SINGAPORE: Patients at six polyclinics will now receive an automated SMS if their COVID-19 tests come back negative from the laboratories.
An IT system called iConnect.COVID was launched at Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Jurong, Pioneer and Queenstown polyclinics last month that helps better manage test results using automation for COVID-19 swab tests.
Those six polyclinics are run by the National University Polyclinics (NUP).
READ: Singapore developing nationwide COVID-19 testing strategy to better detect unlinked cases in community: Lawrence Wong
The system - developed by the Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT) and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) - will be extended to polyclinics run by National Healthcare Group Polyclinics and SingHealth Polyclinics by the middle of this month, said MOHT and NUP in a press release on Monday (May 4).
The system will alert healthcare institutions if a patient tests positive for COVID-19. Transport will be arranged to convey the infected patient to the relevant facilities immediately.
For patients who test negative, an automated SMS will be sent to them. They can click on the link attached in the SMS to acknowledge their receipt.
READ: Singapore to start gradual easing of circuit breaker measures as COVID-19 community cases decline
MOHT and the NUP said there was interest to improve "the capture and notification of the majority of patients who test negative" amid an increase in testing volume.
The use of iConnect.COVID removes the need for manual entry of test cases using spreadsheets, emails and phone calls, said MOHT and NUP.
"This helps to reduce the stress and workload of our frontline healthcare workers," they said.
READ: COVID-19: Circuit breaker might be lifted when community cases fall to zero or single digits over sustained period
Dr Lew Yii Jen, CEO of NUP, said, "At a time when polyclinics are working in overdrive to test patients in a bid to stem transmission, consolidating and sharing data accurately, and communicating to patients in a timely manner can be challenging."
Dr Lew added that iConnect.COVID provides healthcare workers with a platform to enhance responses for COVID-19, with "improved productivity and coordination".