The world has changed rapidly in the last over two decades, thanks to technology advancements. Enterprises across the globe – big or small – are making the best use of IT resources to achieve scale, gain operational proficiency and bend cost curve.
Healthcare companies too have been leveraging the IT boom to innovate diagnostic and treatment procedures, and fine-tune the delivery processes. New and unique concepts are being introduced every day, with healthcare companies making technological strides by cashing in on internet and cellular technologies, with the sole aim to make patient care more personalized.
In India, the concept of technology-enabled at-home healthcare services is gaining ground. Indian healthcare companies are adopting this clinically proven model of the West, to offer customized, cost-effective and convenient treatment solutions to patients in the comfortable confines of home. It, undoubtedly, has the potential to transform India’s healthcare environment, without disturbing the existing framework.
Below are the six areas where small healthcare companies can scale up their operations by the usage of technologies:
Operations: Usage of technology can digitize the comprehensive clinical assessment process. The process begins with assigning a health provider to a patient to finally sending the report to the family and doctor of the patient. An impeccable in-house IT framework ensures error-free recording of patients’ details, which helps in accurate clinical analysis of their condition.
Communication: Technology helps to communicate better and faster with the patient and their clinicians. Regular e-mailers, SMSes to family of the patient and their doctors enables them updated about the treatment procedure being followed.
Reporting: If the medical reports of the patients become electronic then it will allow the doctors to check the progress of their patient on visit-to-visit basis. The comprehensive and detailed real-time updates can be shared by the doctors from anywhere, anytime, making them to take quick actions and avoid delays. Paperless and portable medical records lead to accurate diagnosis, cut costs and add value to patient care.
Data analytics: Organizations typically have multiple systems and information is scattered across various databases. Technology helps to accumulate all the data in a single database. From an organization perspective, the structure helps to gain better insight including into operational, financial, marketing and patient treatments, by decoding the entire data and not miss something in spillovers, thus have a competitive edge. It is equally helpful for patients as it results in creating complete patient history, with exact timelines, which can be shared with the doctor, presenting him with a complete picture of patient’s condition. This also leads to cutting down on unnecessary tests and treatments, thus reducing costs.
Data on cloud: Keeping all the data on cloud made it feasible for any stakeholder to access it, from anywhere and anytime. Having the choice to view data unobtrusively, timely response becomes easy as also the system becomes transparent and cost-effective. Accessibility to cloud helps in making data available on a real time basis. With a highly reliable and robust cloud infrastructure one can have almost 100% uptime and the platform can be scaled up rapidly to facilitate business growth.
Employee and patient safety: Technology also plays an important role to ensure safety of the employees and patients. All the cabs and tablet devices are GPS-enabled and tracking takes place on a real-time basis. The operations department goes through a checklist, satisfying safety requirements for a healthcare professional before assigning him/her for at-home visit. Likewise, patients are kept abreast about every minute detail of the visit and information shared about the healthcare professional via e-mails and SMSes. This builds confidence on both sides. At organisational level, this is of paramount importance.
The author of this article is Vikas Sachdeva, Chief Information Officer, HealthCare at Home