“IT Leads to Tangible Benefits”

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Dr Devlina Chakravarty, COO & Medical Director, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon, believes that there should be a seamless integration of different spectrums of healthcare. While speaking to Shally Makin, she sheds light on the dedication with which Artemis is providing care to its patients

What is the role of ICT in hospitals? How far have you implemented it in your hospital?

Artemis has created a strong IT infrastructure to strengthen its services. Spread across a total area of 525,000 square feet the facility focuses on offering patients technology-backed world-class healthcare delivered through leading medical professionals. Artemis has received Most Promising Start-Up of the Year 2007 award by Express Healthcare magazine and Best IT Implementation for the Year 2008 from PC Quest magazine for Hospital Information System. The hospital has
one of the best integrated ICT systems. All the medical information is stored on EMR, which is seamlessly integrated with HIS and RIS. When a patient walks in, the medical records are already with the hospital, further delivering effective healthcare. Recommendations of a doctor can be recorded at every visit of the patient.

Please brief us about the various technologies, software applications, medical and diagnostic equipments being used in the hospital to providing effective healthcare.

Artemis provides highest level of inpatient monitoring, paperless and film-less hospital information system along with top of the line communication technology. Seamless integration with the Hospital Information System in each department is enabled. Each patient (Inpatient or OPD) who comes to Artemis is given a dedicated code. All reports, data, medicine prescriptions are uploaded on the system and even if the patient walks in to AHI after a year, he need not carry any reports or files. AHI systems will have a copy of the records.

The doctors can type their prescriptions and give it to the patient. We have in place an intelligent critical patient monitoring system with clinical decision support application backed by portal imaging technology. It is an integrated system through which the data of the ICU patients (BP/ heart beat, etc.) is updated and recorded. AHI has a web enabled Health Information System, which allows the authorised doctors to access patient data from anywhere in the world. Even when the doctor is travelling, he can offer a consultation or advice on the line of treatment. Appropriate measures are taken for protecting the data. The real time Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is one of its kinds in North India. This allows for radiation to be delivered exactly where required, with minimal impact on the surrounding healthy cells. An Endovascular Suite equipped with the latest in 3D rotational imaging to perform neuro-interventional, cardiac catheterisation or peripheral endovascular procedures with precision. An in-house bio-repository and a 24-hour blood bank with the facility to conduct Individual Donor NAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) is also a part of the IT systems enrolled in the hospital.

How do you see Artemis standing upright in the healthcare industry?

Artemis is striving towards creating a niche in the industry. The expansion of the institute to Delhi-NCR and other places is in the pipeline. It believes in providing excellent clinical outcomes, good services and becoming a preferred destination for international patients. Industry is innovating very fast; new technologies are being brought in all the time. There is a dire need of trained professionals in the industry. For many technicians, IT is a new field. We intend to judiciously use technology because it has increased the healthcare costs. In order to quickly incorporate IT in hospitals we need to keep tangible benefits. The vendors provide us with trained technicians and software experts to help doctors and the existing staff to operate the new systems and equipment. This proves to be a cost effective method, it also saves training time. With such high end latest equipment and infrastructure for predictive, diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, the organisation can provide best possible treatment to the patient.

“Artemis is striving towards creating a niche in the industry. The expansion of the institute to Delhi-NCR and other places is in the pipeline. It believes in providing excellent clinical outcomes, good services and becoming a preferred destination for international patients”

Do you think such services have enhanced the level of healthcare delivery?

Healthcare industry in the India is a sunrise industry. We have so many hospitals with best technology, IT back up and highly trained doctors and best infrastructure. There is a shortage of very well trained professionals and technicians. Since IT is the backbone of healthcare institutions, we are trying to poach experienced and qualified doctors to be part of tech-oriented hospital. We need high numbers of medical-IT professionals. Artemis follows patient-centric processes conforming to International Patient Protocols, thereby establishing new standards for service and care. The new arrivals have to basically do lot of learning on the job. A lot of reluctance was seen from the staff initially, but as doctors have realised the potential of IT, the acceptance amongst the staff and doctors has increased.

Do you think ICT has started providing emergency services as well? If so, what are the services being provided in your hospital?

Aero medical transportation is provided to the patients for emergency evacuation by air. It includes search and rescue systems. Skilled personnel are transported to the scene of accident, along with equipment and medical material to provide on-site. Inter-hospital or intra-hospital transfers, national or international repatriation, and transportation of donor organs and drugs is also offered. Domestic and international ambulance services are provided in case of emergency. Almost 40-45 percent conversion rate has been observed in case of critical patients, as the services provided to them are world class. However, there is a need of a centralised emergency number with fleet of ambulances, which can provide effective service. Ambulance plays a big role in trauma and accident. Most private hospitals look for their own patients. But the challenge is how to take care of the patient in case of a road accident. The issue of transporting
the patient to the nearest hospital in case of an accident must be jointly addressed by the government and the hospitals.

How do you see the advancements in the field of radiology over last few decades? Which areas of healthcare have mostly been benefited through such technologies?

Radiology has progressed in leaps and bound. Today almost anything and everything can be diagnosed by radiology. initially only x-ray and ultrasound has moved on to PET CT scanners, high Tesla MRI which does both anatomical and radiological imaging. Interventional radiology is the need of the our today, because so many procedures require diagnosis of the disease. Radiology equipments, including ultrasound, can be of therapeutic use in some cases. It thus provides a simplistic, cost effective model of treatment leading to lower mortality and morbidity rate. The clinical outcomes are so good that the cost is valued for money and the ambience is excellent. In times to come, India can become the hub of medical tourism. I think it’s the great time for the healthcare industry to make hay while the sun shines.

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