For Summer 2021, our team worked with Lions Befrienders Service Association (LBSA). Founded in 1995, LBSA strove to provide friendship and care for seniors to age in place with community participation, enabling them to enjoy meaningful and enriching lives. Their vision is to keep Singapore “a nation where every senior is active, healthy and happy”.
LBSA offers six core services:
- Befriending Services
- Senior Activity Centres
- SAC Cluster Support
- Home Personal Care
- Senior Group Home
- Active Ageing Centres
The 6th core service, Active Ageing Centres (AACs), is a new initiative by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC). Lions Befrienders’ Senior Activity Centres (SAC) will be progressively converted to AACs. By March 2023, every senior that requires befriending services in the island will be served by one of the AACs in the neighbourhood.
Prior to Summer 2021, all services (except the Active Ageing Centres) were already integrated into the CVWO system, albeit to varying degrees. The CVWO system only supported the full workflow of the Befriending Service, as well as the Senior Activity Centres.
During Summer 2021, our team successfully implemented features to digitalise the processes within the Home Personal Care (HPC) programme, as well as enhanced the existing system so that the CVWO system could support the reporting requirements of the new Active Ageing Centres.
Digitalising processes within the Home Personal Care programme
LBSA’s Home Personal Care (HPC) programme is targeted at vulnerable seniors, with the objective of providing quality care and assistance, to help seniors age in place. The programme involves trained healthcare professionals assisting the clients with Activities of Daily Living in areas such as light housekeeping and personal hygiene.
As the HPC programme experiences year-on-year growth, they needed a more sustainable and scalable system to support their workflow.
As such, we were tasked to digitalise the processes involved in the HPC programme: from rendering of the service and collecting of the payment by the healthcare assistants, up to the financial reconciliation that needs to be performed by the administrative staff.
Home Personal Care Mobile App
One of the key areas for improvement within the HPC programme would be the digitalisation of service record forms as well as receipts, which were previously recorded in hard-copy by the healthcare assistants when they provide service to the clients.
Our team set out to build a mobile application which features the ability to log sessions as well as collect payments. Beyond that, it also integrates with a Bluetooth printer for printing of hard-copy service record forms as well as receipts, so that these documents can be issued to the clients immediately after the service is provided.
Supporting Backend Systems
With the influx of data coming in from the Home Personal Care Mobile App, our team also needed to build supporting interfaces and systems on the backend in order for the administrative staff to easily make sense of these data.
Our team saw this opportunity to re-engineer the existing processes within the HPC programme to adopt best practices as well as streamline processes.
We built interfaces to support the workflows involved at every step of the process from handing over of payments collected by healthcare assistants, up to the financial reconciliation that needs to be performed once the administrative staff has received the bank statement.
Additionally, because the system involved the flow of money, we also built our system to be robust, with clear audit trails at every stage of the money flow. To do so, we built a generalisable double-entry accounting system, which can also be re-used in future programmes involving the tracking of payments.
Active Ageing Centres
With the new population-based eldercare service model introduced by AIC, LBSA had to adapt the existing CVWO system in order to accommodate this new service model.
Our team was tasked to study the new reporting requirements and enhance the system so that it can fulfil these requirements. As the process of transitioning to the new service model would be gradual, we were also tasked to ensure that the system could support the requirements of both the new service model, as well as the old service model.
Clear Backlog of Bugs and Feature Requests
Prior to Summer 2021, LBSA had prepared a list of bugs and feature requests that were accumulated after the end of Summer 2020. Our team managed to resolve all these issues, leaving behind a clean and stable system for the next batch.
The groundwork for this project has been largely laid by the previous teams. Before we started working on the core project objectives for the summer, we started off with basic maintenance work. This involved building new features as well as resolving bugs accumulated from the end of last summer.
This allowed us to quickly familiarise ourselves with how the system was designed, as well as the rationale behind these choices. Our team also took this time to gather requirements from the HPC stakeholders in order to determine how best we can build a system that supports their processes.
Development of HPC System
Our team then got started with building the HPC system. With the requirements gathered from the HPC stakeholders, we built a HPC Mobile App, which would be used by the healthcare assistants to log sessions rendered, as well as collect any payments. We also built supporting systems on the backend, to allow the administrative staff to manage the flow of all the money collected.
Due to the scale of the application, work was largely divided on a per-module basis. This ensured no one member would be too overwhelmed with the large amount of work to be done, as each member only had to be focused on the module they were in-charge of.
Our team spent the first two-thirds of CVWO developing the HPC system. Along the way, we also spent time learning essential skills and technologies. All these resulted in a smooth and timely deployment of the HPC system, which gave the users of the system ample time to provide us with any feedback, so that we can rectify them before the summer ends.
After the HPC system was launched, we quickly switched over to enhancing the CVWO system to fulfil the new reporting requirements based on the new eldercare service model introduced by AIC. This process was challenging as we had little information on the specifics of the reporting requirements. We had to make continuous iterations on the report as new information came to light.
- Sebastian Toh Shi Jian (Project Lead, Year 2)
- Aylwin Low Wen Xi (Friend of CVWO)
- Elizabeth Chow Ting San (Developer, Year 1)
- Elton Goh Jun Hao (Developer, Year 1)
- Leeroy Liu (Developer, Year 1)
- Neo Jing Xuan (Developer, Year 1)
- Peh Kai Min, Ryan (Developer, Year 1)
- Sherwin Poh Kai Xun (Developer, Year 1)
CVWO has been a very fulfilling experience. I am very thankful for the opportunity to improve not just my technical skills, but also my soft skills, all while serving the community.
– Sebastian Toh Shi Jian
Appreciative of the opportunity to be part of CVWO, which challenged the team to build a webapp to automate the payment collection process. Exhilarating to have worked alongside highly driven students who coasted along through a formidable code base, and satisfying to see the smiles on the staff members from the beneficiary. 10/10 would recommend.
– Aylwin Low Wen Xi
Through CVWO, I gained valuable insights on various aspects of web development and working with clients’ requirements. I am truly thankful to be given the opportunity to do CVWO and serve the community this summer!
– Elizabeth Chow Ting San
CVWO has widened my perspective about real-world software engineering. It has been an enriching and worthwhile summer to be able to serve the community while improving myself. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.
– Elton Goh Jun Hao
I am very thankful for the opportunity to join CVWO and meet awesome teammates and team lead. Through CVWO, I was able to open my eyes to the software engineering industry and the client and business perspectives, which will definitely have practical applications for future projects and internships.
– Leeroy Liu
CVWO is an amazing opportunity for Year 1 students to gain valuable work experience and web development skills. I am extremely grateful to have been part of CVWO.
– Neo Jing Xuan
CVWO has provided me a unique, enriching experience of learning about real-world software engineering while also being able to contribute back to society, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.
– Peh Kai Min, Ryan
It has been a wonderful journey for me over the past 3 months. I appreciate the opportunity for me to serve the community in a meaningful manner while learning key software engineering concepts through practical experiences, that simply cannot be replicated in a classroom context. Amazing experience and teammates, would not have traded this for any other internship.
– Sherwin Poh Kai Xun
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the following people who have been influential and supportive during our project:
- Prof Ben Leong (NUS) for his patient guidance.
- LBSA staff for their cooperation and support throughout the project.
- GIC for their generous support for the programme.