We are exploring Beacon technology to make patient navigation easier- Rajesh Batra, VP-IT, Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital

According to Gartner, healthcare providers in India are expected to spend $1.2 bn on IT products and services in 2015 as patient care is the top priority for the healthcare industry across the globe. To know more about how healthcare is being delivered today, Dataquest spoke to Rajesh Batra, VP-IT, Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital, Excerpts

What new technologies have you implemented in your hospital so far?

Healthcare is a complex eco environment. There are a few things that all healthcare setups follow such as diagnostics, depending on the problems,  Then there are companies also tying up with telecom providers to be the middleware to integrate devices with hospital systems. These devices through smartphones monitor patients and send data to the hospital and alert the doctor to an abnormal value. We are privileged to be on the higher acceptability and roll out in terms of IT in the hospital.

We have an EMR working in the hospital with high level of usage and have integrated RIS & LIS. This HIS from iSoft is integrated with all pathology analyzers  and RIS is interfaced with Agfa PACS and advanced visualization from Siemens and Myrian besides the EMR for clinicians. Information to the doctors is available at the click of a button.

We are also exploring Beacon technology to make patient navigation easier in the hospital. And we would like to keep going on this gravy train to make clinicians spend more time with patients and focusing on outcomes and making patients smile. IT is a part of the hospital strategy and the backbone of the hospital. We are now looking at analytics as well.

We also face a few challenges in the healthcare industry. For example, there are no standard practices spread across the healthcare industry.  No two hospitals like to have the same processes and makes it difficult to implement the same solutions. The complexity increases as some of the healthcare organizations have different focus –  some inward and some outward.

I have seen some organizations allowing doctors to view EMR on their tablets and encrypt the data to protect privacy and dignity. Whereas some organizations are outward focus and giving more to the patient. This being in terms of simple things like reminders for doctors’ visit to medicine reminders through apps. Some allow pathology and radiology reports to be downloaded.

Do you think technologies like wearables will play an important role in healthcare? And how is your organization leveraging this opportunity?

Wearables are slowly making a way for remote monitoring and is also focused on elderly home care and patients with certain health issues like cardiology and endocrinology, etc. They will have a big impact in improving healthcare delivery and better monitoring of the patients and improving the quality of life. It is a focused area for multiple reasons and has potential to grow exponentially. Though it is still in nascent stages around the world, and is getting ready for its place under the sun.

We might not see the model of healthcare delivery changing in the next few years but it will make data available to healthcare providers more instantly and rapidly. Thereby, making the healthcare more responsive and data driven. This touch and feel interaction model in healthcare will always be supreme and never undermine the power of interaction.

How far are initiatives like telemedicine successful in your hospital?

We have had telemedicine center in the hospital for years. And now we have setup a few of remote centers for telemedicine and do referrals post treatment at the hospital. However, the trend coming out is that the whole process adds to the confidence building for the patients towards the doctor and the hospital and thereby, reducing anxiety levels of the patient relatives. We are in the process of setting up more remote centers.

The other trend which is slowly happening is patient referrals from outside India. The telemedicine has provided them with a level of comfort that they are going to good institute and will have great outcomes. This is a slow growth area, as the patients like to meet the doctors face to face and get a better feel of the treatment plan and expected outcomes. However, the numbers are low currently but are expected to grow.

 

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