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Health, Beauty & Fashion

One small innovation in care makes a big difference

NAME tags that track a person's location proved to be a godsend for one senior care facility.
The Straits Times - October 10, 2014
By: Linette Lai
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One small innovation in care makes a big difference The importance of increasing productivity in the face of an ageing population and limited manpower was stressed at the seminar.

NAME tags that track a person's location may seem like a small innovation, but they proved to be a godsend for one senior care facility.

St Luke's Eldercare Serangoon has saved 100 man-hours a month, thanks to the tags, which trigger an alert if a patient wanders out of the centre.

These tags and about 40 other projects went on display at the first National Seminar on Productivity in Healthcare, held yesterday at the Singapore Expo.

Organised by the government-linked Agency for Integrated Care, which coordinates eldercare efforts, the seminar drew about 1,300 public- and private-sector participants.

Another project was a mobile dental clinic by NTUC Health, which will start making its rounds at nursing homes and senior activity centres in January next year.

Villa Francis Home for the Aged, located in Yishun, is one of the mobile clinic's first stops.

"We no longer need to allocate manpower to accompany the residents for visits to the dental clinic, which can be time-consuming and inefficient," said its director of nursing, Ms Susan Gui.

The home would also be able to schedule more residents for treatment on the same day, she added.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who was guest of honour at the seminar, stressed the importance of increasing productivity in the face of an ageing population and limited manpower.

"While we recognise that the human touch is still a very important factor in health care, there are nevertheless many areas where there is potential for us to improve on efficiency and optimise the use of resources," he said.

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