Tech-assisted services ease visits to S'pore hospitals

Patient status updates at A&E department, consolidated medical records between hospitals and clinics, and visitor self-registration kiosks--these are a few of ZDNet blogger Imelda Tan's favorite "things" at Singapore’s hospitals.
Written by Imelda Tan, Contributor

Patient status updates at a hospital's accidents and emergency (A&E) department, consolidated medical records from other hospitals and outpatient clinics, and ward visitor self-registration kiosks. These are a few of my favorite "things" at Singapore's hospitals.


Hospitals are not places for impressing locals and tourists. While there are still many ICT-related improvements that can still be put in, and being high tech does not reflect the standard of medical care, it is still good to see ICT being used meaningfully in local hospitals.

Status updates, through social media, may not always be useful to everyone all the time but when used to provide patient status updates at a hospital A&E waiting area, they can certainly be deemed useful to the patient's family. There must be hospital staff, though, to conscientiously update which station each patient currently is at.

The computerization of Singapore's healthcare industry has been going on for decades, and organizations such as Integrated Health Information Systems (IHIS) have been painstakingly making it possible. Now, when a patient is treated at the hospital, authorized healthcare professionals can retrieve information about his past and current medical conditions as well as received medical attention at other hospitals and even public subsidized outpatient clinics, including test results, drug allergies, and prescriptions. Billing and payments for typical patients can be linked to their Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF) Medisave accounts and medical insurance, subject to certain conditions.

Visitors to hospital wards also can easily register themselves by simply flashing their identity cards at various kiosks to enter or exit the hospital wards.

While much has been said about how electronic communication can interfere with medical equipment, even non-ICT fans can feel comforted by what we have in Singapore hospitals.

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