Changi General Hospital's 'robot trio' complements nursing care
Photo courtesy of Changi General Hospital/SingHealth
Changi General Hospital has deployed a trio of autonomous mobile robots in and around the emergency department to complement nursing care.
HOW THEY WORK
These meter-high robots, equipped with sensors, speakers and a touchscreen display, are capable of moving around crowds on their own without bumping into people and other moving objects, according to CGH.
One robot called EDi (Emergency Department innovation) is a wayfinding robot that ushers visitors to their intended destinations and is capable of communicating in four languages. Two of these robots have been deployed in two separate areas in the ED and have saved around four minutes per round trip of wayfinding or nearly 1.5 hours each day.
Another robot, MEDi (Medication Delivery innovation), is a smart medicine delivery-on-wheels with an in-built storage system that can transport up to four baskets of medication in four separate compartments – thereby serving four different ED areas each trip. Controlled via a tablet, this robot can carry out up to 16 rounds of medicine pick-up and delivery per day, freeing up almost two hours of time and four kilometres of walking to deliver medications per day for nurses.
The third robot, BLANKi (Blanket Delivery innovation), is a roaming robot that cruises around the waiting areas, providing patients and visitors with self-pick-up blankets. It helps free up time for service ambassadors to retrieve blankets upon request, giving them more time to focus on interacting with patients.
WHY IT MATTERS
CGH harnesses robots to "streamline processes and enhance experiences to focus on delivering trusted care to our patients." By taking on heavy medication loads, making repetitive trips to various locations, and providing wayfinding services, the AMRs increase efficiency and productivity while enhancing patient and visitor experiences.
The trial robots deployment will be completed next month, in August. Following this, the hospital is planning to deploy both EDi and MEDi to other areas on the campus to widen wayfinding and medication delivery. BLANKi will also be used to carry other self-help items such as bottled water.
THE LARGER TREND
CGH has been looking at ways to optimise its resources while achieving staff efficiency and enhancing patient experience. It is currently working with Respiree on a remote patient monitoring system, which can save up to 12 hours of time per day in vital signs monitoring.
Last month, CGH put up smart vending machines called Pharmacy Smart Interface System that provide timely and convenient access to pharmacy-only medicines.
ON THE RECORD
"As one of the busiest [EDs] in Singapore with high operating attendances, CGH's ED is continually looking at ways to improve efficiency and optimise resources. As a 'smart' hospital, CGH harnesses the power of robots to streamline processes and enhance experiences to focus on delivering trusted care to our patients. The trial deployment of the three robots in the ED complements nursing care in an innovative and interactive way," said CGH ED assistant director Choong Pei Wah, who oversees the AMR deployment.