Muralidhar Koduri, Vice President of Napier Global Development Centre, talks about the layered architecture of hospital information system, which leads to efficiency while ensuring adherence to all the healthcare standards

The Hospital Information System (HIS) is one such comprehensive, integrated information system designed to manage the administrative, financial and clinical aspects of a hospital. Its implementation in hospitals has led to improvements in efficiency, It has also led to reduction in the hospitals operating costs. This clearly makes it one of the best tools to be implemented in the hospitals.

Much of the human efforts have been reduced which also saves money for the hospitals. This scenario brought ease to the task of integrating and seamlessly managing patients record across hospitals, clinics and between states or countries. In addition to providing access to the office staff and the physician, HIS also offers controlled access to patients, pharmacists, and other users, who can use the platform for various tasks that would otherwise have to be performed at a physicians office.

Napier HIS is a workflow driven holistic solution to cover the end-to-end processes of a hospital and it can be deployed in hospitals having beds ranging from 50 to 1500. Napier HIS enables the administrators/stakeholders/management in enhancing the efficiency of operations through optimised workflows and accurate/real-time information. The service-oriented architecture with built-in business rules engine, workflow engine and business intelligence enable service provider to adapt to changing dynamics of the business.

According to this source there are a total of 17,87,800 beds in India in 2005. The healthcare industry is growing at 14 percent per year and has doubled to reach approximately 357.56 beds per lakh population. Assuming an average cost of installation per bed for HIS is at `1000, the total HIS industry could be worth around USD 70 million.

There are various challenges in the adoption of new technologies in hospitals such as healthcare infrastructure, low spending on healthcare, lack of proper vendor support, high cost of implementing and managing multiple diverse infrastructural components.

HIS and HMIS has increased efficiency and output in the hospitals as it integrates all the functions including clinical, administrative, financial, inventory, resources and services within the healthcare organisation to bring a host of benefits. There is scope for faster decisions with critical information at your fingertips. There is acceleration in patient care with reliable information at point of care. There is elimination of revenue leakage by streamlining of processes. The adoption of HIS/HMIS is a big challenge in Indian hospitals primarily due to lack of standards, lack of in-house IT domain knowledge, reluctance of medical, nursing and other staff to adjust to change, apprehensions around technology failures (paper systems appear more reliable), lack of standardisation and confidentiality concerns.

The future of HIS is patient-centric systems, which are now evolving to next levels of perfection and are more patient-centric. Patient-centric does not imply a fixed set of guidelines; rather it is a fluid and still-evolving definition characterised by practices that benefit patients. The system ensures that the patients receive the best treatment, at a reasonable cost, while putting into place strategies that will help individuals avoid becoming sick in the first place. Three key patient centric management systems, which will be the future of HIS/HMIS are EMR, CPOE, and CDSS.//

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Related June 2012