Transforming Medical Infrastructure
IT infrastructure has evolved in healthcare along with the industry. There has been an upswing in technology adoption in the health domain. Today, any modern and decent sized hospital is completely dependent on IT for patient care. IT infrastructure has integrated pathology analysers to radiology devices to capture images on PACS and provide access to research sites for medical practitioners continuous learning. The hospitals also have a large network to support a mid-size contact or call center, as it not only supports data, images, video and voice, and not just the usual suspects of HIS, ERP, and Internet.
Leveraging Technology Healthcare industry like enterprises is a robust industry and recognises the power of data and analytics. The data is used for furthering medical research to identifying research candidates to analysing treatments to identifying trends and more. Healthcare industry is gearing up to use the power of data and applying IT to spread medical care further and looking at ways to control cost.
ConnectingHealthcare via IT
Adoption of IT has led the healthcare industry to take a huge leap of faith. A modern hospital feels paralysed, if there is an interruption of IT services. A modern facility today drives complete patient life cycle in the hospital using IT. The cycle starts from patient visit to OPD to diagnostics to IP admission to pharmaceutical indent to availability of diagnostic reports and image availability. This has brought transparency in billing process and provides more time for patient-centric services.
The hospital being conceived in the later part of the first decade of the millennium, the hospital was designed for consumption and drive of IT. The hospital started with a 10 gig backbone along with HIS, PACS, VoIP and ERP. The older HIS has since been retired and a newer more robust HIS has been implemented and deployed and being used. ERP since has been expanded to include all HR functionalities and to integrate HIS for billing and MM for consumption. The hospital gets their data online in SAP for AR, AP and material consumption and ordering. The hospital has expanded the voice network too. It has its own contact center to facilitate patient queries and appointments and admissions and manage patient emergencies.
Shift in Perception
I used to work for the worlds largest software company before making a move into healthcare IT in early 2008. I had joined Medanta – the Medicity in Gurgaon before moving to KDAH in late 2011. People had told me that it is a new industry and might be a career ender. And when I started my new role, I realised it is an industry which has huge potential to consume and deploy IT. In the last eight years, I have seen the healthcare practitioners asking for more every half year. We as IT practitioners are happy to be in a scenario where the demand is higher than supply. We have to slow them down to bandwidth limit on servicing the requests.