Digital health - From innovation to adoption
At the HIMSS APAC Malaysia Digital Health Summit session titled “Digital Health - From Innovation to Adoption” by guest speakers Wilson Choo (Chief Executive Officer of Sunway Medical Centre Velocity) and Dr Ng Xin Jun (Manager of Sunway Group Healthcare), both shed light on the various technological healthcare advancements made at Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) as a case study.
At SMCV, an integration project between its patients’ monitoring devices and electronic medical record was developed in order to achieve a seamless and wireless transfer of patients’ vital signs with “Early Warning Scores”.
A key feature of the new implemented EMR at SMCV is its Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) which allows doctors to order medicine or laboratory/ radiology services via the system whilst being able to check the status of these orders. Similarly, nurses would also be able to key in their orders for medication as well as the respective procedures which they have carried out on each patient.
Clinical Decision Support is another feature embedded within the EMR which allows healthcare providers to gain access to the drug allergies as well as medications administered to patients. This results in better healthcare decisions and effectively prevents any medication errors. A system aptly named “Early Warning Score” was developed for scoring the physiological measurements of patients and routinely recorded at the patient’s bedside. Its purpose was to allow for early identification of acutely ill patients and recorded information such as a patient’s temperature, systolic blood pressure and urine output.
A key success factor underlying the success of this integration project was due to the efforts of a governance committee. Frequent meetings were held every month to discuss any ambiguities or to resolve any issues within the system. Priority was given to resolve issues pertaining to patient safety and system enhancements. Relevant key stakeholders such as management personnel or members of the clinical team and vendors were brought into these meetings whenever necessary.
Digitalization and innovation was also amalgamated within the hospital’s daily operations as well. Sunway Medical Centre was one of the earliest companies who adopted tele-consultation during Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) period (a form of countrywide lockdown due to COVID-19), which allowed patients to continue to consult doctors even when they were at home. A patient portal was also developed which facilitated the booking of appointments and retrieval of radiology results online.
Patients were also encouraged to download the hospital app on their mobile devices which allowed them to check the queues at the hospital to reduce their waiting times at the medical facility. Insurance integration is also in the works, which will enable patients to make electronic payment, billing and payment integration with major insurers. This will also provide greater transparency to patients as they will also be able to track the status of their insurance applications.
A long term direction for the hospital was also put in place with plans to include progressive initiatives to make crucial patient information more accessible and timely, even allowing doctors to have real time visibility of vital signs on their mobile devices.