SKH Chief Nurse among recipients of the President’s Award for Nurses
Ms Christina Lim, Chief Nurse, Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) was among the recipients of the President's Award for Nurses 2021. The highest accolade in Singapore's nursing profession, the President's Award for Nurses recognises nurses who have shown sustained outstanding performance and contributions to patient care delivery, education, research and administration. Ms Lim has been a nurse for over three decades and has been pivotal to the setting up of SKH. Her contributions to the meticulous planning of the SKH facility was greatly felt in this current pandemic. When COVID-19 first struck, SKH was the first in Singapore to implement a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) for staff, patients and equipment. Ms Lim, who was instrumental behind this operation, shared that with RTLS, the hospital has been able to quickly identify who has been near a COVID-19 patient and for how long; making the work of contact-tracing more efficient.
SKH uses tech for contact tracing even before COVID-19
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and contact tracing became the norm in Singapore, SKH was already on the trail of people who came in close contact with those who had infectious diseases such as chickenpox and tuberculosis. By using the Real-Time Locating System (RTLS), SKH was able to reduce the time for contact tracing significantly as the process can be done in 10 to 20 minutes. Previously, one of the steps involved manually checking hospital and patient records, and liaising with various departments, which could take a few hours to a day. The RLTS has been used to help MOH with COVID-19 contact tracing in SKH. Beyond contact tracing, the RTLS is also used for other purposes like equipment tracking. Wheelchairs and infusion pumps are tagged so that staff can track where these items are and find out if there is a shortage, reducing the need for time-consuming manual checks. The system was conceived before the hospital opened in 2018. Lee Puay Chuan, Director, Strategic Projects, SKH, shared that the system has safeguards to protect the privacy of staff and patients, and that the Wi-Fi network used to upload the data is also secured and not public. She further explained that the RTLS is not just to protect patients by helping to quickly identify close contacts of infected people and limit the spread of a disease. Staff must also be assured that they are working in a safe environment.
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