IBM Consulting Aids SingHealth’s 20-Year Digital Transformation

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on December 2, 2022

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The journey toward digital transformation in the healthcare industry is significantly hampered by the industry’s strong reliance on legacy systems, regulations, and security issues. This was shown during the COVID-19 pandemic when many large healthcare systems quickly integrated digital technology. IBM Consulting has Singapore Health Services (SingHealth), whose goal is to “define tomorrow’s medicine,” was prepared to take on these challenges whereas many healthcare institutions were caught off guard.

For two decades, IBM Consulting has assisted SingHealth in keeping the lights on with assistance from cloud adoption, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and the internet of things (IoT). Through this relationship, the public healthcare cluster can manage the ongoing changes in compliance and technology while maintaining its agility. As a result, they are free to focus on what matters: improving staff productivity to produce improved patient outcomes.

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A growing partnership in IBM Consulting

Singapore’s public health care system was reorganized, leading to the creation of SingHealth. The Ministry of Health (MOH) of Singapore launched the program with the aim of better assisting an aging population and managing chronic diseases while addressing the healthcare workforce and spending growth. The largest of Singapore’s three public healthcare clusters today, SingHealth offers top-notch healthcare services. Its four hospitals, three community hospitals, five specialty centers, and eight polyclinics are visited by more than 3.8 million people yearly.

When SingHealth’s healthcare information system was designed and integrated in 2000, a long-lasting partnership with IBM Consulting was created. Following this initial engagement, the IBM team gained a thorough understanding of SingHealth’s special requirements, including the need to align their system with the Ministry of Health’s advice and maintain statutory compliance.

HR digital transformation in IBM Consulting

SingHealth had to integrate its many HR systems across its polyclinics, specialty centers, and hospitals in 2010. To create a single HR platform, SingHealth once more enlisted the help of IBM Consulting and SAP Asia Pacific Japan.

The ten institutions involved in this system were able to collaborate more effectively since it replaced the siloed systems with a shared platform. Additionally, it standardized the healthcare cluster’s pay and benefit, performance assessment, and career development rules. IBM Consulting’s involvement in this standardization led to the group winning multiple HR accolades, including the SingHealth Enterprise award for IBM’s commitment as a “Partner in Our Success.”

Moving to the cloud securely

In order to store, manage, and process the growing volume of healthcare-related data, SingHealth needed a better method in 2016. Their applications’ implementation and transfer from physical on-premises legacy systems to private cloud systems were made more accessible by IBM Consulting.

This solution was able to meet the demanding standards for data governance set by the Singapore Ministry of Health by combining the advantages of the cloud with the security and management of on-premises IT infrastructure. Additionally, it offered an important layer of private cloud security to protect SingHealth’s IT system and the health information of its patients against attacks, breaches, and other threats.

The public health system was once again reorganized by the Ministry of Health into three cohesive regional clusters in 2017. Following this, IBM Consulting was important in ensuring a smooth transfer of the consolidation of systems across HR, finance, procurement, and other important areas when Singapore’s Eastern Health Alliance (EHA), located in the country’s eastern region, combined with SingHealth.

Meeting COVID-19 challenges

SingHealth’s HR procedures had to be modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to comply with the guidelines of the government’s COVID-19 healthcare policy. Here, IBM Consulting worked to update the cluster’s HR platform to handle requests from workers who required leave related to COVID.

Fulfilling statuary compliance and making continuous improvements

A healthcare organization’s reputation depends on building on a base of tight regulatory compliance. IBM Consulting works with SingHealth to make sure the cluster complies with legal, labor, and other Ministry of Health requirements.

IBM Consulting keeps SingHealth’s HR and IT systems updated and in line with business needs through its application management services. This makes it possible for the front-line workers in the cluster to work effectively and productively.

Keeping the lights on

The applications offered by SingHealth today serve 17 institutions that employ more than 35,000 people and are built to expand with the cluster.

For the healthcare system to fulfill its goal of defining tomorrow’s medicine, IBM Consulting is pleased to continue assisting SingHealth with financial needs.

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