Singapore, September 10, 2014 – HIMSS Analytics Asia Pacific announced today that Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) have achieved HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6, an international benchmark for the use of advanced IT to improve patient care.

The HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) is a global standard that measures the use of technology to transform healthcare to improve patient safety, care quality and efficiency. Stage 6, on a scale of 0 to 7, indicates significant IT capabilities.

The achievement ranks KTPH, NHCS and IHiS, the Health Ministry’s IT arm, among healthcare institutions with the most advanced clinical technologies worldwide. IHiS manages IT systems at all public healthcare institutions, and was pivotal to KTPH’s and NHCS’ achieving the benchmark.

The recognition also gives Singapore the distinction of being the first country in the Asia Pacific region to have six public hospitals and two national specialty centres with HIMSS Stage 6.

Mr Jeremy Bonfini, Vice President, HIMSS International said: “At Q2 2014, only 3.1 per cent of hospitals in Asia Pacific tracked by HIMSS have Stage 6 or 7 capabilities. Across US, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East, just 12.9 per cent of over 8274 hospitals have achieved these benchmarks.”

IHiS Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chong Yoke Sin, said: “The HIMSS Stage 6 award recognises KTPH, NHCS and IHiS’ focused efforts to transform into digital, paper-less institutions that will substantially improve patient safety, care quality and operational efficiencies.

“IHiS’ earlier experience in helping five hospitals attain HIMSS Stage 6 has enabled us to support KTPH and NHCS accelerate achievement of the global benchmark for better patient safety and care.

“Today, Singapore has the region’s highest number of HIMSS Stage 6 healthcare institutions per square kilometre. This follows substantial efforts in recent years to harness IT to ensure quality patient care amid the country’s rapidly ageing population and increasing burden of chronic disease patients.”

The other HIMSS Stage 6 healthcare institutions are Changi General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, National University Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore National Skin Centre.

Timely Care With IT Dashboards

KTPH Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Chew Kwee Tiang, said: “Technology is an enabler to help KTPH enhance information flow and work processes in order to deliver efficient patient care.

“For a public hospital like ours, it is also essential to have ‘thinking people’, who will keep looking at continuous improvements, to achieve our philosophy of giving a hassle-free experience for our patients and their loved ones.”

KTPH has enhanced the benefits of its Electronic Medical Records system by creating integrated dashboards to give its nurses quick real time views of patients’ medication, investigation orders and results.

Called Andon Boards, the innovative dashboards are mounted on the walls in the wards, and are modelled after Japanese carmaker Toyota’s system.

They improve nurses’ situational awareness of patients’ critical needs and enhance work processes across departments and teams to enable timely and coordinated care.

Electronic Notes At Heart Centre

Adjunct Associate Professor Lim Soo Teik, NHCS Deputy Medical Director and Director for Medical Informatics, said: “HIMSS Stage 6 recognises our major transformation into a digital heart hospital that is increasingly paper-less, film-less, chart-less and script-less.

“The effective integration of technology in the various areas of NHCS care delivery and day-to-day operations has enhanced patient safety, convenience and comfort. A key initiative was the massive digitisation of pen-and-paper medical records for all our heart patients.”

“We have also further developed our medical records system to provide clinical documentation for doctors and nurses to more easily share their qualitative notes.”

NHCS doctors now make their clinical notes electronically and these are synchronised with online test reports and digital imaging scans to form the patient’s complete medical profile.

Clinicians use structured formats to enter their assessment of the patient’s condition, treatment and disease progress.

This facilitates best practices and team-based care for improved patient outcomes. The standardised documentation also enables easier analysis of the effects of interventions and treatments to further enhance care.

Inpatient wards at NHCS have upgraded their medication dispensing systems to include automated cabinets and carts which help nurses quickly pick the right drugs for patients.

The nurse scans a patient’s identification tag and the automated medication cabinet or cart will open the box containing the correct medication for the patient.

NHCS’ ‘One Queue One Bill’ self-registration system links with its outpatient management system to streamline processes. Patients now go through their entire visit with a single queue number and a consolidated bill at the end, as part of a seamless hassle-free outpatient experience.

Electronic Records

KTPH, NHCS and IHiS will receive the HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 achievement plaque at the HIMSS Asia Pacific Digital Healthcare Week at Marina Bay Sands on Monday September 15.

HIMSS EMRAM is an eight-stage (0 to 7) process that allows hospitals to analyse their level of electronic medical record (EMR) adoption, and track their progress against other healthcare organisations, to reach Stage 7 for full roll-out of an advanced paperless electronic patient record environment. HIMSS developed the methodology in 2005 to evaluate the progress and impact of EMR systems for hospitals.