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Better care

Jared Heng | July 10, 2008
A flexible new ERP system has given non-profit Singapore healthcare organisations better access to patient information, plus many more benefits, all due to collaboration and teamwork, reports Jared Heng.<br>

He also notes a "unification" of medical informatics standards among HNF, HCA, NKF and Tsao as better information sharing through IngoT enables "more efficient" research capabilities.

"Research efficiency can be improved when data is collected in a more standardised manner," Lee says.

For example, IngoT allows home medical care providers to use standard geriatric assessment tools and adopt similar comprehensive assessment forms. "With such tools in place, research and analysis can potentially lead to better identification and understanding of key factors in improving patient care and delivery systems."

Greater transparency

HNF, HCA, NKF and Tsao report that IngoT better informs their board members on the state of donations, finances and expenditure. "The management dashboard module summarises such data for board members to access at a glance," Lee says.

He adds that the management dashboard facilitates co-ordination of fund-raising activities as well. "With such up-to-date information, the management will be able to make better-informed and timely decisions."

"If you're a small non-profit organisation, it's almost impossible to roll out a solution of this nature alone, due to concerns over finance and finding the right expertise for deployment," Lee says.

He explains that by forming a consortium, non-profit organisations have collective purchasing power, such as having a more favourable licensing deal with the technology provider. Collective wisdom also helps establish industry-wide standards.

"IT leaders should first talk to other departments and stakeholders to better understand the business and connect internal processes and data," Lee says. "Once that's done, it's easier to link the ERP system with external parties like the government."

HNF and HCA benefits

HNF, which provides heavily subsidised home nursing services for needy, elderly and sick patients in Singapore, has reported specific benefits from IngoT. By reducing medical errors, record duplication and human-related inefficiencies, IngoT has lowered costs for the organisation.

HNF nurses can also access accurate and up-to-date patient information to make more informed decisions, raising treatment effectiveness and efficiency.

A key IngoT component is a financial system allowing HNF to better manage services like patient billing and accounting. The system is customised to facilitate activity-based accounting and reporting required by authorities.

IngoT has allowed HNF and HCA to each reduce the time taken to record patient data by 20 per cent. "With easier access to medical records and more efficient treatment capability, HNF and HCA healthcare staff now have more time for patients during home visits," Lee says.

Both organisations have also reported less paperwork, saving on paper, archiving, and storage space costs. Lee states that there are currently no estimates on the exact amount of related financial savings.

Additionally, HNF and HCA can now see an average of seven or eight patients each daily, up from six previously.


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