Five pressing questions for our healthcare system
Singapore’s health and healthcare improvement efforts can benefit from new wellness and disease prevention strategies that help residents to better stay well and age well in the community. Primary health and community-based services are central to providing the holistic, long-term care and support necessary for patients with chronic diseases. The system will encounter complex challenges with a rapidly ageing population, rise in incidence of chronic diseases and increasing emphasis on the actions of the individual in managing their own health outcomes.
MOHT is an agile unit with the mandate to help drive the reshaping of our system. Working with government agencies and public health institutions, we solve these problems by experimenting with game changing system level concepts and innovations, and the development of digital tools and platforms. We act as system integrators and bring such innovations to the wider Singapore healthcare landscape.
Our conversations with partners have been guided by questions, like these below:
How can we prevent or delay major care transitions, e.g. from ‘well’ to ‘pre-diabetic’ to ‘diabetic’ to ‘complications’?
How can we enable longitudinal care continuity across settings over long periods of time?
How can we promote more holistic approaches to delivering and coordinating care?
How can technology continue to enable greater self-management of chronic conditions, by enabling longer term behaviour changes that cannot be achieved through clinic visits alone?
How can we address key socio-environmental factors that impact health outcomes and service utilisation?
Two MOHT projects, one in the polyclinics and another in the hospital setting (both of which have seen significant success) have gone some way to answering these.
MOHT's work spans the spectrum of healthcare sectors, from primary to hospital care, to health promotion
We have successfully trialled a remote monitoring programme for patients with hypertension, enabling both greater convenience for patients and reduced in-person visits to the polyclinic. The programme will also allow for closer monitoring of their condition by polyclinic teams. This initiative is being scaled to polyclinics nationwide and will could take on even more significance in the post-COVID world where minimising interpersonal contact becomes the norm. Professor Gerald Koh’s post on innovation in primary care, details this project.
Work with Alexandra Hospital and the National University Health System (NUHS) saw the implementation of a new model of hospital care, where patients are cared for by a multi-disciplinary team (e.g. doctor, nurse, pharmacist and allied health) with minimal ward transfers and coordinated handover to community partners. Outcomes from this new model of care are being used in the redevelopment of other hospitals within NUHS.
Our efforts at improving care and information flow need to continue to be guided by driving questions and informed by evidence. Over the next few posts, members from our innovation community will share some of our thoughts and collaborations at redesigning care. We look forward to hearing your views, and driving continual improvement together.
For further reading:
Alexandra Hospital provides patients with one-stop services under new care model
High blood pressure patients benefit from pilot self-monitoring scheme