Singapore introduces program that lets hospital nurses “bid” on patients

In an innovative new pilot program, nurses at the General Hospital in Singapore can now “bid” to care for a discharged patient at home, in their own time, using a new mobile app.

The Match-A-Nurse programs pairs up patients with a nurse living nearby, who can offer the services required, such as wound dressing.

Like calling a taxi

It works just like a taxi booking – a patient’s call is logged in the app, and nurses who successfully “bid” for a job receive a text message to let them know. After the visit, the nurse can update the patient’s information in the app. Charges for the service start from $13.95.

119 nurses have already enlisted in the scheme, which has been operating since April, and Dr Ang Seng Bin, the head of the service, says it will “greatly benefit patients who are wheelchair or bed-bound.”

“Traditionally, home nursing involves a nurse travelling from home to home. To boost efficiency, we wanted to test the concept of tapping nurses to perform tasks near their homes,” he said.

Patients who have used the app say it gives them comfort that they can receive care from a professional nurse at home and they don’t need to go to the hospital as frequently, according to Singapore’s Healthcare Manpower Plan 2020.

Coping with the demand for care

With the program proving to be a success, SingHealth now hopes to roll out the app to its Women and Children’s Hospital and offer services for paediatrics and women’s health. There are also plans to collaborate with community partners, Dr Ang said.

With the over-65 population predicted to rise to 960,000 by 2030, up from 460,000 in 2015, it’s just one of several services now being offered as Singapore shifts to having patients cared for at home or in the community.

Last week Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the country needs to “make deep and fundamental changes to how we deliver care” and improve productivity by redesigning jobs and using technology.

“Only then can we meet the expected growth in health and aged care demand, and sustain good pay for our workers,” he said.

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.