How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I am a nurse from Singapore General Hospital. As Deputy Director of Nursing, in charge of Nursing Quality, Research and Transformation, my daily work involves both the use and evaluation of technology. Along with my colleagues, we evaluate the use of new technology in enabling more effective and efficient nursing care; as well as user-acceptance, willingness to adopt and sustainability.

What was the most impactful project you worked on this year?

I am involved in the deployment of technology for our latest isolation facility, Ward@Bowyer. We used technology to ensure patient safety through regular monitoring, staff safety where they are able to monitor patients without the need for physical contact, and also patient experience by enabling video calls, games and other entertainment.

What is one unexpected learning from 2020?

SGH is my first and current employer and hence I have gotten used to working in an acute hospital setting. Earlier this year, I was deployed to SingHealth CCF@Expo and gained various valuable lessons during my stint there. It was the first time we have to work closely with colleagues from Resort World Sentosa, Certis, SingEx as well as voluntary groups such as HealthServe. The challenges that we faced were varied and ranged from environmental concerns to workflows, patient safety, experience and staff safety and morale. Nonetheless, being ‘outfield’ has elevated the SingHealth ‘Can-Do’ spirit as everyone worked hand in hand to fulfil our mission.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2021?

SGH will be piloting various new initiatives next year. We will be expanding the patient bedside tablets project to all SGH inpatient general wards; and testing out new workflows with the use of enterprise mobility devices. As part of horizon scanning, I am personally interested in the use of ‘invisibles’, i.e. technology that enables us to monitor a patient’s vitals without the need for any tethered devices. I am also interested in the potential of machine learning to facilitate the move from ‘list-based’ care to ‘risk-based’ care.

What are your priorities for 2021?

Besides ensuring the successful execution of various transformation projects, I would also like to formalise a career track for nurses in innovation. I hope to facilitate the training of nurses in areas such as machine learning, system design and health technology assessment.

What advice would you give to women looking to start a career in GovTech?

I will share from my perspective as a clinician involved in using tech to transform work processes. I would think the most important trait to have is curiosity and to embrace life-long learning. For example, in almost every new tech project, I need to learn new terminologies such as SaaS, API, IT architecture, MDM, UI, UX, downtime.

I am thankful that I have very patient colleagues who would explain these terms to me; and what it actually meant during implementation. I think it is also important to have a sense of awareness of one’s learning needs. For example, I am currently undertaking an online course on AI in healthcare, as I am keen to see how machine learning can transform some of nursing key processes such as risk assessment and prioritization of care.

Write a message for your future self.

Persevere when the going gets tough.