Funding boost of up to 85% for care providers

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor viewing exhibits at the Quality and Productivity Festival organised by the Agency for Integrated Care yesterday. At the festival, the AIC presented awards to more than 400 individuals and teams for excelle
Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor viewing exhibits at the Quality and Productivity Festival organised by the Agency for Integrated Care yesterday. At the festival, the AIC presented awards to more than 400 individuals and teams for excellence in delivering care. PHOTO: AGENCY FOR INTEGRATED CARE

Giving residents at All Saints Home in Yishun their daily shower used to be a hurried process that started at 5.30am, but a new approach has changed all that.

The nursing home embarked on a productivity drive in August last year that now allows residents to choose their preferred shower time slots.

It has also streamlined processes and installed shower racks in toilets, saving on time needed to gather supplies such as towels and soap. The level of care has improved as staff have more time with residents, who now have the dignity of choice, said the home.

"When you give them that choice, you help them preserve their dignity," said nursing director Tan Lai Suan.

She added that the productivity improvements, which have since been expanded to all four All Saints Home institutions, have saved up to 45 minutes of shower time in each ward.

The Health Ministry has ramped up funding for community care providers who want to improve work practices.

RIGHT MINDSET

Building and sustaining the right mindset and culture are essential in the longevity of our healthcare system.

SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR HEALTH AMY KHOR

Earlier this year, it announced that it would inject $80 million into the Healthcare Productivity Fund over the next three years.

This allows providers to secure funding of up to 85 per cent, from 67 per cent previously, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor yesterday.

The money can be used on technology that helps reduce time and effort spent on manpower-intensive processes, for example, electronic pill crushers.

Dr Khor told the Quality and Productivity Festival at the Singapore Expo yesterday that it is important to foster a culture of continual learning and improvement.

She added that as the healthcare sector works to transform its approach to providing care, it must be open to experimenting with new ways of working that maximise opportunities for improvement.

Dr Khor said: "Building and sustaining the right mindset and culture are essential in the longevity of our healthcare system."

Individuals and teams at the festival were also given awards by the Agency for Integrated Care for displaying excellence in delivering care.

There were 407 winners, including Ms Lily Li, a 42-year-old nurse manager with HCA Hospice Care.

She said her experience taking care of the dying - many of them children - has taught her much about life. "It's about focusing on what we still have instead of what we are losing or going to lose.

"I feel that when they die, they take a part of me - but they also leave a part of themselves with me."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2018, with the headline 'Funding boost of up to 85% for care providers'. Print Edition | Subscribe