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Comment: The future of five star hospitals

Timothy Low, chief executive officer of Farrer Park Hospital in Singapore, explains how high end medical treatment can find its niche as belts around the region are tightened.

Asia has extremely high standards when it comes to private healthcare and Singapore is a favourite destination for regional patients. As the newest hospital in Singapore, Farrer Park Hospital offers not only quality clinical care, but also five star personalised service. The unique construct of Connexion, which houses three entities, a medical centre, hospital and five star hotel and spa, offers unparalleled conveniences and comforts to patients and their families.

When a patient is clinically ready, they can be discharged from the hospital and recuperate in the hotel. A hotel stay is cheaper than a hospital stay and can shave 20-30% off the full hospital bill. While the concept of a hospital near a hotel is not uncommon, to integrate it as seamlessly as we did, is novel.

Farrer Park Hospital has so much more to offer. We have top of the line equipment in radiotherapy, and is among the best in the region. We have highly experienced gastroenterologists treating some of the most common cancers such as stomach and bowel cancers.

Another element of the hospital design that is unique is the way information or data is set up to flow seamlessly throughout the building. The construct itself was ahead of the curve by building in fibre optic cables that run throughout the hospital infrastructure, enabling the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Through VDI, doctors can look at patients’ results in real time on their mobile devices. Be it a ’phone or a tablet, they can get real time information whether they are bedside, dining out or even attending an overseas conference. This gives doctors the opportunity to make fast and informed decisions for the patient anywhere in the world 24/7. In terms of patient care this has enormous benefits. No other hospital that I know of has integrated their information flow as seamlessly as we have. At the planning phase, we’ve built in features that will keep us technologically relevant for the next 20 years.

The integration of our data network also enhances operational efficiency and patient outcome.

We engage the patient and family at every phase of their treatment process because we believe it is an important part of the recovery journey. They can choose their own meal, out of a matrix of over 200 five star hotel chef and hospital nutritionist designed meals.

More importantly, with the integration of the patient medical records and meal ordering system, the patient’s meals are tailored to their dietary needs and they are able to select food that is only suitable for them. The meal orders go directly to the kitchen and saves the hospital manpower. This means that our nurses, the hospital’s most valuable resource can devote more time to patient care and other duties. Traditionally, nurses go around taking orders which takes about three hours a day. Our system saves over 2100 nursing hours annually which can be channelled back to patient care.

We are small as far as healthcare organisations go in Singapore but that makes us nimble. We inculcate in every employee the need to innovate, to have the ability, as an organisation to look beyond the traditional boundaries of healthcare and grasp opportunities quickly.

I encourage my colleagues to challenge the status quo, instead of “why?” we should be asking “why not?”.

Posted on: 13/03/2017 UTC+08:00


News

First REIT, the SGX healthcare real estate investment trust owned by Indonesia’s Lippo Group, has reported a 0.9% rise in distribution per unit (DPU) of S$0.0214 for the third quarter of the year.
Metlifecare, New Zealand’s second-largest listed retirement village operator, plans to spend NZ$240 million (US$167.2 million) to develop a waterfront retirement village at Scott Point, in the Auckland suburb of Hobsonville.
Thonburi Healthcare Group, the country's third largest hospital operator, has inked an MoU with Korea’s Green Cross MS and Green Cross Laboratories.
At its annual general meeting at the end of last week, Gordon Ballantyne, new chief executive of Healthscope, Australia’s second largest private healthcare operator, said that he expected current private hospital market conditions to continue in the short term.
Hong Kong-listed healthcare company China Wah Yan Healthcare plans to consolidate its shares. The move has been pushed onto the company to comply with trading requirements.
Monash IVF Group, Australia’s second largest fertility treatment provider, has appointed David Morris as the CEO and managing director effective from 13 November. After eight years, James Thiedeman stepped down in May.
SGX-listed Singapore Medical Group, a multi-disciplinary specialist healthcare services provider has announced its latest acquisition.
Malaysia's Top Glove is on the acquisition trail. The world’s largest rubber glove manufacture has signed an MoU to buy all the ordinary shares of Eastern Press for M$47.25 million (US$11.18 million) in cash. Eastern Press is principally engaged as a printer and supplier of packaging material. It is also the major supplier of packaging material to Top Glove's subsidiaries in Malaysia.



Analysis

Is there a case to be made for a merger between Metlifecare and Summerset Group, New Zealand’s second and third-largest listed retirement village operators? First NZ Capital reckons so and analyst Arie Dekker makes an eloquent case for it in a new research note.
Stephenson Harwood’s Tom Platts, Ben Hickson and Su Wai Phyo report on key changes implemented by the Myanmar government to facilitate much-needed foreign investment in the country’s healthcare sector.
In the lead-up to the UN’s International Day of the Older Persons on 1 October, Jason Sadler, president, Cigna International Markets, looks at the impact of an aging population on the world’s healthcare system and the role that digital technology will play in meeting this new challenge.
By 2042 there will be more over-65s in Asia than the populations of the Eurozone and North America combined. We look at the business opportunities this creates.
Albert Wong argues that biomedical technology should not be ignored and explains how the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation can support it.
Jacob Pope explains why medical tourism remains one of the region’s most significant industries.
APACMed’s Fredrik Nyberg looks at how local and multinational IVD companies are developing novel solutions for Asia’s unique needs.
It is perhaps a curious line in the sand to draw, but the new hospital in Dunedin, the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, is gearing up to be a significant battle in the use of private-public partnership funding in the APAC region.


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