Mount Alvernia Hospital goes low-code to boost holistic healthcare

Mount Alvernia Hospital has partnered with OutSystems, a partner for high-performance low-code application development, to enhance its digitalisation efforts since the pandemic. 

Having developed 12 applications for its internal staff and visitors, this strategic partnership is enabling the hospital to provide more holistic healthcare through building speed-to-market solutions and overcoming roadblocks in their traditional code development process.

Mount Alvernia Hospital is a 300+ bed general private acute care not for-profit medical institution with tertiary medical capabilities, a 10-storey maternity and paediatric centre, two multi-disciplinary medical specialist centres and an integrated oncology services centre. 

Among the successes so far, the 13-strong in-house developer team developed apps such as the following.

An app for Staff Health System, which was first developed during COVID-19 to facilitate contact tracing as requested by Singapore’s Ministry of Health. Subsequently, the system was enhanced to include other capabilities such as tracking staff vaccination status and appointment booking.

Another app for Doctors Directory, which visitors can use this to locate doctors’ clinic locations.

Also an app for Medical Records Tracking, through which departments can request paper-based medical records from the medical records department and track out-going and returning of checked-out records.

And then an app for Electronic Meal Ordering, which allows patients and next-of-kins to order in-patient meals and send orders to the kitchen, with dietary restrictions built in.

The newly developed applications have streamlined internal workflows for staff and enhanced the overall value delivered to patients and visitors. 

“In the healthcare sector, being agile is key to tackling the rapidly evolving environment,” said Bruce Leong, director of technology and strategy at Mount Alvernia Hospital. 

“Our partnership with OutSystems has proven instrumental in reducing development cycles and enhancing our speed-to-market capabilities, which is crucial as the fast-paced industry could demand that we develop a new app within one to two weeks,” said Leong.

Faced with challenges of delivering solutions with speed as traditional code development could not meet its demands for agility, the hospital aims to bridge the widening talent shortage for tech talent in developing new innovative solutions. 

With OutSystems, there are many plugins available that eliminate time in constructing functions from scratch when developing new applications.

As a result, Mount Alvernia Hospital’s developers saved half the time required (three months) to create new applications, compared to traditional development platforms. 

Team morale also increased, as the low-code platform alleviated challenges posed to developers by the tedious and time-consuming nature of working with C++ and Java programs.

“Navigating the talent gap has proven to be a critical challenge for many organisations involved in application development, especially with the scarcity of skilled developers,” said Mark Weaser, VP of Asia Pacific at OutSystems.

The hospital is currently developing its Alvernia Connect Application which aims to engage both doctors and patients to automate manual processes, by enabling patients to fill paperwork digitally, check insurance claims, and more from their mobile phones. The first module is expected to be out within this first quarter of 2024.