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Expanding hospital patient mobile engagement beyond the call button

Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has taken mobile patient engagement right to the bedside.

The 1,785-bed hospital is rolling out a pilot programme featuring its MyCare app to two wards.

With the app, patients in 51 beds can view their daily care schedules, including meals, medications and tests. They can also access other important medical information such as diagnoses, vital signs, medical test results, medications and dosages.

The app includes interactive features such as a messaging service for patients to ask nurses questions, request snacks, ask for toileting assistance or housekeeping services.

SingHealth, Singapore’s largest group of healthcare institutions, custom built the app alongside Allscripts, which helps SGH ensure that the data it needs is available seamlessly.

Assisting, but never replacing

Like all new technology, MyCare can never replace the personal and human touch of a nurse. It does, however, save nurses time when it comes to routine (but often time-consuming) tasks.

Nurse clinicians at SGH say the app enhances the relationships nurses have with patients.

With the app, nurses know the patient’s request before they get to bedside. Information available on the app about specific medical conditions is proving to be a strong benefit because it enables patients to become better informed about their treatment plans.

Expanding from an app to biosensors

Along with the MyCare programme, a team of SGH nurses is piloting a wireless wearable biosensor. This enables automatic and continuous monitoring of patients’ vital signs, such as their heart rate, respiratory rate and skin temperature. The palm-sized adhesive biosensor can be placed on the patient’s chest and monitor data in real-time.

Biosensors are a patient satisfier and huge timesaver. They take three minutes to set up and only need to be checked every three days. This prevent nurses from disturbing patients every two hours in their sleep to check vital signs.

Using patient feedback for stronger future technology

One patient was hospitalised at SGH and praised the app. He also made great suggestions for improvement, including adding videos and material in other languages besides English.

SingHealth says material in the other official languages of Singapore is in the works for future versions of the app, together with a function to place meal orders. Following patients’ feedback, future upgrades may also include entertainment such as television shows, games or newspapers.

By 2021, SingHealth plans to progressively roll out the iPads and MyCare app across its hospitals: Singapore General Hospital, Changi General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the National Heart Centre Singapore.

Go here to learn more about mobile patient engagement.

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