January 2012

“Standardise Nomenclature of Medical Information”

Col Sanjay Patole, Head – IT, Army R&R Hospital, believes that HL7 version 3.0 can be a potential solution for creating medical information database

Improper data and non-availability of medical information often results in extraordinary hardship for many serving exservice personnel, whose records get lost, and who are unable to get their benefits processed in a timely fashion.

We need a different approach in the healthcare domain. The problem is that a modern information system does not exist in all hospitals. Many sections of the industry uses ICD 10, which has 10,000 terms. HL 7 already uses a Reference Information Model (RIM), which includes ICD 10, SONMED (Systematised Nomenclature in Medicine) and has every clinical term included in it.

The Department of Defence (DOD) is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in USA to create a new electronic-health record (EHR) system, which will have healthcare information on veterans from the time they enter military service. The Joint Virtual Lifetime Record will standardise the way the agencies share electronic medical information. In our case we have to focus more on patient centricity than on institutional centricity. If we look at the IT budget, only 2 percent is spent on Health IT. The Indian army is planning a hospital system that will have 30,000 beds and 4-5 million dependent personnel. This is in line with what the US Veteran Society has.

GAO Report, US DOD – Department of Defence reports the lack of an integrated system perpetuated the reliance on paper- based records, leading DOD to pursue a comprehensive electronic healthcare record. HL7 version 3.0 is a system that can deliver the solution to us. It’s called the medical logical module (MLM) that can effectively work to integrate services in an organisation. We need something in our country which gives us a certified EHR that we can use and the data will be updated automatically

“IT is the Future” 

Dr Akash Rajpal, MD & CEO, EKO Health Management Consultants, aims to deliver affordable healthcare by improving patient awareness


EKO Health Management Consultants facilitates discounts for patients who are in the uninsured or unsecured segments and who have diabetes or hyper tension or lie under the 50 plus age group.

Use of Hospital Management Software is becoming essential in hospitals, as it contributes to faster turnaround times and reduces paperwork. RFID, bar coders and even use of mobile phones for remote patient monitoring is a trend. All  postings when done in software automatically adjusts central/ sub stores accountability, reorders can be placed as appropriate, re-order levels can be set depending on usage trends and high risk alerts can be popped up. Central monitoring system is conducive for better patient safety. Blood samples can be quickly transported from vacuum chutes  to lab for quick communication and transcription. No matter how sophisticated the technology is or how good the software is or it can store your information till eternity, if it reduces the productivity, it is a complete failure.

The computer can store standard nursing care plans in a format determined by the institution, to be used by nurses as the basis for developing individualised client care  plan. Nurses’ notes can be entered quickly by choosing statements, appropriate for a particular client from multiple preprogrammed choices. Computer is a useful tool in Education because it allows an individual self paced learning. Computed Assisted Instruction (CAI) is a method of  eaching that involves interaction between the learner and the computer.

The technology cannot replace the human element nor undermine the values that define nursing. On the contrary, I have come to believe that informatics and technologies would in fact secure the future of the profession. It would hardly be a time when IT use would not be considered as an effort and will be part of routine.

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