23 Jan 2024

Career Stories

Jan Lim: Designing and developing a digital hospital of the future

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For more than 13 years, Jan Lim has been serving public healthcare in Synapxe, designing and developing a digital hospital of the future. To Jan, the sense of purpose she derives from her job cannot be found anywhere else.

As Chief Information
Officer of JurongHealth
Campus, Jan oversees IT maintenance and projects. She provides guidance and direction to her team to ensure that IT risks are minimised and in keeping the hospitals as cyber safe as possible. Their work enables faster and more accurate diagnoses for patients, and the development of more effective treatment plans.

What’s in the job

In a typical day, Jan walks the ground at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH) to ensure the stability of the hospitals’ IT systems. She listens to feedback from the clinicians to better understand how her team can help improve work efficiency and productivity with technology. 

Jan finds her day-to-day work meaningful, with one of the most fulfilling achievements to be when she helped to set up NTFGH and JCH by conceptualising the IT master plan with the hospital management team. As part of the task, Jan attended various workshops and visited top hospitals in USA and South Korea to learn firsthand how advanced technology can be adopted in different ways to assist with patient care.

For example, JurongHealth Campus was the first public healthcare institution in Singapore to implement a hospital-wide tracking system to track patient movements and the locations of medical equipment. This RFID tracking system enabled more seamless patient care workflows when patients were transferred to different areas of the hospitals. It also allowed healthcare workers to locate medical equipment easily, reducing delays in patient care.

As part of the IT master plan, Jan and the hospital’s management team also elected to utilise Epic, a truly integrated clinical system, which consolidates different systems into a single electronic medical record. This improved patient care and work efficiency for all healthcare staff as clinicians can refer to a single source for all required information, rather than having to trawl through multiple systems. The team also took the opportunity to integrate more than 1000 medical devices into the electronic medical record system.

With this single electronic medical record system, NTFGH achieved HIMSS Stage 7 validation– an achievement that only a few hospitals worldwide have managed to attain. Assessed by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, HIMSS Stage 7 is a global symbol of the hospital’s dedication to digital transformation in healthcare.

These are just a few situations where Jan had the opportunity to gain new technological expertise and acquire new skills on the job. Being attached on site at JurongHealth Campus has also allowed her to better understand how the departments of the hospitals, such as the Accident and Emergency, function. By visiting the different areas of the hospitals, from the operating theatres to the kitchens, Jan better understands their work processes to form a picture of how technology can be leveraged to improve work efficiency and improve health outcomes

Jan confesses that the biggest challenge of her job is the balancing act she must perform to manage expectations from different stakeholders. She carefully weighs out the pros and cons and considers her priorities when making decisions - IT security or operational efficiency? Innovation or maintaining the status quo? Urgent or essential? On this account, Jan had to pick up critical stakeholder management skills to balance these different asks.

Joining the HealthTech industry

On the industry as a whole, Jan asserts that HealthTech is the way forward to address Singapore’s aging population and rising costs. Digitalisation and tech revolution has transformed the way we work and live, and technology will naturally be the center of healthcare. 

When Jan interviews for new additions to her team, she is more interested in what candidates are looking for in a job, and why they are interested in public healthcare. She pays attention to their attitude and looks out for candidates who are eager to learn and support the team. In this growing industry, potential joiners can look forward to the satisfaction of contributing meaningfully to HealthTech and benefit from it at the end of the day.

As a testament to this, Jan shared that if given the chance to turn back the clock, she would have chosen the exact same path – spending 13 years of her youth serving in public healthcare. “I have no regrets. It is not just a job, it has become part of my life. I am thankful to be given this opportunity to continue my tenure in serving public healthcare and I hope to do more in contributing directly to patient care and also in taking care of public healthcare staff.”

At the time of publication, Jan has moved on to a new role as Assistant Chief Operating Officer (ACOO) for JurongHealth Campus (under the NUHS cluster), which manages Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH). She continues to oversee and contribute in the HealthTech space and at the same time extend her reach into managing the entire operations of the two hospitals.

At Synapxe, the national HealthTech agency, it’s more than just a jobit’s a fulfilling journey with mobility to move across different job roles, shaping your path ahead and empowering you to take charge of your career.

If you have a passion to shape the future of HealthTech in Singapore, find out more at https://www.synapxe.sg/careers


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