Dr Pervez Ahmed,a visionary and aleader in the fieldof healthcare, hasbeen the guidingforce behind theimplementation ofthe IT outsourcingpartnership betweenMax Healthcare andDell Services.Pravin Prashant andDivya Chawla spoketo Dr Ahmed aboutthe actualisation and implementation ofIT services at Max,through this deal.

Give us an overview of Max Healthcare and its future plans in terms ofgrowth and expansion?

Max Healthcare, currently, has six hospitals and two diagnostic centres, which are alllocated in the national capital region, comprising of 1000 beds. We are currently in theprocess of building four new hospitals at Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi; Bhatinda, Mohaliand Dehradun. All these hospitals will start operations between June and October 2011,aft er which we will add around 1200 beds and have a total of around 2000 beds. We arealso open to looking at opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. In addition, we areplanning to set up an educational facility, which will be on the health sciences side inGreater Noida in around 4 years from now.

At the end of our horizon of growth, we expect to have around 4000 beds in anotherfive years, most of which will be in the NCR or the Shatabdi region. We want to concentrateour growth in North India because logistically it is a more scalable model.

We have three super-speciality hospitals in Delhi located in Saket, Patparganj and theupcoming hospital in Shalimar Bagh. Further, we have multi-speciality hospitals locatedin Gurgaon, Noida, and Pitampura. Diagnostic centres are located at Panchsheel. MaxHealthcare has also partnered with Nova Medical Systems, which is an ambulatorysurgical product for Northern India.

We are very conscious of the quality of product that we provide. Our entry inthe tertiary care is only four years old and in this short period, we have been able toreproduce scalable, consistent and high quality experiences. Once we get the formulacorrect in a very tight logistical area like this, we can look at opportunities for expansionand providing the same experience in other parts of the country. To be able to deliverquality care consistently, we have opted to install an Electronic Health Record (EHR),along with which comes business and Management Information System (MIS).

What were the problems you were facing in your present system, whichhelped you move towards outsourcing?

We have had a home grown Hospital Information System (HIS) for the last 5-6 years, whichhas been doing a fairly decentjob as far as fi nance and accounting are concerned. However,competitive advantage to deliver quality medical care requires the integration of clinical diagnosis,procedures performed, and the expenditure and cost. Th e proposition is to be able toprovide the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost to customers and patients.

To allow customers and insurance companies to choose the highest quality clinicalprovider, the outcomes need to be measurable, reportable and reproducible. We, therefore,realised the need to move from a simple HIS to an EHR, which coupled on top ofthe HIScan give us the ability to have a true MIS and help us take strategic decisions. Asthe industry matures in India and we move forward towards disease management, wherethe focus of care would be the patient, the requirement for adequate information wouldbe immense and that is not possible without an EHR.The increased amount of work and scope required for an IT infrastructure, was notsomething that we were willing to invest in as that is not our core area of operation,because of which, we looked at outsourcing.We negotiated with Perot and haveoutsourced them for a long term and thishas worked quite well for us. The datacentre migration has occurred, althoughwith a few hiccups, but overall it has beena very clean process. We have backup fordisaster recovery both at the Dell Servicescentre as well as at servers in our Okhlaoffice. Hence, we are secure now, which isvery important as we get more and moreelectronic. It has been a positive learningcurve process both for Dell Services andMax Healthcare and it will be extremely beneficial in the long run.

How does your project benefitfrom the complete ecosystem,which includes management,doctors and patients? What isthe RoI?

In the areas of patient stay and paper saving,there is a potential benefi t of about`2.5-3 crores per year. Th e benefi ts areplenty for the patients and the quality ofservice off ered. For instance, the use ofbarcode system will eliminate all medicationerrors as all drugs bought from thepharmacy will be barcoded against thenurse and the patient. As far as the patientbenefi t is concerned, aft er the integrationprocess is complete, each patient willhave his/her own URL, which will workthrough a cloud, and provide the entireclinical history.

The deal is worth `90crore and after addingthe hardware, the totalIT applications for 10years will cost us around`120 crore. If the scopeof the work increases,additional expenseswill be set up

This data can only be accessed by the patient,physician and primary hospital. Th epatient will have to give confi rmation toallow physicians within the Max networkto access his/her data. Special permissionwill be required for personal informationlike the HIV status. Currently, we do nothave the HIPAA norms, however we stilluse them as a baseline.

As a CEO, how do you look at thisproject? Will this project helpyou in better decision making forall your activities, be it finance,business development, expansionor customer satisfaction?

The business information that we are ableto get out of the system, will give us anopportunity to strategically decide on theproducts, which we need to develop. Itwill also help us in growing more in termsof clinical management and business.Technology is an enabler and it is goingto enable us to perform in any area in thebest effi cient way.

If the data is easily available then thespeed and effi ciency to be able to implementsomething will be much faster. Thiswill help the business achieve all resultsthat it aims to achieve including fi nancialexcellence, quality excellence, and safe environment.

This is a huge step as far as I am concerned,for reducing cost of healthcare and making it more effi cient by eliminating the need for patients to carry paper records.

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Related October 2010