Help for community care groups to adopt technology, innovate

Over 100 organisations to get support in healthcare innovation, process improvement in tie-up

Education Minister Lawrence Wong speaking to healthcare technology company KroniKare's chief executive Ali Y. Aladdin at the Singapore Institute of Technology's Dover Drive campus yesterday. With Mr Wong are (from far left) Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital's board chairman Patrick Lee Kwok Kie, SIT president Tan Thiam Soon and the hospital's chief executive Ow Chee Chung (partially seen). ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Community care organisations will get a boost in their efforts to adopt technology and innovation to enhance skills and talent development.

More than 100 organisations in the sector will get support over the next three years under a new tie-up between Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

Areas of support include healthcare innovation, process improvement, technology adoption and workplace learning, as well as the expansion of job roles and the deepening of skills in the sector.

Yesterday, the hospital was appointed the first SkillsFuture "Queen Bee" partner for the community care sector.

"Queen Bee" entities are industry leaders identified by SkillsFuture.

The aim is to engage them to play a role in the lifelong learning movement, to train not just their own employees but the wider industry.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong was at SIT yesterday for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the hospital, the university and SSG.

Speaking to reporters, he described the community care sector as being "quite fragmented", with many small entities all over the island.

"All of them will have issues or concerns about training and upgrading their manpower, filling up positions... Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, because of its scale and because it is a leader, has been able to work effectively with different companies to make use of IT to automate processes, optimise them and reduce its reliance on manpower," he said.

"These are the learnings that we hope Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital can help to share with other organisations."

Under the MOU, the hospital will deliver masterclasses through its Community Training Institute to leaders and professionals from community care organisations and their value chain partners, on business environment analysis, strategy development and monitoring of effectiveness.

It will also conduct workshops covering topics relevant to community care organisations, such as digitalisation, change management, agile thinking and digital transformation, to strengthen their service delivery model.

The university yesterday also launched the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning at SIT (NACE@SIT), the first workplace learning centre in an autonomous university.

It is the second such centre in Singapore - the first is at Nanyang Polytechnic - and was first announced by the Education Ministry during the debate on the ministries' budgets earlier this year.

NACE@SIT will deliver workplace learning projects and develop a community of learning organisations that will support enterprises in building their workplace learning systems and capabilities.

It will focus on the community care sector as one of its priority sectors and play a role in the MOU by tapping SIT's network and experience in applied learning and best-in-class practices.

SIT president Tan Thiam Soon said: "We recognise the importance of collaborating with the industry - not just for the purposes of our students' work attachments and applied research, but also in the building of workplace competencies."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2020, with the headline Help for community care groups to adopt technology, innovate. Subscribe