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The Robotic Process Automation saved physiotherapists more than 1,350 hours between March and December 2022. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
To increase efficiency during physiotherapy consultations, the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has rolled out a bot that automates the collection and calculation of a patient’s functional health status.
The bot, or Robotic Process Automation (RPA), saved physiotherapists more than 1,350 hours between March and December 2022.
Previously, SGH’s physiotherapy patients had to fill in a self-assessment questionnaire on their functional health – or Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (Proms) – when they arrived for their appointment.
About 13 minutes of consultation time was spent answering the questionnaire and manually calculating the Proms score.
Now, the backend bot automatically sends the patient an SMS with a link to the online Proms questionnaire. Once completed, the RPA will calculate the Proms score and e-mail the results to the physiotherapist.
Senior principal physiotherapist Philip Cheong said the data collected over the long term allows clinicians to track patients’ progress.
Osteoarthritis patient Michael Loh, 66, said getting the questionnaire before his appointment forces him “to think in a very quantifying and qualifying way (about) how much pain I am suffering”. This gives clinicians a more accurate gauge of his condition.
Currently, use of the bot is limited to physiotherapy patients with musculoskeletal problems, but SGH hopes to expand its use to other specialities such as neurology and women’s health.