July 2015

Technologies will Improve Accessibility

Atul Umak, Assistant General Manager –IT, Dr. L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai

Atul Umak, Assistant General Manager –IT, Dr. L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai

The convergence of healthcare with upcoming technologies will play a major role in improving accessibility, says Atul Umak, Assistant General Manager –IT, Dr. L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai

How do you perceive the Indian Health IT market?

Healthcare Information Technology market in India is expected to reach 3-4 times from present market scenario in next 2-3 years mainly due to fast adoption of technology by stakeholders. Healthcare IT is a core component to achieve successful transformative shifts in healthcare.Growth in data, digitization trends in health information and electronic medical records,improvements in collaborative data exchange,workflows and mobility, and need for better financial management are the drivers, which are influencing the segment.

Another driver for healthcare IT sector will cloud computing. Cost-effective cloud-based solutions are expected to drive increased adoption of HMIS and EMRs. The various benefits can be derived like easy accessibility irrespective of geographical location,fast response in times of emergencies and patient convenience.

What are your current operations in India and your expansion plans?

Currently, we are operating from Mumbai and coming up with 200 bed facility in Thane.

What are the emerging trends and new technologies?

Technology will be a game changer in healthcare services in India. The private sector will be the major driving force behind technology adoption in the Indian healthcare segment. IT solutions will become an integral part of process management,patient care and the management information system (MIS) in hospitals for optimising costs and effectively manage operations.

The convergence of healthcare with upcoming technologies such as cloud computing and wireless technologies will play a major role in improving accessibility. In coming years, there will be deployment of tools such as telemedicine, teleradiology, hospital information systems (HIS), hospital management information systems(HMIS), online or electronic medical records (EMR), mHelath products.

To drive improved efficiencies,more hospitals are likely to seek automation for their workforce management,administration,finance, billing, patient records andpharmacies. Along with the growingpopularity of digitisation in hospitals,market penetration of picture archiving and communication systems(PACS) is likely to increase further in the coming years.

What are the challenges and opportunities?

There are some challenges like adoption of EMR/EMR, increased data demands, and data security.Adaption of EMR/HER is necessary for healthcare service provider to maintain patient’s health data for future use. This is challengeable as most of EMR/HER systems are not so user friendly and not enough flexible to change to accommodate physician inputs. Another factor is availability of resources and training.

Both clinicians and administrative managers needs data for making decisions and guide their planning.An enterprise data warehouse is a key to overcoming the current data challenges.

Providers and payers will need to step up data security to avoid the type of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations that can negatively impact an organisation.

We have huge opportunities in the field of wearable tracking devices and patient-cantered Care. We are able tracking devices to monitor physical activities, sleep patterns, caloriecon sumptions, and a whole lot more.This is an exciting new frontier with so much potential to improve patient care.

Approach is to putting the patient at the centre of care. The goal is to improve patient satisfaction scores and engagement. But, this is new opportunity to look into ways to engage with patients outside of at raditional patient visit to hospital.For example, many providers haven’t yet tapped social media to build relationships with their patients. This will need to change, especially as patients begin to shop for health care by searching the Internet, looking for quality, facility, metrics and patient reviews, and comparing prices.



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