“Singapore is a good example of where the pervasiveness of IT and connectivity has been a strong enabler for the adoption of eHealth,” noted Dr. Sarah Muttitt, with Singapore’s MOH Holdings.
For Singapore, eHealth is widely seen as a means of meeting future healthcare challenges. The country has been making significant progress: most individual healthcare operators have already implemented their own electronic medical record system and, in April 2011, the government rolled out the National Electronic Health Record system (NEHR).
The system is a significant move toward achieving the ‘One Singaporean, One Health Record’ vision by enabling individual EHR systems to interoperate. The NEHR acts as a consolidator by extracting all clinically-relevant information from the records of each encounter a patient has with the healthcare system, forming an integrated healthcare record centered on the individual. Data captured in the EHR system includes diagnoses, allergies, immunizations, current medication, investigations, procedures administered, referrals and care plans.
Participants in our survey highlighted a number of key enablers that have helped drive the system, including: a clear government push, patient demand, the desire for more transparency between healthcare organizations and payers, and the desire for increased access.
Singaporean eHealth executives were quick to acknowledge the catalyzing role of government and the pervasiveness of IT as key ingredients to their success, as well as the importance of strategic leadership, broad stakeholder engagement and bold innovation. But they also noted the need for appropriate and sufficient funding mechanisms to encourage continuous, consistent and coordinated investment into the system.