SGH improves medication access for patients
via its online-platform and community partnership
Singapore, 16 March 2022 - It is not uncommon for an elderly to lose track of their uncollected medication balance, especially if they are on multiple medications or have more than one prescription. This puts them at risk of not knowing when their supply may run out, which could be detrimental to their condition.
To overcome the problem, the Pharmacy Department at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) enhanced its Medicines Order Service (MOS) platform on HealthHub and Health Buddy mobile apps to allow patients to check and monitor their medication balance at their convenience. Previously, patients were only able to view their prescriptions on the app but had to keep track of their medication balance manually.
For less tech-savvy patients, their loved ones can be nominated as a caregiver to help them manage their medication supply, seamlessly and effectively. This is a welcomed feature too for a caregiver who does not live with the patient.
“With the ability to now check medication balance online, patients are empowered to take charge and manage their medication supply. If they know that the supply will not last till their next consultation, they can request for top-up of medicines, subject to doctor’s review, or arrange to bring forward their appointment with the doctor for a new prescription and not be caught in a situation without medication,” said Ms Lim Ching Hui, Pharmacy Practice Manager, Department of Pharmacy, SGH, and lead for MOS enhancement.
Medication ordering is also a breeze on MOS. Patients or their nominated caregivers simply need to select the medication required, indicate the desired quantity, and have them delivered to a preferred location.
MOS is expected to benefit more than 170,000 patients who need not set foot in the SGH Pharmacy after seeing their doctors.
For a start, the Hospital has partnered social service agency, Montfort Care, to help SGH patients living near its two centres located in Telok Blangah, with their medication needs. Patients pre-identified by the agency’s social workers can turn to the Montfort Care staff for assistance to order their medications via MOS and will soon be able to get them delivered to the centres as well. If necessary, Montfort Care staff can also help these patients arrange for virtual consultations with SGH pharmacists to address their concerns. A significant number of patients who benefit from this service tend to be seniors who live alone without family support.
The Pharmacy Department is currently working with other social service agencies to expand the service to other neighbourhoods in the Hospital’s vicinity.
“It is important that we leverage technology to provide greater convenience and safety for our patients amidst the pandemic. Our pharmacy has achieved this through our Medicines Order Service platform, with user friendly services that extend into the community, making it unnecessary for patients to queue at the Hospital for their medication. Nevertheless, as we push for transformation and innovation, we have safety nets in place to make sure no patient slips through the gaps,” said Mr Lim Mun Moon, Director, Department of Pharmacy, SGH.
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