Leveraging NTUC’s Company Training Committee, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital showcases how transformation and innovation help improve productivity and work prospects.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined the Labour Movement on 9 February 2024 to visit Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH).
The visit is an annual tradition during the Lunar New Year for the Labour Movement to show appreciation to essential workers who keep the economy going as the rest of Singapore celebrates the festivities.
Mr Lee, NTUC President K Thanaletchimi, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, union leaders and management representatives from NTFGH and JCH engaged some 60 healthcare workers as part of the visit. NTFGH CEO Dr Quek Lit Sin hosted the visit.
During the visit, Mr Lee distributed gift bags and red packets to allied health professionals, doctors and nurses across diverse clinical specialities, including ancillary staff.
The public hospital is unionised under the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU).
Since partnering with HSEU to establish a Company Training Committee (CTC) in August 2019, NTFGH has been in talks with NTUC and the union to develop two projects.
During the visit, Mr Lee learned how the two projects – the Inventory Management System in Perioperative Services and VitalScout smart monitoring – help to enhance work processes and increase the productivity of nurses at NTFGH by using technology.
The projects aim to leverage the CTC grant, administered by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), to raise productivity, redesign jobs and improve workers’ wages, welfare and work prospects through enterprise transformation.
Mr Ng said: “As the healthcare sector evolves, the demand for skilled workers will increase. Thus, it is critical to embrace technologies to elevate the role of healthcare workers.
“I’m glad that NTFGH has been working closely with HSEU on CTC projects to enhance workers’ skills for better wages, welfare and work prospects.”
With the inventory management system set to launch later this year, NTFGH hopes to see improved efficiency in inventory monitoring and streamlined processes.
The new system will eliminate the need for nurses to manually monitor inventory and free up their time to focus more on clinical work.
Besides the potential reduction in time spent on non-clinical tasks, the system would enable them to upskill and focus on higher-value tasks.
The VitalScout smart monitoring project will leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to reduce labour-intensive tasks and enable nursing professionals to prioritise clinical and bedside care.
The project enables the automation of vital signs monitoring using patient wearables integrated with Next Generation Electronic Medical Record (NGEMR).
With the system, nurses will be promptly alerted if there is any sudden decline in patients’ vitals, enabling them to respond swiftly.
NTFGH aims to launch the wearables in 10 wards by November 2024 and in other wards by 2025.
Ms Thanaletchimi said the visit to NTFGH has been meaningful in learning about the CTC projects.
“This is important because while the union is looking after the welfare of workers, we are also looking into the work prospects and wages alongside improvement in productivity.
“The two CTC projects exemplify all that we want to do. I wish NTFGH all the best in their fulfilment of the project and every success in their outcome.”
NTFGH Chief Nurse Ng Sow Chun said healthcare workers faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She added that the hospital always seeks to leverage innovation and technology to improve processes and patient care.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we are continually looking into how to leverage innovation and technology to improve processes, which will, in turn, enhance patient care and safety.
“We recognise the value these projects bring and will share them with our counterparts for future adoption to benefit more nurses,” said Ms Ng.