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Inspiring nurses to innovate

Changi General Hospital (CGH) nurtures budding nurse innovators to ideate and implement solutions to meet future health challenges.

Mr Wong Kok Cheong at the graduation ceremony of the BioDesign Faculty Fellowship programme.

Nurses are often hailed as the backbone of our healthcare system. To promote a vibrant nursing innovation culture and prepare a future-ready nursing workforce at our hospital, the Nursing Transformation (NT) department works closely with nursing leaders to identify potential nursing talents who have a keen interest in innovation and develop them further through planned training and competency development under the CGH Nurse Innovator Pathway.

A leader in mentoring nurses on healthcare transformation

Mr Wong Kok Cheong, Deputy Director, NT, CGH, was one of the first to benefit from the Nurse Innovator Pathway. In 2021, he attended the Singapore BioDesign Faculty Fellowship programme, a prestigious executive programme by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) for selected innovation leaders. Based on the internationally-recognised Stanford BioDesign methodology, the participants experienced hands-on training and coaching to learn to mentor others in Health and Medical Technology Innovation. “Innovation is a key driver to advancing healthcare for tomorrow,” he shares.

“By acquiring deeper knowledge and higher-level skills to better facilitate and mentor staff in identifying unmet clinical needs, developing evidence-based ideas and solutions, collaborating with other stakeholders, as well as implementing innovative solutions, I aspire to inspire nurses — no matter what age they are — to continue learning and innovating while we care for our patients.”

Enriched by the knowledge and skills gained, Mr Wong has enhanced his review and evaluation methodology for innovation proposals, and provides guidance on refining them for application in real-world settings. Under the mentorship of the NT team, nurses will learn the ropes in managing innovation projects from idea conception to the successful implementation and expansion of their innovative solutions. Today, Mr Wong has his plate full with several innovation projects in the works. These range from harnessing robotics to partner nurses, to leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, as well as exploring new ideas with academic and healthcare partners.

A Pathway to Progress

The Nursing Innovation Pathway outlines the levels of training and competency development required to prepare and grow nurse innovators, starting from the foundational level to the advanced level; and other programme components such as:

  • Talent Identification and Development Plan
  • Hands-on participation or leading innovation projects at hospital/cluster level
  • Immersion into the field of healthcare and medtech innovations
  • Fellowship programme to Nursing Transformation
  • Measurement of progress

Creative ways to engage patients

One of the memorable projects implemented by the NT team includes Singapore’s first dialect smartphone app that aims to enhance the communication between frontline nursing staff and patients.

Inspiring nurses to innovate