The 10th edition of Elets Healthcare Leaders Forum (HLF) brought senior execs to discuss the areas of investments and scope for improvements in hospital infrastructure. eHEALTH was the coorganiser of HLF virtual.
Moderated by Rakesh Aggarwal, Supply Chain Head, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. The other eminent panelists who took part in the discussion were Manoj Ahalawat, AVP Supply Chain, Max Healthcare, Sanjay Bajaj, Vice President – Purchase, Rainbow Children’s Medicare Pvt Ltd, Pradeep Mishra, Group Head – Supply Chain Management, Paras Hospitals, and Neeta Pawar, Supply Chain Head, Godrej Memorial Hospital.
Initiating the discussion on day two of the 10th edition of Healthcare Leadership Forum (HLF) Rakesh Aggarwal, Supply Chain Head, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) asked the panelists can they explain what is EHR and its advantage.
Taking up the question, Manoj Ahalawat, AVP Supply Chain, Max Healthcare, said, “Electronic Health Record (EHR) integrates all the medical record be it consultation, diagnostics and it will be helpful for patients and the doctors. Many developed countries have implemented successful but as a country, we are yet to full-fledged do it.”
Informing that EHR is need of the hour for the entire healthcare industry Pradeep Mishra, Group Head – Supply Chain Management, Paras Hospitals, said, “For supply chain activities the data required is very important you need to be aware of the transaction the system and complete atmosphere, knowledge the entire domain of the particular unit. If we talk about the supply chain, in particular, all the information regarding procurement, negotiation, margins, cost price this should be recorded we can use this data and document for our own analysis and improvement of the supply chain domain.”
Giving her points on EHR and its requirement in pharmacy operations, Neeta Pawar, Supply Chain Head, Godrej Memorial Hospital, said, “Role of EHR in pharmacy can help in reducing the medication errors. EHR is very important for procurement and inventory management it helps to maintain data properly and helps to reduce manual work and errors. Proper training of manpower is crucial and make sure the data entry is proper.”
Answering an audience question on co-operation between IT managers and doctors, Ahalawat said, “The clinical team should not see IT in healthcare as only for MIS and financial report but IT is beyond that it is a backbone of everything. Healthcare data is vast and transformational. Many doctors are using the IT fully.”
Mentioning the benefits of EHR, Mishra said, “EHR will help the patients, doctors to reduce the time they spent manually by going through bills or medical documents. In the supply chain, we have external customers like manufacturers it can benefit them by giving them a set of information to the hospital needs. It will help in negotiating the cost.”
Detailing about things to be looked into when EHR is implemented in a hospital, Ahalwat said, “Integration, data security, and storage, how efficient is interoperability, different functionality or the modular approach, scaling up of operations are few things needs to be checked during implementation. Large corporate hospital supply chain carries a lot of data point so if EHR is interconnected it will be helpful.”
On data requirement Mishra, said, “EHR should be user friendly in all your transactions starting from commercials, purchase, negotiating with manufacturers, align suppliers. The software should be able to have the entire category and products listed be it a drug, medical consumables, and others. There should be a proper reflection of your data inform of a report to help the management team of the hospital.”
Throwing light on shortcomings of EHR, Ahlawat said, “Workflow changes from traditional to digitization take time. When data is in electronic format it needs proper security. Digital platform as virus and hacking issues. EHR looks easy to implement but storage space it consumes particularly radiology reports, which needs to be looked into as we end up giving it to third party vendor.”
Pawar, adding to it informed that a robust Internet connection to access the EHR data is necessary. Cost, quality differs for each hospital which needs a lot of focus.
Summarising the panel, Aggarwal informed that adopting well equipped EHR is the need of the hour. Hospitals as service providers should train the staff and adopt it at the earliest.