February 2018

KMCH: Using Technology to Serve Patients Better

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Dr J Sivakumaran, COO, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH)

Dr J Sivakumaran 
COO, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH)

With latest and the best technology, the healthcare services at KMCH are among the best in the region, says Dr J Sivakumaran, COO, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH), Coimbatore in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Q KMCH is known for providing affordable yet good quality medical services to people. How the organisation has evolved in terms of adopting latest technologies?

KMCH, started in 1990 with 200 beds, has grown to a 1,000 bedded hospital in 27 years. We at KMCH abide by the principle of delivering high-quality service to the customers. “Patients first” and “quality service to everyone” are the basic mantras for our success as a healthcare brand in the region. Adoption of ethical practices helps us to add value to our healthcare delivery system. Our Chairman has ensured that the best medical practices followed anywhere in the world should be provided by KMCH to its patients at an affordable cost. This is one of the reasons; we are investing in getting the latest technology. KMCH is the first hospital to conduct Kidney transplant, Liver transplant, Heart transplant, Bone marrow transplant, Heterotropic transplant (man with two hearts), Domino liver Transplant and Robotic Surgery in western Tamil Nadu. KMCH is the first hospital in Asia to launch mobile CT in which a CT scan machine mounted on an ambulance reaches to patient’s house within time to initiate the treatment.

Q How the hospital uses smart phones and the Internet to meet high demands of patients and their families and overcome the challenges?

The smart phones and online information are big boon for patients seeking medical advises. From booking appointments to postoperative care tips, a good amount of information is available online for any kind of services but one of the biggest challenges with patients is to understand and correlate the symptoms with disease. Often, due to this insufficient knowledge, patients underestimate a doctor’s ability. It is very important for a patient to understand that treatment processes of a disease vary from patient to patient in terms of methodology, time and mode.

Q Healthcare Industry is getting revolutionised with the influx of technologies i.e. cloud computing, IoT and Artificial Intelligence. As an expert, how do you see the potential of cloud computing in transforming healthcare sector?

Cloud computing is the future and many healthcare providers are already using it extensively. With our Government’s Digital India move and better connectivity, we foresee our IT infrastructure deployed on the private cloud in the years to come. It is very important for the top management to replace the routine solutions with cloud computing solutions keeping every patient’s information safe.

As we are growing at a rapid rate and going to add more centres shortly, Healthcare Information shared by our stakeholders will be required to exchange within the group. HIMS and clinical systems deal with mission critical process, and can make the difference between life and death.

Q Hospitals, diagnostic centres generate huge amount of data on daily basis. How Big Data Analysis streamlines things and helps hospital staff to serve the patients better?

Due to huge competition, hospitals invest heavily to upgrade their technology and infrastructure regularly but the ROI is not at expected level as the man power and other operating costs are going up and hence controlling cost becomes a big challenge for administrators. We need to find ways and means to reduce cost for optimum use of man power and materials. We are working on Big Data as a pilot project for recruitment of nurses to serve their patients as per their disease. We have considered various factors and data to predict staffing of nurses. For such initiatives, big data analysis is very useful in streamlining things and helps the staff to serve patients better.

Q India is one of the favourite destinations of tourists who travel here to avail best medical facilities at affordable rates. As a health organisation, how do you plan and strategies to cater to these patients?

Although India is the best destination for medical tourists, still all the cities of the country are not well connected by air, which is essential for this business. Quality accredited hospitals are available across the country but it is doubtful whether all the cities are connected with each other through various means of transport. With consistent efforts, now Coimbatore is connected internationally. We have a team to take care of such patients. The team provide them pick and drop services to airport. For all other services like reception to discharge, we have trained professionals to handle everything efficiently. Our quality services are getting us more patients. We have a number of medical tourism operators who also help us in improving the business. We have telemedicine centre which helps patients in post-operative consultancy with doctors.

Q Experts believe that India has the potential to become a global hub for medical tourism as we produce approximately 50,000 doctors per year with the best accreditation facilities. What is your opinion about it?

It is true that India is going to be the global hub for medical tourism. More hospitals coming forward for accreditation and adopting quality programmes indicates that hospitals are following standard procedures only. India is having the highest number of JCI accredited hospitals, next to the US. Our expertise and technology is at par with the best global standards but at one tenth of the cost. Many successful and expert doctors in abroad are Indians and the whole world has strong trust on them in terms of their skills and precision work. The ethical and conscious practice of our doctors makes all of us proud of them. In coming years, India is going to be ultimate destination for medical treatment.

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