NUHS hospitals, polyclinics to get teleconsultation service on app

Some patients of Alexandra Hospital who need to see their doctors for follow-up consultation do not need to go to the hospital, but can use a teleconsultation feature on an app instead.

OneNUHS, the first app with a teleconsultation feature rolled out by a public healthcare cluster here, allows patients to book and reschedule appointments, and receive SMS reminders one day and one hour before the appointment.

It also allows them to view the number of patients ahead of them in the queue.

After the teleconsultation, they can make payment via the app and have their medicine delivered to their homes. Caregivers can also help patients manage the app or join in the teleconsultation from their own devices.

Launched in April, the app was jointly developed by the National University Health System (NUHS) and Integrated Health Information Systems, the technology agency for the public healthcare sector.

About 100 Alexandra Hospital patients have been using the app's teleconsultation feature since the end of August. Most of them have stable chronic conditions and need to see their doctors only once every few months.

Yesterday, NUHS said it hopes to move at least 90 per cent of patients scheduled for teleconsultation at Alexandra Hospital to OneNUHS app's teleconsultation service by December.

Most teleconsultations are currently done via Zoom and not integrated with NUHS' health management system.

NUHS has plans to roll out the app's teleconsultation feature to National University Polyclinics next February, as well as National University Hospital (NUH) and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital by next year.

Ms Clara Sin, chief operating officer of NUH and NUHS' group service transformation and medical records offices, said: "The introduction of the teleconsultation feature is especially timely, considering the Covid-19 situation. We want to ensure continuity of care for all patients and save patients the trouble of travelling physically to the hospital, especially elderly patients.

"The teleconsultation feature also helps to reduce the crowd in the clinics and allows us to maintain better safe distancing measures."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2021, with the headline 'NUHS hospitals, polyclinics to get teleconsultation service on app'. Subscribe