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Building An Integrated Health Network – Need of the Hour

Dr Arjun Dang

The worst of the Covid19 pandemic is now hopefully behind us but has most certainly left humanity scarred. It has given us all the chance to finally press the pause button and think over everything that happened and what could be done better. With the immense learnings, not only due to the ever-evolving science behind the virus; we have had to think on our feet and embrace technology like never before. Trained manpower that was in extreme shortage in the pandemic has made all of us realize that it is ideal to have a process dependent organization versus a person dependent one. Digitization that was always on the back burner for many healthcare organizations is now more on the forefront than ever before. The entire concept of integrated healthcare has been adopted by many organizations where in ease of access& convenience for the patient is the key. Health impact is the cornerstone of measuring success & a multimodality approach is what is required to make the care continuum more holistic.

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With many healthcare organizations now shifting their model from the traditional brick and mortar centers to digital, perhaps Phy-gital might be the correct terminology to convey the new age digitization along with the quintessential face to face doctor patient interaction.

As we stride into the new normal, many healthcare organizations would definitely like some feet on the street but would be burning the midnight oil to make their online presence more relevant. Abundant attention to search engine optimization, social media management & Online reputation management are just some of the tools that are indispensable to have visibility on the world wide web.

More specific to diagnostics, keeping in mind that the lion’s share of the market is fragmented, the wave of digitization post Covid has let to multiple smaller labs shutting shop. It has indeed been the survival of the fittest with only those surviving who had the basic technology to handle the manpower shortage and the immense pressure on the laboratories.

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India currently faces the major problem of fragmentation in the care journey of a patient, which in turn results in higher costs and poor outcomes. The motivation to overcome this certainly required us to reinvent ourselves and to explore the unknown. The need of the hour is to build an integrated health network wherein the patient is placed in the centre of care and accompanied throughout life.

I have always felt that if you don’t feel ‘cold in your belly’ often it might be a sign that you are in your comfort zone without questioning status quo. Embracing technology might be like swimming against the current for healthcare organizations, similar to changing the wheels of a moving car. Effective communication with the entire team and a clear long term vision is what has made this a possibility for organizations such as ours.

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