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Celebrating 25 Years

The 25th Anniversary of SMU Hospital Management Programme is dedicated to "Value-based Healthcare".

   Access to senior, well-qualified topics. Experts who offered great insights into international healthcare issues was my greatest takeaway from the programme.    

- Josie Gabrielli
Director of Business Development
Macquarie University Hospital, Australia

Giving Back to Community:
HMP as Enabler for Good

Stories of Supporting Others in Need

Dr Liu Jiaying from Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Singapore, shares with us her experience how she set up a Comprehensive Hearing Loss and Hearing Implant Service in West Singapore.

Tell us your experience on the challenges you faced that needed more support?
Hearing loss awareness is lacking in Singapore. Many patients, especially the elderly, neglect their hearing as they ascribe it to aging. Overcoming this apathy was an uphill task due to the lack of patient education and outreach. Primary care doctors also had to be educated about identifying patients with hearing loss who needed intervention. Audiologists and nursing staff needed skill upgrades to provide specialized care. There was no unified workflow in place to provide individualized treatment of each patient’s hearing loss. 

What did you do and what happened as result?
To increase hearing loss awareness, I teamed up with Grassroots Community centres to bring hearing screening to the community.

The Service also partnered a Polyclinic to screen elderly patients for hearing loss. Those with detected hearing loss were given  expedited access to Specialist Consultation at our Hospital.

Patients diagnosed with hearing loss at our hospital were offered a range of services individualized to their needs. These included Tinnitus management, hearing aid fitting and servicing, ear surgery, and cochlear Implantation.

To facilitate seamless delivery of care, patient’s medical records were entered on an electronic platform thus allowing doctors and allied staff access to prompt updates of a patient’s condition. To encourage learning and innovation, monthly meetings were set up to discuss challenging cases and brainstorm ideas for research.

As a result, we recently made progress in 2 research areas that could help advance the development of better hearing loss treatments. Our unit has also managed to fit 221 patients with hearing aids, 10 patients with cochlear implants and 1 patient with a bone conducting implant in the past 12 months.

How did SMU Hospital Management Programme support you in this journey?
Dr Howard Thomas’ session on Strategy and Strategy Implementation impressed upon me the various components which make up a strategic framework, and the need for a good strategy from the outset to overcome competition and deliver optimal outcomes.

What was the societal Impact?
I would like to share with you the experiences of two of my patients, which I hope it would give the world an idea what most people with hearing impairment go through.

First, is an elderly gentleman who had overcome naso-pharyngeal carcinoma. Unfortunately, the radiotherapy treatment for his cancer left him with severe hearing loss. This was affecting his quality of life and his ability to communicate with his equally elderly wife who is currently ill and heavily dependent on him.

After going through a cochlear implant and being able to hear again, he was able to look after his wife and hear her out whenever she calls him for any help.  Adding on to that, he was also able to communicate better with his wife which is something very precious to him.

My second patient is a 60 year old lady who had such severe hearing loss that she was too afraid to go out for the fear of miscommunication and social embarrassment. 

She would only go to work and then directly home after. At work, she was having difficulty hearing her colleagues in the factory she worked in and was at risk of losing her job. After successfully going through with her cochlear implant and regaining her sense of hearing, this has certainly restored her confidence in going out, and interacting with friends, family and even strangers.

Every patient has a different story and being able to hear again also means that it can lead to creating a greater meaning to one's life. 

   Dr Iwasaki, from Anshin Hospital Kobe, Japan, tells us how he was able to establish a practice model and also transform the mindset of his staff to adopt a holistic approach in patient care.  

For more information about the Hospital Management Programme, please contact Ayden Tay at aydentay@smu.edu.sg or +65 6826 1317

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