics get a dose of IT

Doctors can tap on a new US$9.4 million-initiative designed to help them manage patient records and related information via a centralized system.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The government has unveiled a new program aimed at helping general practitioners (GPs) in the island-state manage patient records and related information via a common IT system.

Some S$15 million (US$9.4 million) will be invested over four years into the program, according to a statement released Thursday by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the country's infocomm regulator.

At present, many solo medical practitioners and small GP groups work on different systems to process different processes.

From Oct. 1, GPs from 1,400 clinics in the country will be able to update and retrieve their patients' health records through integrated clinic management systems. They can also perform other related functions, such as managing billing charges and patients' insurance claims.

IDA added that the centralized system would in future facilitate GPs to submit mandatory information, including infectious disease reports and alerts, to the country's Ministry of Health (MOH). It could also be used to record immunizations, access patients' allergies and medical alerts.

Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary at MOH, said: "Using IT can bring important new benefits to patients--real-time access to timely and accurate patient information will help doctors provide better care to patients.

"This is especially important for patients suffering from chronic diseases because they require coordinated care over the long term," she said.

IDA's chief executive Chan Yeng Kit, added: "With more than 80 percent of the primary healthcare sector managed by GPs, the integrated clinic management system will form a fundamental building block of an infocomm-enabled personalized healthcare delivery system."

According to IDA, the integrated clinic management system will be developed by Singapore-based companies CrimsonLogic and Frontline Technologies. The authority will also partner Internet services providers to provide broadband subscription packages specifically targeted at clinics.

IDA added that it is also working with the major medical groups to enhance their enterprise management systems.

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