Rotterdam, The Netherlands – April 1, 2015 – The Singapore National Eye Centre, part of the SingHealth Group, has won the first Winsemius Award in the category ‘Collaborative Innovation’. The SNEC won this award for the close cooperation with The Rotterdam Eye Hospital (the Netherlands) from 1997 till now. Both eye hospitals are founding members and initiators of the World Association of Eye Hospitals, the global association of eye hospitals and ophthalmology departments of university hospitals from all over the world.
Mr Dirk de Korne, Deputy Director Health Innovation at the SNEC: “There has been close collaboration between The Rotterdam Eye Hospital and the SNEC from the late nineties. A concept Singapore took from Rotterdam is the security protocol to ensure there is no mix-up between right and left eyes during surgery.”
Mr Kees Sol, member of the board of directors of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital and former chairman of the WAEH: “The Rotterdam Eye Hospital is very pleased to collaborate in such an intensive way with the Singapore National Eye Centre. An example of the collaboration is the introduction of the valet parking service in Rotterdam, which has significantly reduced the anxiety of eye patients before entering our hospital. The valet parking is modeled after the valet parking concept introduced in Singapore”.
The Winsemius award is part of the ‘DutchCham Business Awards’-competition, an event organized by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (DutchCham) in Singapore and other countries all over the world. Awards can be won in categories like Singaporean – Dutch Cooperation, Water, Maritime and for example Sustainability. To mark Singapore’s 50th anniversary, DutchCham’s launched its inaugural Winsemius Awards named after the Dutch economic advisor to Singapore, the late Dr. Albert Winsemius.
Examples of the Singaporean – Dutch collaboration in eye care delivery
The Rotterdam Eye Hospital and the Singapore National Eye Centre have founded the World Association of Eye Hospitals in 2007 with six eye hospitals from all over the world, resulting in a facilitating and promoting platform for knowledge and best practices exchange between eye hospitals worldwide. The WAEH currently has 27 members from all over the world.
A joint benchmarking system has been developed, including continuous measurement of indicators on 1) patient outcomes (cataract, endophthalmitis infections, pre- and post operative complications), 2) volumes (outpatient, inpatient, surgeries, intraocular injections), 3) efficiency and productivity (cases per fte, ratio (new) outpatients/surgery, capacity utilization, no shows), 4) quality (cancellations, postponements, net promotor score) and 5) trends (injections, lens types, integrated and community care).
The exchange of Dutch and Singapore nursing staff between the hospitals resulting in process and care delivery improvements. For example, a patient instruction guide for the use of eye drops was developed in Rotterdam and consequently translated in Chinese for use in Singapore. Joint development of task shifting protocols between ophthalmologists and nurses for glaucoma care.
Joint project by three members of the WAEH (Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Singapore National Eye Centre and Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital) to research the feasibility of mobile eye care in Asia. SNEC was the initiator of the project “Mobile Eye Care in Asia” where the feasibility of eye bus business models is currently been explored in the Rotterdam Eye Hospital, the Tianjin Eye Hospital from China (also a member of the WAEH), and SNEC. In September 2013 in Beijing, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the three hospitals in attendance of Dutch Healthcare Minister Mrs Edith Schippers.
Start of valet parking service at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital in the Netherlands to reduce anxiety for eye patients, based on the earlier developed Singaporean concept.
Since 2013, Dutchman Dr Dirk de Korne has been serving SNEC as its Deputy Director Health Innovation. Based on his earlier experience with the application of industrial improvement methodologies in The Rotterdam Eye Hospital, SNEC has been improving its care with new methodologies like Design Thinking, Human Factor & Ergonomics and Benchmarking.
2015 – important year of Dutch – Singaporean collaboration in eye care delivery
In 2007 the SNEC and the Rotterdam Eye Hospital founded the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH) in attendance of Mr Ivo Opstelten, Major of the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The first President of the WAEH was Mr Kees Sol, member of the board of directors of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital. During the upcoming Annual Meeting of the WAEH in May, Mrs Charity Wai, COO of SNEC, will be sworn in as the 2nd President of the WAEH.
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