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

We are embarking on a service transformation journey for patients and staff at the National University Health System (NUHS).  As Head of the NUHS Service Transformation Department and concurrently Chief Operating Officer, National University Hospital, my team and I work to leverage digital technology to provide greater convenience for our patients and improve the lives of our staff too.

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

Key to our service transformation journey is the development of the OneNUHS app, jointly developed by NUHS and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS). The OneNUHS app was first launched in April 2021.

The OneNUHS app integrates functions that aim to simplify and bring convenience throughout the patient’s journey, including booking and rescheduling of appointments, on-the-go registration for consultation queue number, bill payment, request for medical reports, viewing of laboratory results, Covid-19 records and immunisation records.

In October 2021, the OneNUHS app was also the first mobile app by a public healthcare cluster to provide teleconsult functionality. Patients can save the hassle of toggling between different apps and platforms before, during and after teleconsultation. They can view the details of their video consultation appointment; receive reminders before the appointment; and view real-time updates on their queue status, allowing patients to teleconsult from the comfort of their home. The app can also generate a teleconsult link, allowing caregivers to join in the consultation from their devices. After the virtual session, patients can make payment via the app and indicate if they would like to have the medicines delivered to their home or to collect from the pharmacy.

As of end November 2021, the app has about 220,000 downloads and 10,000 daily active users.

What is one unexpected learning from 2021?

Before we could begin any digital transformation, what was more important was the business process and change management.  Mapping the current process, and seeking inputs from the users on what makes sense for them is key.  At the end of the day, the product needs to meet the needs of the users – our patients and their families. It must also make sense for our staff and reduce routine work for them.

What’s your favourite memory from the past year?

When we launched the OneNUHS app this year, we received a compliment from an elderly patient that he found the app easy to use. Our app was able to save him time since he did not have to queue and wait for payment after consultation and could pay on the app at his convenience. It was heart-warming to see our app improve the consultation process for patients.

What’s a tool or technique you’re excited to explore in 2022?

It would be great to explore integrating the app with wearables and how we can develop the app to further promote health and well-being. This will allow us to reach out to more residents in the western part of Singapore and keep them healthy, and is a key mandate for NUHS.

What are your priorities for 2022?

I have three key priorities. Firstly, to continue improving on existing functionalities and build new functionalities that improve the lives of our users. Secondly, to develop an ecosystem of partners who share a common vision in developing our app. Lastly, to build and grow the internal capabilities within NUHS to lead our service transformation journey.

What gets you up in the morning?

A run with my husband! I look forward to our early morning runs. Beyond that, working with like-minded people in the team and working to overcome challenges together keeps me motivated each day.