Interviews

IT Adoption is on Rise

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Narendra Nayak, Director & Account General Manager, CSC India, says newer hospitals are keen to adopt world class enterprise IT solutions. In conversation with Sharmila Das, ENN

How the Indian Health IT market is growing and in what percentage? What is the current market size?
At CSC, we are witnessing fast organic and inorganic growth in the Indian healthcare. There is an increasing need for matured integrated Hospital Information Systems (HIS) that include best international practices for Indian hospitals that are growing at a fast pace. Currently the Indian Health IT market is fragmented with offerings from smaller to medium players and a few enterprise players. But this is changing with newer hospitals that want to set up world class enterprise IT solutions from day one of their operations with integrated ERP and HIS systems.
Health IT adoption in Asia-Pacific region is moderate, with 18 percent of the global healthcare spending, but growing. Current healthcare and health IT spending in Asia-Pacific region is around USD 6B and is estimated to grow at 18 percent annually.

What are the components (like EHR/EMR/HIS etc) of Health IT in India?
In the Indian health IT context, currently Hospital Information Systems (HIS) is the strongest segment that caters to at least 70 percent of the clinical automation needs for running the business. Most of small and medium sized hospitals in India are today focus on getting themselves a basic Patient Administration System (PAS) developed by a local vendor or developed in-house. These enable them to automate billing, ADT and departmental functions like laboratory, radiology, pharmacy etc. The clinical aspects of hospital automation are largely unavailable. The need for an HIS with an element of EMR for hospitals is felt under two circumstances, when the hospital grows and the basic application cannot handle the increased load or when a reputed entity comes up with a Greenfield project.
EMR in India is currently more prevalent in large super-specialty hospitals like Medanta Medicity, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospitals, The Fortis Group etc.

What are the top five strengths and weaknesses of Indian Health IT? Kindly explain.
Strengths: High growth, access to the best solutions available in the market, increase in the number of reputed business houses, corporate entities setting up state-of-the-art hospitals.Weakness: Low IT budgets, little or no regulation, cost pressures, lack of awareness, (in many cases) no CIO/ senior IT person in hospitals to drive initiatives.

What kind of solutions you provide to hospitals or to Indian healthcare?
For over 35 years, CSC has been improving standards of patient care by providing innovative and cutting edge solutions for healthcare organisations globally. Our solution offerings for our healthcare customers to manage their hospital operations span across consulting and IT software, products & Services.

In providing solutions to hospitals and to others, what kind of challenges you face? What are your suggestions to improve it?
Some of the main challenges are: lack of standards; change management; delays in setting up infrastructure; weak internal IT teams; lack of senior management focus; and user resistance. Unless there is complete conviction and sustained pressure from top management/ promoters, the Health IT adoption gets affected. We believe that hospitals need to engage with strong IT partners with significant healthcare focus, depth of knowledge and offering portfolio to help them to achieve the best solutions to their needs. End-to-end buying will also help them (HIS, ERP, Infra, all from the same provider) thereby preventing ‘blame-game’ scenarios.

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