Smart maps enhancing delivery of healthcare services in Singapore and beyond
04 Sep 2015
Hospitals around the world are turning to smart mapping technology to equip doctors and staff the capability to clearly understand and predict community health needs and design effective interventions.
The technology, from global mapping giant Esri, is the same technology currently being used by military, law enforcement agencies, and smart cities around the world.
It integrates data from multiple sources across the organisation to create a dynamic map-based view of information giving decision-makers a better understanding of the situation and the factors at play.
Dr Estelle Geraghty, chief medical officer at Esri said, the health of an individual and a community greatly depends on the location and built environment, as such leveraging smart mapping technology is a natural fit to look towards when attempting to build healthy communities.
“Hospitals around the world who have deployed this technology has seen enhanced individual patient care and population health outcomes as well as improved operational efficiency in hospitals,” Dr Geraghty said.
“The Children’s National Health System in Washington DC, for example, reduced the number of thermal burn cases by using GIS technology.”
By integrating electronic health records with GIS technology, patients were linked to various data sets such as residential address, ethnicity and causes of injury. The results of the data mapping and statistical analyses enabled the staff to uncover the most frequent causes of thermal burns.
“Empowered with this new knowledge, the pediatric care provider worked with local agencies to circulate handouts with simple prevention tips, this in turn led to the decline in burn incidences in the community,” Dr Geraghty said.
Smart mapping can also help improve outcomes for patients with chronic disease. This is pertinent for Singapore where chronic diseases are a significant cause of illness and death.
Dr Geraghty said, “Beyond enabling doctors and nurses to provide optimal care during the patient’s hospital stay, smart maps will also help discharge managers identify resources – specialists and ancillaries that help patients take better care of their health, for example – near their residences.”
As Singapore advances towards its goal of becoming a smart nation, the use of smart mapping is becoming increasingly significant in order to efficiently deliver quality healthcare to communities.