The staff of MOH Holdings’ Group Internal Audit have to convince their colleagues to adopt more efficient ways to work

IF YOU are not fond of attending wedding dinners because you have to interact with other guests, many of whom you do not know, a career in auditing may not be suitable for you.

Auditing — especially internal auditing — requires at least as much positive interaction with others as time spent poring over data. So say Mr Thng Chiok Meng and Mr Rick Teng, both of whom work in the Group Internal Audit (GIA) division of MOH Holdings (MOHH), the holding company of Singapore’s public healthcare clusters.

You probably will not see or notice GIA staff like them when you visit a public hospital or clinic — they are hard at work behind the frontlines improving the healthcare system, so your consultation and treatment are completed as quickly and effectively as possible and with the least amount of stress.

Power of persuasion

Mr Thng, who is in his early 50s, is the division’s IT Audit Team Lead overseeing a group of auditors who work with public healthcare institutions to review their IT systems. He says: “IT automation has resulted in improvement in patient treatment as computer systems provide doctors and nurses with up-to-date patient information. Preserving accuracy of data is very important. It is key for IT auditors to validate that the data processed from one system to another are accurate.

“Auditors have to ensure proper tracking of changes and viewing of patient data so that the most accurate data is used for medical treatments without compromising confidentiality.”

He adds that an auditor must have not only a keen interest to see improvements being made, he must also have high emotional intelligence and be persuasive, because he has to convince his colleagues to change the way they work – or think.

“Sometimes, we highlight things that are preventive in nature. It’s like telling people not to smoke. They may tell you to mind your own business as they are not ill yet,” says Mr Thng, a deputy director who has been in the division for more than seven years.

“Occasionally, we have to win over staff at public healthcare institutions who might feel that auditors cannot help them improve their operations. It takes time and patience, but eventually I manage to convince them.”

He is good at what he does as he enjoys social interaction. “I like attending wedding dinners,” he says with a laugh.

Mr Teng, the Division’s Team Lead managing the SingHealth Cluster, adds: “The c