January 2010

Business technology will become a key enabler for healthcare organisations

Hewlett Packard offers a plethora of health and life sciences solutions that help transform patient care delivery. Girish Kumar, Practice Head of the Healthcare and Lifesciences division at HP provides key insights into the business of HP in the healthcare space.

dIgitalhealth

Girish Kumar
Practice Head – Healthcare & Life Sciences
HP India

What difference in complexity andfunctionality of IT solutions signifiesthe healthcare industry?

The healthcare industry has somevery unique attributes in the wayit operates internally, within theecosystem, and also how it relateswith the external world includingcustomers. This has a lot to do withthe profession and criticality of theindustry.

dIgitalhealth

Medicine as a science lacksthe exactitude of other sciences.Because of this skill based nature,standardization of care has alwaysbeen the biggest challenge of thisprofession. It is not necessary for twopatients to show the same responseto a specific treatment; nor is itnecessary for two doctors to makesame decisions to a similar casepresentation. Though there are lots of advancements in medicine theelement of I treat and THY cureis not fully out of the core clinicalpractice.

Whereas, computing is anexact science, program based anddeterministic, the complexity lieswhen this is applied as a tool on thepractice of a profession which is notso deterministic in its functions.This basic mismatch coupled withthe fact that the profession deals with life and death situations addtremendous complexity to the ITsolutions provided. That is the reasonwhy most of the hospitals can easilyuse IT solutions in areas like billing,inventory management etc but notso in clinical areas of functioning.However, healthcare as an industrypractice encompasses, much morethan hospitals (providers). IT solutions are being more successfullyused in many other componentsof the eco systems like the payersegment, diagnostic and therapeuticsegment, medical equipments andgadgets, pharma industry, medical transcription, etc.

On the other hand, healthcare hasoften been viewed as Not for Profit.However, healthcare organisationsface the same operational efficiency,and productivity challenges asother industries. Even in a digitalenvironment, administrative costscan eat up about 25 percent of everydollar spent on healthcare. However, administrative costs represent onlya fraction of the total healthcarechallenge. Finding new, cuttingedgeapproaches that improvehealth status while managing benefitexpenditures is also critical.

With advancements in medicalscience, there has also been atremendous growth of information.Today, more and more healthcareproviders understand the value ofelectronic health or medical record,medical archival and businessintelligence.

As we go forward, businesstechnology will become a keyenabler for healthcare organizationsin providing quality services to itsclientèle, as well as a key to theircompetitive differentiation.

What solutions and products arecurrently offered by HP for healthcaresector?

The healthcare industry is a keyfocus area for HP. The acquisition ofEDS has augmented our capabilities,bringing rich domain experience,strong intellectual property andmultiple solutions to the table. HPsvertical expertise touches healthcareproviders, healthcare payers,pharmaceutical and life sciencessegments all around the world.Cross-industry solutions, such ashealth information exchange andhealth information managementand analytics, bring additional valuein allowing the health industry toutilize collaborative, best-practiceknowledge to set new operationalstandards.

Our healthcare solution hasalso been awarded full URACaccreditation in health utilizationmanagement (URAC, anindependent, nonprofit organization,is a leader in promoting healthcarequality through its accreditation andcertification programs). HP productslike MetaVance interchange andAtlantes, are used globally byhospitals, third party administrators(TPAs) and health insurancecompanies. Our process automationand data repository products formthe data management backbone ofnumerous pharmaceutical and lifescience organizations. If you havevisited a hospital recently, chancesare you would have seen HPs tabletPCs and handheld devices beingused to capture patient data at theirbedside. Our medical archivingsolution (MAS) is widely used forarchiving the whole gamut of digitalimages delivered from a host ofmedical imaging equipment andgadgets. We also use our businessintelligence expertise to helphealthcare providers transform theway they use information for dailyuse.

What are some of your notablehealthcare projects in India?

HMIS for Medical Educationand Drugs Department, Govt ofMaharashtra is the largest healthcareproject that we are currently into.This is one of the pioneering effortsof any state government in Indiain healthcare. We are providingend- o-end IT solution and systemintegration in 18 hospitals and 14medical colleges within the state ofMaharashtra. We are also creatinga central repository of patient dataat the state level. All compatiblemedical equipments and gadgets areinterfaced with the HMIS solution providing universal access within thesystem. The biggest advantage this roject is hat it is delivered as anoutsourced service in BOOR (Build Own Operate and Refresh) wherethere is no upfront investment forthe government and the paymentsare made on installment/transactionbasis for seven years. We havesuccessfully completed the pilot atSir JJ Hospital and Grant MedicalCollege in Mumbai and also rolledout and gone live in GMC & HospitalNagpur, BJ Medical & Super SpecialtyHospital Pune, and GMC & HospitalAurangabad. The GT, Cama and St.George hospitals in Mumbai arealmost ready to go live in the next phase.

From a corporate hospital standpoint, we are currently implementingthe HCIS solution at a leadingcorporate hospital in Mumbai. Thisis one of the most prestigious andtechnologically advanced state-ofthe-art hospitals, which is poisedto be the first digital hospital in thecountry. We are also implementing aTPA solution in the country.

What is your view regarding thegrowth pattern in Indian health ITmarket? What share of it do youtarget over next 2-3 years?

Driven by the countrys growingmiddle class, India is seeing ahealth transition in terms ofshifting demographics, socioeconomictransformations andchanges in disease patterns. APricewaterhouseCoopers studyHealthcare in India: Emergingmarket report 2007, estimates thatthe revenues from the healthcaresector accounts for 5.2 percent ofthe GDP, making it the third largestgrowth segment in India. IT willbecome a key enabler for healthcareorganization to manage theselevels of growth. Industry analystsestimate that IT is expected toapproximately grow at a CAGR of 22percent to USD 254 million by 2012.At HP, wed like to play a key part inhelping our customers realize this
transformation.

What is your business strategyfor the short and long term marketopportunities? What forms of newtechnologies/applications areexpected to emerge in future?

Apart from bringing rich intellectualproperty, at HP we bring together alarge pool of resources with strongdomain experience who are based inIndia and serve customers globallyand locally. Our strategy has beenfocused on delivering innovationin the market and we are seeing Indian customers more than keen toleverage this. By bringing togetherthe breadth of portfolio, we can also help customers bring down the costof healthcare. HP understands thevalue of innovation in the health andlife sciences market and is working with customers and local partnersto develop new solutions that enableorganizations to access information,integrate processes and transformhow they collaborate in order tolower costs, function more efficiently, nd most important, provide a betterquality of care to individuals.

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