Project Management 101: Singapore’s OneCARE

By Medha Basu

Lim Soo Tong, Chief Information Officer, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital on its new patient care system.

Image: Ng Teng Fong General Hospital

Singapore’s newest public hospital connected its tertiary and community services to provide better care for patients. And the government has just been given an award for its management of the project.

Lim Soo Tong, Chief Information Officer, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, tells GovInsider, the biggest challenge he had to overcome to get it up and running.
Project OneCARE integrates clinical, operational and administrative systems between the hospital and its sister Jurong Community Hospital, Lim said. This was the greatest puzzle the team had to solve.

“The biggest challenge would be project managing the more than 50 systems in Project OneCARE to make sure that all of them work correctly and integrate seamlessly when the hospitals open their doors”, Lim said, in October last year.

The team had to train staff, run mock emergencies and test devices, all while a building is being constructed around them. “The complication is added with having to cope with a brand new building being constructed and also a big pool of users who are new to the systems,” he said.

Thanks to the OneCARE project, which was implemented together with the Integrated Health Information Systems, the hospitals are now seeing many firsts in the country. And data has been central to these.

It has electronic medical records that can receive data automatically from 140 different medical devices. A centralised dashboard gives real-time status on emergency, outpatient, inpatient and surgery departments. This will allow hospital managers to better plan resources and make decisions.

The hospitals also has a system to track movement of patients and medical equipment between different departments in real time.

OneCARE has just been named ‘Project of the Year’ by the Project Management Institute’s Singapore Chapter.

“This project is truly mammoth and my team and I were especially glad that we got off the ground safely and successfully,“ Lim said.