Maximizing the Pulse Beat

DQI Bureau
New Update

There are several challenges in IT implementation, for a multi-specialty

hospital like Max Healthcare spread across nine locations in the NCR with plans

of adding four more locationsMohali, Bhatinda (Punjab), Dehradun (Uttaranchal),

and Shalimar Bagh (Delhi).


As the driving force behind the adoption and implementation of right

practices, Dr Neena Pahuja, CIO, Max Healthcare has her hands full.

So what keeps the pulse racing for the Max hospitals? IT for sure has been a

key enabler for making available all the required information in time for

doctors and medical practitioners at hospitals.

Says Pahuja, "We have a patient record system that keeps track irrespective

of where the patient goes for the treatment. The data of a patient is centrally

stored and complete medical history details are available, which can be easily

retrieved from the database." Currently, Max has pathological records stored in

a central server database. The hospital has also implemented a concept called

picture archival and communication system (PACS) in four hospitals of Max. Every

imagewhether it is the neuro-image, MRI, CT, onco-image, and X-rayis stored in

the PACS. At the backend, the hospitals have a strong telecom network as well.


We have a separate annual budget plan for

Neena Pahuja, CIO,

Max Healthcare

Electronic health records (EHR) is another top priority for Pahuja. There are

currently few hospitals that use EHR model. Says Pahuja, "EHR provides complete

information images, results, diagnosis of disease, medicines and prescriptions

suggested, and medical history of patients. For this, we have partnered with

Perot (now Dell-Perot), which is implementing the infrastructure support. Even

though we are still in the early stages in terms of design, however Dell-Perot

has been fully responsible for taking care of our EHR implementation."

In addition the hospital information system (HIS) or the hospital management

system (HMS) that is in place at Max is a home grid system. Most of the systems

were not mature to take care of Indian requirements, and currently the home grid

system is the HMS as it takes care of all the processes, especially the billing

system at the hospital which is very unique.


As the CIO of Max Healthcare, Pahuja believes that motivating the doctors to

enter the data in the system and bringing about a change in the mindsetsmaking

them believe that EHR is not just an IT projectare some of the key challenges.

The issue of how to scale up the infrastructure which is aligned to the thought

process of the hospital is another challenge. Pahuja adds that reliable

connectivity is a critical issue. Making available a local support in the IT

departments at new locations like Bhatinda or Dehradun is also another task

which Pahuja will have to deal with.

Going Forward

Max too is looking at cloud and virtualization. Says Pahuja, "These are

technologies of the future. Cloud computing is something that Max is looking at;

wherein if we get a cost benefit analysis from a vendor at a decent price, we

are ready to adopt it today. We want to give data to the patient and do not want

to restrict it to data centers only. The best way to share information with the

patient is to provide it on storage cloud." The hospital is already looking for

some vendors who could offer such services, and Max is hopeful of starting the

implementation by April 2010.

PC Suraj