Using data analytics for better patient outcomes

Singapore General Hospital harnessing analytics to reduce surgical complications

Since last month, the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has been comparing how its patients fare after complex surgery against the experience of those at 700 other hospitals.

The US system looks at 150 different bits of data generated for each patient.

Using data analytics this way, SGH said it can identify what more the hospital can do to improve patient outcomes.

Dr Tan Hiang Khoon, chairman of SGH's Division of Surgery, said: "The data enables us to continuously identify areas for outcome improvement by reducing complications.

"This will in turn translate to shorter lengths of stay, lower readmission rates, lower costs and more lives saved."

Data analytics can add "immense value to the provision of healthcare", Permanent Secretary for Health Chan Heng Kee said when he opened the Singapore Healthcare Management Congress at Marina Bay Sands yesterday.

He said using such a tool will allow healthcare providers to "really make a breakthrough and achieve excellence".

Some public hospitals here are already using data analytics to identify patients who require frequent admissions and offer early interventionto keep their condition stable.

Mr Chan also told an audience of about 1,000 healthcare professionals from the region that excellent healthcare is not just about treating patients with the latest drugs or interventions.

This will translate to shorter lengths of stay, lower readmission rates, lower costs and more lives saved.Dr Tan Hiang Khoon, chairman of SGH’s division of Surgery

"What is important to patients is the outcome they seek... this may be about being well enough to live at home, return to work or study, or enjoy the food or activities they relish."

Hence, SGH finds out what patients deem as important.

It has been collecting data for years on whether patients are able to perform essential daily functions, following surgery for total knee replacement.

With that data, it has been able to better monitor and help patients recover after surgery.

It has since extended such data collection to other types of surgery, such as for spine, foot and ankle, said Mr Chan.

Changi General Hospital includes other professionals to offer patients "coordinated nursing services, psycho-social support, rehabilitation care and medical follow- ups", he said.



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