A local study (done jointly by Duke-NUS and Ministry of Health) reported that the proportion of older adults with three or more chronic diseases increased from 19.8% in 2009 to 37% in 2017. More than half of NKF’s patient population are above 60 years old, and many suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Our patients spend around 624 hours a year on dialysis throughout their lifetime.
To make things more comfortable for our patients, improve patient health outcomes, productivity and achieve better integrated care, NKF has embarked on a digitalisation journey with the implementation of our Renal-Point-Of-Care-System. Key processes are automated and the patients’ records are digitised. This relieves the nurses of their manual work as much as possible and provides a centralised electronic medical record system for access by the doctors wherever they are, 24 hours a day.
Our patients receive a free smart card, which digitally records their pre-and post-treatment weight and other data like blood pressure while they are hooked up to the dialysis machines. In the past, nurses manually recorded patients’ blood pressure every 30 minutes or one hour, which tends to disrupt their rest. Now, the dialysis machine reads the treatment plan for the patient once the smart card is inserted.
NKF’s digitalisation transformation means that nurses have more time to build relationships, rapport and trust with patients. They have more time to talk to patients, clarify any doubts or questions patients may have, and even spot early distress signs in patients and refer them to medical social workers or counsellors for timely intervention.