KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Improving patient outcomes, experiences and addressing patient needs have always been a top priority at Sunway Medical Centre.
The advent of digital and technological capabilities in health care has enabled Sunway Medical Centre to redefine how health care is delivered by taking a patient-centric, holistic approach towards patient care.
In line with this digital transformation, Sunway Medical Centre pushes the envelope of innovation with the introduction of a Command Centre for Telemedicine Services early this year. As a key player within the tertiary health care fraternity, Sunway Medical Centre is a pioneer in the area of Telemedicine in Malaysia.
Telemedicine is a provision of remote clinical advisory services via real-time two-way communication between a patient and trained health care personnel. More often, a multi-channel communication including electronic, or digital systems are used for this purpose. The Telemedicine Command Centre will serve as the focal point for the coordination and delivery of all Telemedicine services.
Bryan Lin Boon Diann, Chief Executive Officer of Sunway Medical Centre said, “We believe that necessity is the mother of innovation and as the health care industry evolves, we too must move in tandem to meet these growing needs. The needs of our local and regional patients and customers have encouraged us to set up this Command Centre. And we pride the credibility of our Telemedicine Services as all medical or clinical enquiries will be attended by a certified nurse or medical officer.”
Mr Lin adds, “The Command Centre for our Telemedicine Services is also timely given the current pandemic situation we are facing. We aim to make the patient experience better and in turn improve health outcomes, which is our primary goal of all health services. With this service in tow, we will be able to provide easier, more efficient access to health care when and where the patient needs it”.
The first phase of the Telemedicine Command Centre provides first level health care advisory services to patients. The centre operates on a 24 x 7 basis, and patients can either call in, email or reach out through social media platforms i.e., Facebook and WhatsApp.
Once the enquiry is received, the attending nurse or medical officer will provide advice or make recommendations to consult a specialist at Sunway Medical Centre. If the patient agrees, the team can also assist in making an appointment with the respective consultant.
The concept of telemedicine and remote monitoring of patients has been discussed in health care literature for decades. Evidence has shown that telemedicine within a disease management plan can improve clinical outcomes and reduce health service utilisation and costs for chronic disease management. Patient satisfaction levels have also been positive with many being at ease with using technology and having more empowerment in their health status.
“In April 2020, the UK’s Royal College of general practitioners reported that doctors were seeing just 7 per cent of their patients face-to-face, compared with 80 per cent in 2019, proving that the demand for telemedicine is growing significantly. Even countries closer to home such as Indonesia and Thailand have adopted telemedicine to reach patients. With social distancing becoming the new norm, we foresee this trend increasing exponentially. On our end, we will continue enhancing our Telemedicine Command Centre to keep up with this growth,” said Dr Seow Vei Ken, Medical Director, Sunway Medical Centre.
This value is also extended to local and overseas patients. Now, they can consult their doctors, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, audiologists, rehabilitation team (podiatrist, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) and dietitians without the need to be physically present, with an appointment made at least one working day before. Teleconsultation is offered mainly to follow-up patients and those who seek a second opinion.
Sunway Medical Centre is committed to this initiative and have set aside an early stage investment in setting up this Telemedicine Command Centre. For now, this Command Centre will only be set-up in Sunway Medical Centre, with expansion plans dependant on the growth in the number of patients.
Future plans include connecting the Telemedicine Command Centre to other hospitals, universities, or other world-class research centres for medical related education programmes. Major medical related discussions, meetings and conferences can take place digitally for education and consultation purposes.
The Telemedicine Command Centre at Sunway Medical Centre has been operational since 1 January 2021. For further information about Sunway Medical Centre and its Telemedicine Services, please visit www.sunwaymedical.com, or call +603 7491 9191 or email email@example.com.