Digitalisation drive: Improving patient experience through clinical excellence, technology expansion
Sunway Healthcare Group President Lau Beng Long talks about the need to provide a seamless patient experience and integrated services in the industry.
Healthcare organisations are constantly under pressure to deliver digital-first, seamless, and connected experiences to consumers, especially with rising demands, rapid advancements in technology, and more complex needs.
As the President of Sunway Healthcare Group (SHG), Dato’ Lau Beng Long has been involved in implementing many successful projects with the company, beginning with the Group’s flagship hospital Sunway Medical Centre (SMC) Sunway City which was established in 1999. Lau was also instrumental in the building and commissioning of SMC Velocity in 2019, and SMC Penang in November 2022, whilst SMC Velocity and as well as SHG’s other ambulatory and complementary care centres.
In 2022, SHG served over 1 million patients across its three hospitals and care centres, along with more than 50,000 international patients from 170 countries. Over the past year, SHG also launched Sunway Fertility Centre Kuching, and Sunway Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) Centre Kuching, apart from SMC Penang.
Meanwhile, the organisation successfully established the inaugural Sustainability Financing Framework rated “Gold” Impact Bond Assessment from the Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC).
These achievements contributed to SHG receiving four awards at the recently concluded Healthcare Asia Awards 2023: Hospital of the Year - Malaysia (Sunway Medical Centre), ESG Program of the Year - Malaysia (Sunway Medical Centre Velocity), Health and Wellness Initiative of the Year - Malaysia (Sunway TCM Centre), and Customer Service Initiative of the Year - Malaysia (Sunway Fertility Centre). The awards programme aims to honour hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers that have risen above the challenges and made a remarkable impact, especially amidst the massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leveraging technology for quality healthcare service
Technology plays a vital role in providing service to patients and other consumers, especially with the many advancements that have come along the way. Given this, SHG places a lot of emphasis on acquiring cutting-edge technology and expertise. The organisation is the first in Malaysia to acquire the Da Vinci Xi 4th Generation surgical system and the United Imaging Healthcare PET CT Scanner. These allow SHG to serve patients with greater precision, personalisation, and faster treatment times.
SMC also marked its 1,000th robot-assisted surgery in 2022, whilst its Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Chua Hwa Sen, became the first in Malaysia to complete 100 Mako Robotic Surgeries.
As SHG continues to expand and grow, the organisation looks forward to other opportunities and focuses on seamless patient experience thanks to various digitalisation efforts. The organisation implemented its very own online mobile application, which has a wide range of features needed by hospitals.
On top of that, SHG has started working on upgrades to its Hospital Information System whilst also implementing an Electronic Medical Record system, which provides healthcare professionals with accurate, up-to-date, and complete information on their patients.
Lau recognised that with these various improvements, there also comes a need for integrated services in the healthcare industry and active senior living residences. As such, the organisation is stepping up efforts in its home healthcare and telemedicine services, which it also plans to bring to other areas, and is set to launch Sunway Sanctuary to provide the best luxury senior living experience.
Striving for excellence amidst changing patient needs
Whilst SHG has received many accolades, the organisation still strives to embody its vision of becoming the leading integrated healthcare provider in Asia. SHG keeps true to its commitment to providing high-quality care and patient outcomes through clinical excellence and being a one-stop centre for healthcare services.
“We continuously strive to position ourselves at the forefront of medical and digital technologies in Malaysia’s smart hospital industry, in order to maximise patient comfort and recovery as well as [ensure] positive treatment outcomes,” Lau said.
Amongst its innovations are the introduction of robot-assisted surgeries in 2016, the Elekta Leksell Gamma Knife® ICON™ radiosurgery device, BellaBots for patient care, and robotic joint replacement systems.
Meanwhile, in terms of being the one-stop centre for healthcare services, SMC currently has 29 Centres of Excellence and over 100 specialities and subspecialties. It had also expanded its transplant centres and integrated both Eastern and Western medical practices to offer more options to patients.
“All of these [serve] to provide our patients with comprehensive services that will be able to meet each and every one of their needs accordingly,” Lau emphasised. He assured that SHG continues to innovate on ways to support clinicians’ practices and enhance patients’ experiences.