[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]o stand out from the crowd, Dr Timothy Low believes in measuring against other industries, instead of drawing comparisons with competitors in the same field. This is especially so in the health-care industry, which is “usually the last to adopt new technology”, he says.

“We are attracting foreign patients who expect five-, six-star hotel service, because we’re a private hospital. That’s why I’m very strict about appearances,” says the chief executive of Farrer Park Hospital. “We have to look as groomed, and we need to be as personable, as those in hospitality and the airlines.”

Another lead that Farrer Park Hospital, which is part of a health-care hospitality complex named Connexion that includes One Farrer Hotel and Spa, has taken from the hospitality industry is the creation of peaceful retreats. After all, many of us do not enjoy hospital stays. The private collection of over 700 commissioned Asian paintings and 15 gardens scattered throughout Connexion evoke calm and are meant to enhance the healing environment and peaceful ambience.

But to truly be a hospital of the future, Farrer Park Hospital must lead the way in embracing technology that improves medical care, says Dr Low, who was instrumental in turning Gleneagles Hospital into a six-star private health-care provider.

To this end, it has invested in state-of-the-art equipment that facilitates telemedicine consulting services across the world. To create a conducive learning environment for medical professionals, its 18 operating rooms are linked via fibre-optic connections to various locations in Connexion, including the hospital’s education centre and hotel’s function rooms.

It is also Singapore’s first private hospital to become a teaching site, with the medical students from Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University.

“The pragmatic businessman might not have spent so much money on the latest equipment or carved out green spaces, but we have. The ultimate aim is to boost good patient outcomes not just for Farrer Park, but across the industry. We need to break through by disrupting the norm.”