Designing a Patient’s Journey

28 Feb 2023

A team of DSTA technologists just added another feather to their cap with the official opening of the Kranji Regional Health Hub (KRHH) on 20 February 2023.

As the first of six Regional Health Hubs to be established across SAF camps, the KRHH is a one-stop medical facility that offers an array of medical, dental, specialist and diagnostic capabilities under one roof. A multidisciplinary DSTA team took charge of the programme, managing the design and construction of KRHH, and incorporated smart, green, and pandemic-ready features.

KRHH opening_1

KRHH opening_2

The team’s dedication towards user-centricity was reflected in the KRHH’s design and the features implemented to improve the patient’s journey and create a soothing environment.

Programme Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Joy Ong explained: “We were able to accomplish this because of insights gained from field observations and focus group discussions with the medical personnel to better understand their workflow and the patient’s journey. This gave us first-hand experiences to identify potential pain points, and equipped us with the necessary knowledge to design KRHH to meet the operational requirements.”

She added: “We leveraged Building Information Modelling – a process in which we generate digital representations of buildings – to conduct virtual walkthrough sessions to engage our SAF partners, enabling them to visualise the building and internal space for decision-making and operational planning, before construction even commenced.”

KRHH opening_3

Joy Ong and Principal Architect (Building and Infrastructure) Phua Yun Nong carrying out design checks and inspections.

Our technologists were also involved in putting together the Medical Dispensary System (MDS), an end-to-end pharmaceutical inventory system that accounts for and dispenses medications.

Working together with the SAF, the team leveraged commercial healthcare digital solutions and services, and integrated those with the Patient Care Enhancement System (PACES) – the SAF’s Electronic Medical Records system – to enable a fully automated medical dispensary and inventory management process.

Head Land Digitalisation (Land Systems) Hee Yong Siong and Senior Programme Manager (Enterprise Digital Services) Pan Zhengwei conducted threat risk assessments and user process reviews, and adapted existing workflows to make the deployment of the MDS a seamless one.

“By automating routine logistics management and accounting tasks, we were able to help free up the medics’ time and enable them to better focus on other important tasks,” said Zhengwei.

Yong Siong added that “the quality of healthcare services and user experiences were enhanced with shorter human-in-loop waiting time”, which would enable the SAF to “explore and bring digital medical innovations faster to the field”.

KRHH opening_4

Yong Siong and Zhengwei inspecting the dispensing of medication from the MDS.

Pandemic-ready features were also introduced. These included new negative-pressured consultation and isolation rooms, which were designed with external doors and antimicrobial air-con filters to segregate the airflow from the rest of the facility and minimise the risk of cross-contamination. They were complemented by external dispensary windows outside KRHH, allowing potentially infectious patients to collect their medication without entering the premises.

KRHH opening_5

Principal Technical Officer (Building and Infrastructure) Charnjit Singh and Senior Programme Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Erwin Chee testing the video-intercom systems outside the negative-pressured isolation rooms.

Beyond that, the team also took it upon themselves to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by implementing a host of eco-friendly features. Besides having solar panels, energy-efficient chilled water system, hybrid cooling and LED lightings, the KRHH uses sustainable equipment and materials to reduce embodied carbon. The team even added a dashboard that allowed users to monitor water and electricity consumption patterns. The KRHH has since attained the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum award in 2022.

“We’ve been looking forward to the KRHH’s operationalisation to see how our efforts have come to fruition. The development of KRHH would not have been possible without the teamwork displayed and enthusiasm of the medical cluster to deliver higher quality of care for our soldiers,” said Joy.

KRHH opening_6

It was all smiles from the DSTA team, who were joined by Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) Roy Chan (centre).