Memories from 25 years ago were unearthed when Singapore General Hospital opened its time capsule buried in 1996.

In 1966, the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Pharmacy Department produced the Hospital Formulary, a publication listing some 400 drugs approved for use in the hospital. The Formulary helped guide healthcare professionals on what can be prescribed for patients.

Although an important resource, it had its limitations. As new medications and drugs came into use, the Formulary quickly became outdated.

With technology, SGH healthcare professionals today can access an electronic drug data base, e-Pharmacopoiea, via the hospital’s intranet. It provides comprehensive and current information on more than 1,600 drugs, and is also linked to international drug information services such as Lexicomp, UpToDate and Micromedex.

The Pharmacy Department also runs the Drug Information Service for doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Staffed by a full-time pharmacist, the Service handles some 500 enquiries a month, and provides support for activities like drug use evaluation and research.

To encourage patients and the general public to take greater care of their health, and understand their treatments and medications, information on drugs and medical conditions are available on the SGH website as well as the SingHealth HealthBuddy mobile application.

Such information can also help dispel misinformation and disinformation that circulate on social media.

The Hospital Formulary was one of the objects unearthed when SGH opened its time capsule buried in 1996 at the SGH Museum, as part of the hospital’s 175th anniversary. The capsule was opened in late 2021 in conjunction with SGH’s 200th anniversary celebrations.

The Formulary and other artefacts from the capsule are on display in the SGH Museum’s mobile display unit.

A digital time capsule was launched by Singapore President Halimah Yacob on 26 November 2021. It will be opened at the launch of the revamped SGH Campus in about 15 years’ time.

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