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Hospitals need to revamp internal processes to meet current patient care and delivery expectations: Expert

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

There is a need to revamp internal processes of healthcare institutions to meet current patient care and delivery expectations with changing industry dynamics, said Prashant Vashisht, chief information officer (CIO), Marengo Asia Hospitals.

The healthcare industry is undergoing radical transformations due to increasing investments for newer players, application of advanced technologies, digitization of healthcare, new government initiatives, paradigm shifts in breakthroughs in medicines, vaccines, and advanced treatment solutions, he added.

He further explained that today it is critical to have a strong mechanism in place to withstand uncertainty. Given the importance of the healthcare sector in any country’s health index, having a systematic, agile, flexible, and scalable back-office system is equally as important as providing enhanced patient care. Having a system that works seamlessly on the back end allows healthcare providers to focus more on critical tasks such as quality service and patient care rather than on processes requiring time-consuming manual operations.

“Among these trends, the role of technology continues to be an important component to improve medical proficiency and cure life-threatening diseases for an industry as evolving as healthcare. With the introduction and integration of smart technologies in the healthcare industry, the sector is witnessing a rapid change in terms of redefining the components that impact the accessibility and effectiveness of the healthcare infrastructure,” Vashisht added.

He further explained that today we have arrived at a time when concepts like tele-consultation and the integrated healthcare system for better diagnosis and patient care delivery are at the industry's core. Advanced technologies are automating labor-intensive manual processes and creating a future-proof digital infrastructure to combat uncertainties, such as those encountered during the pandemic, in both frontline patient care and back-end office management.

In the post-pandemic world, advanced technologies through automation have integrated and processed big data rendering manual recordkeeping obsolete, record management processes quicker and error-free, and integrated for patients, frontline workers, and non-medical support staff.

"Every hospital requires solutions to the several challenges that pose obstacles to the seamless functioning of a hospital.  However, I cannot state how is one technology better than the other as all technologies have benefits and challenges as well. It is just a matter of a balance between the benefits and challenges. Every technology is expected to provide solutions to key requirements in the healthcare industry. What is required is a standardized solution that integrates all internal processes, such as finance, procurement, order management, and procurement self-service. One looks at a single integrated solution that encompassed all these processes. We were able to accomplish this with Oracle by utilizing a single integrated solution that encompassed all these processes. All the key internal processes must be integrated rather than operating in silos. Furthermore, as one plans expansion, a comprehensive view of operations across multiple verticals is desired by every technology applied to processes. Management dashboards provided by Oracle Fusion ERP enabled us to gain complete visibility of our operations," Vashisht suggested.

From a cost-effective standpoint, automating various processes across levels will serve as an advantage. Technological implementation helps in reducing hardware costs. Other benefits are scalability, flexibility, seamless mobile interface, user accessibility, and the ability to scale up as one expands. The solution is also simple to integrate with our existing HIS system, resulting in integrated and well-connected processes and business optimization. Furthermore, we went through multiple rounds of testing while working closely with the Oracle team, and the benefits prompted our decision to implement Oracle ERP.

“We have been investing in digital capabilities to strengthen our ecosystem and establish streamlined, comprehensive, and intelligent processes across business functions. We believe that investing in smart healthcare will ultimately help us in delivering superior patient care resulting in enhanced patient experience. Hence, going forward we will continue to upscale and upgrade our digital infrastructure as new and smarter technologies enter the market,” Vashisht concluded.

 
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