Phone app helps hospital look after its own staff

With employees coming from different backgrounds and hospitals, Singapore's newest hospital has been striving to create its own corporate culture. But it has been an uphill task for the 16-month-old Farrer Park Hospital.

As four in 10 of its employees are clinical staff without their own computers at work, it is difficult to communicate corporate news and values effectively.

For this reason, the old system of notice boards, e-mails and newsletters could not be counted on to spread information to all 580 employees, said Mr Jeethu Syriac, the hospital's human resource head.

A computer engineer by training, the 36-year-old found his solution in a smartphone app.

He said: "Culture happens when everybody focuses on one direction. With communication, everyone is aligned and we can work together as one big family."

The app keeps everyone informed of the hospital's news as well as lets them book training slots and block their calendars immediately - features that have improved training attendance, Mr Syriac said. "Training is planned three to four months in advance, so in the past people would forget or come late," he added.

The app, rolled out last August, was developed with digital health platform CelliHealth.

For its efforts, the hospital was given an award at the Singapore Human Resources Institute's annual Singapore HR Awards last Friday.

The app also gives stress management tips and customised nutrition recommendations based on questions answered by users.

"Nurses work so hard they often forget about their own health," said Mr Syriac. "If we take care of our staff, they can take care of our patients and our hospital."

Joanna Seow