December 2015

Shoving IT in Healthcare


Jashodhara Ghosh
Vice President “ Operations CK Birla Hospitals

Deployment of IT and IT enabled services has gained paramount importance in every field in Indian healthcare delivery segment, while the use and growth of Healthcare information technology is very low, shares Jashodhara Ghosh, Vice President “ Operations CK Birla Hospitals with Elets News Network (ENN)


Healthcare industry is experiencing a steady and stable transformation the world over, majorly with Information Technology (IT) playing a core role in every aspect of healthcare value chain ensuring faster adaptability of advanced technologies, reduction of service costs and provision of quality healthcare at affordable prices. India is one of the leading countries that tend to yield quality healthcare services. Even though, India being the hub of the IT and IT enabled services industry, the use and growth of Healthcare information technology is very low.

The technology shift has cast itself over the field of healthcare, bringing with it a digital transformation in the way doctors and patients interact. Along with the growing popularity of digitization in hospitals, market penetration of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) is likely to increase further in the coming years.

A shift in thought and implementation has made healthcare providers take notice of the ample opportunity that technology can provide. The adoption of IT will help hospitals develop innovative and efficient healthcare infrastructure necessary for rural and urban population.


Information Technology (IT) is a critical contributor to transform care delivery and helps improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare delivery. The possibility of innovative new technology that is simple to use, cost effective and helps data to be portable “ is a phenomenal change in how care could now be delivered. Additionally, the information could also be used to standardise the delivery process inside the providers facilities.

According to a report by Frost and Sullivan, Indias healthcare information technology market is expected to hit $1.45 billion in 2018, more than three times the $381.3 million reached in 2012. And yet, Currently, the IT budget for Indian hospitals does not exceed 10% of their revenues, substantially lower than allocation on IT in hospitals in the developed nations.

Technology and the positive impacts on the healthcare delivery market is manifold. The convergence of healthcare with upcoming technologies such as cloud computing and wireless technologies will play a key role in improving accessibility and meeting the challenge of manpower shortage. The coming years are expected to witness greater deployment of tools such as telemedicine, teleradiology, hospital information systems (HIS)/ hospital management information systems (HMIS), online or electronic medical records (EMR), etc.

Today, healthcare organisations need to streamline their IT infrastructure, to be able to provide simple, quicker and more efficient healthcare service or delivery. The healthcare solutions promote a new productivity model whereby the ultimate winner is the patient, who will now have instant equitable access to the best clinical expertise.

However even though the industry is taking large strides towards effectively incorporating IT systems in the delivery of healthcare services, the country is still faced with several challenges in this department. These are to name a few – lack of standards; cost of IT systems implementation, lack of IT expertise; reluctance of medical, nursing and other staff to adapt; fear of technology failure (paper systems appear more reliable); poor support from vendors and lack of other infrastructure support. Also while standard features are available, advanced features like Q It or Quality Inspection tools are not available in the HIS available in HIS in India. Another challenge is the low use of IT in the public sector which is still the prime healthcare provider. This is largely due to cost and complexity of usage.

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