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Making Healthcare Affordable Through Technology

Tarun Katiyar

Tarun Katiyar,
Principal Consultant

Tarun Katiyar, Principal Consultant, has been advising hospitals on how to reduce their infrastructure costs and make their buildings go green. Nikita Narvekar of ENN talks to him about how going green can be beneficial for hospitals in the long run

Please tell us something about the mission and vision of Hospaccx Healthcare Systems.

We are basically into hospital and architecture. Our aim is to make affordable infrastructure for hospitals. We try to reduce the infrastructure cost for hospitals so that it leads to decrease in billing cost for the patients
So we try to make affordable buildings. It can be through different modes like using dry walls so that the building is constructed faster. We try to construct green or intelligent buildings so that it can breathe by it- self, so that the electricity or water cost or the overall operational cost for the hospital goes down.
In the last six years, we have built around 90 hospitals ranging from small nursing homes to big medical colleges. These buildings have been built across the country starting right from Uttaranchal in the north to the tip of the country down south in Nagarcoil which is 60 kms away from Kanyakumari.

How do you visualise and uate the IT transformation?

Traditionally we built infrastructure for hospitals, but now we have to build infrastructural systems for them so that there is a transformation in the day- to-day operations of the hospital. The integration of different departments as well as different integrationsmedical, communication or building inte- gration has to be done with the help of IT.
So I can say that IT has helped in the growth of paperless hospitals which is very useful for HIS and MHIS as well as they try to reduce the operational cost for the building.
The integrations of different medical equipments with IT is also very important. We do a lot of It integration for medical infrastructures.

How do you perceive the market for HIS and HMIS in India?

These are still to be developed and there are big numbers of infrastructure coming in this sector. But there are various mobile applications which are useful in two ways, one is for the treatment and the other is for the prevention of patients. So there are n number of mobile apps that are coming up which is actually transforming the entire healthcare scenario.
We do have 100 bedded hospitals but the healthcare sector is going to old school ways for example we have spring health which is coming up with small womens polyclinic so that they can take care of the preventive aspect. So there is transformation into preventive healthcare from treatment healthcare.
IT is playing a major role in terms of mobile apps, day to day websites which manage the patient health.

What are the latest technology developments in this field?

For us, we try to make budgeted hospitals. There is a reason for this. Most of our hospitals are based in Tier II and Tier III cities, where the manpower cost is very high. So the hospitals want to reduce manpower as much as possible.
So what we do is involve various applications where we try implement lot of IT integration which reduces the manpower. Also, it increases the monitoring of finance and clinical aspect of patients so basically it cuts down on the human interference and error.

Now that you are talking about your presence in smaller cities, how do you look at the opportunities in Tier II and Tier III cities?

 

If you look at the present healthcare scenario, 80 percent of is unorganised and majority of it is based in these smaller cities.
But now the competition is rising as the so called big daddys are getting into Tier II and Tier III cities and the existing doctors are fighting to prove their existence and hence build- ing larger infrastructures. So this is the potential in such smaller cities.

“Most of our hospitals are based in Tier II and Tier III cities, where the manpower cost is very high. So the hospitals want to reduce manpower as much as possible”

What were the challenges that you faced when you got into this service?

The biggest challenge is that the wishlist for doctors in the smaller cities is not very clear. By the time, they build facility, the technology and the wish list of the person changes drastically.
But this can be solved by coping up with the technology and infrastructure. You have to keep in mind long term views that when you are building an infrastructure it has to be built for the next thirty years. So you have to give yourself that window period.
For example, six years back when we built our first hospital 16 slices was the highest for an MRI Scan but today it has gone up to 164 slices. So, the change in technology is drastic.
We believe that you should provide healthcare to more number of people than affordable patients and hence we see tremendous scope in smaller cities.

What is your roadmap ahead?

Firstly, we have to upgrade our knowledge. Secondly, the government has to support us. Unfortunately right now, the electricity cost of the hospitals is very equivalent to the electricity cost of malls.
There has to be some subsidy provision, as spending electricity for watching movie in a mall is definitely not equal to spending electricity for a surgery in a hospital.
The government supports the builders more than health care providers though the healthcare sector is a major economy provider.

What are your expectations from the new government in healthcare?

There is a need for more healthcare infrastructure in the form of medical colleges. We can easily build hospitals but having qualified man power is difficult. Building a machine is easy but training the man behind that machine is very difficult.
Skilled and qualified man power will come in only with more medical colleges. We are way behind the smaller countries in terms of availability of doctors. This gap has to be bridged.

 

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