Singapore, 8 July 2020 – When the new insolation facility at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) opens its doors on 15 July 2020, it will not only admit suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, but those with other infectious diseases as well.
Construction of the 3,200sqm facility, which comprises 50 purpose-built isolation units, started in mid-May 2020 and took about six weeks to complete. Each unit measures 2.5m (height) x 2.3m (width) x 5.6m (length), and is a negative pressure single room with en suite toilet and shower facilities. In addition, as exists in any ward, the new facility includes nurses’ stations, changing rooms and a rest area for staff, doctors’ on-call rooms, and medical preparation room, etc.
The modern history of SGH began in three buildings built in 1926 – Bowyer, Stanley and Norris Blocks. Of these, only the historic Bowyer Block remains and is a National Monument in recognition of its national significance and rich history. This new facility is located immediately adjacent to the Bowyer Block and is aptly named Ward@Bowyer.
“SGH has undergone numerous transformations since its establishment nearly 200 years ago to keep up with the needs of Singaporeans. The Bowyer Block, which now houses administrative offices, is a standing reminder of how far we have come in advancing patient care. Today, we are leveraging technology and developing tools as well as systems to allow us to take better care of our patients, many of which are introduced in this new Ward@Bowyer,” said Associate Professor Ruban Poopalalingam, Chairman, Medical Board, SGH.
A biosensor will be given to patients in Ward@Bowyer to be worn on their wrists. It transmits their heart rate, respiration rate and oxygen saturation level readings wirelessly to a mobile app, which patients themselves can access via an in-room smart phone, and allows remote monitoring by clinicians. With contact-free continuous monitoring, the team can detect early warning signs of patient deterioration and intervene before it happens.
Patients can also use the smart phone to interact with their care team via a video conferencing app or let them know if he/she is feeling unwell on MyCare Lite, a mobile app developed by SGH’s Nursing Division and IHiS (Integrated Health Information Systems). The app allows doctors or nurses to assess patients in the room without bringing additional equipment. There are also pre-loaded games in the smart phone to help patients take their mind off being in a hospital.
By leveraging technology, the care team can efficiently monitor and interact with patients without unnecessary risk of exposure.If an x-ray is required, patients will be brought into an on-site x-ray booth, SG SAFER, designed by SGH’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology. It is operated by one, instead of the usual two radiographers, who wears just an N95 mask instead of full personal protective equipment, as a result of the protective isolation elements included in the design.