Friday, April 29, 2011

The hospital that 'Pees'

Taken from:
My colleagues and I had a meeting with some representatives from the newest hospital in Singapore, the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and came away impressed with some of the health ideas and philosophies that they have infused, or trying to infuse, into their daily operations.

On a very macro level, what I love and find refreshing is their idea, or approach to what, and how should, a hospital be. Instead of just looking at a hospital as an institution to cure the sick and needy, the evolutionary idea that was surfaced is that the hospital should be a centre for health too, and in fact, should be a catalyst for healthy living. And this idea should be propounded beyond the 4 corners of the hospital, into the immediate community that resides close by. This idea of getting the hospital to be part of the community just sounded like the proposed idea of how mosques in Singapore were supposed to operate within this multi-racial and secular society of ours. Each mosque was supposed to be a leader, or take ownership in matters related to Islam and other family-related issues and matters, whilst of course, taking into account national and other religious agenda.

On an architectural level, the design of the 3 blocks that makes up the hospital is indeed functionally impressive. Their 3-step approach towards customer orientation, their time-limited consideration for patients/visitors to be able to be at a certain location, within the hospital complex, their integrative approach towards 'integrating' the water body next door into their overall landscaping works...all these seems to be really an excellent testimony about their seriousness towards achieving a more holistic and evolutionary idea about what healthy living is all about....and more importantly, about how health should be approached and how a hospital is supposed to operate, currently and for the future!

I also loved their idea of the 3P's...especially in the areas of geriatrics. The first P, being PRODUCT, looks at the most basic and perhaps, 'superficial' level....that some problems or situations could be resolved by designing and making A PHYSICAL PRODUCT. Beyond this, the second P being PROCESS, is somewhat pitched at a more conceptual level. Perhaps this is something similar to what I am trying to infuse into my lessons...that sometimes problems should be identified beyond just the symptomatic or superficial levels, into its root cause! So perhaps process here involves beyond just the mere physicality or tangibility of products as solutions or probable solutions; beyond that there could be process-related issues that are best resolved in order to achieve the most complete or effective solutions. On the last level of P, being PEOPLE, I thought is somewhat true as beyond just the manifestations of a product or a process, it is indeed people that would be the true changers and perhaps, solutions to most problems. Changes in attitudes, lifestyles, perceptions....all these are people-related situations that are complex in nature, but not necessarily impossible to achieve a change in, in order to realise a win-win outcome.

I walked away from the meeting still feeling floored and amazed at the ideas that they are working on, and I hope that the programme that my team and me are currently working on with them could bear even more 'fruits', to enable my students to understand better, about what is at stake for them, in their 'Elderly Challenge' journey.

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