BY Dr.Amitoj Singh – founder & Ceo kare healthcare
Streamlining healthcare services and driving operational efficiency
Over the last decade, multiple changes have occurred in the healthcare industry in India. First, there has been a shift in health priorities from communicable to non-communicable disease. Second, there has been growth in the healthcare industry, coupled with economic growth and fiscal capacity. Third, there has been an increase in the incidence of catastrophic expenditure due to the rising healthcare costs. Medical inflation is outpacing the general consumer price index.
Healthcare is going through unprecedented changes both from a delivery system operations and disruptive technology perspective. The most notable trend is the emergence of digital health startups that are disrupting the marketplace. Healthcare providers are sitting on a wealth of data that has been collected for patients, and which could be used to improve the patient’s experience and clinical outcomes. Organizations that leverage data effectively to optimize patient experience will have a distinct competitive advantage. Focusing on data and technology exclusively is not the answer. What is required is a non-linear approach that incorporates culture, technology, and people in a value-enabling model.
Indian health insurance industry is also currently experiencing multiple challenges. There is a huge trust deficit between the health insurance companies and the healthcare providers (hospitals). It has been observed that the customer’s (insured patient) awareness about the health insurance policy terms and conditions is very poor, leading to poor customer experience. A lack of trained workforce and poor infrastructure poses a threat to the promise of healthcare access and affordability
Opportunities for Improvement in Healthcare
Against this disturbing background, there have been some reassuring prospects which have provided opportunities for the healthcare sector to make reforms. Firstly, in the face of the myriad of challenges confronting the healthcare sector, in a much-publicized landmark report, the Institute of Medicine suggested an approach for improvement and “crossing the quality chasm” by outlining six aims for healthcare to be safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable Among the principles that had been proposed, the one that garnered most attention was the aim for health care to be “patient-centered by providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions”
Today, technological advancements have made digital tools widely accessible and handy to the masses Owing to this accessibility to the digital world, people have now become introduced to a boundless sphere of information, effortless communication, and endless opportunities by literally a click of the finger. Harnessing upon this massive penetration, technology has been deployed in healthcare which was advocated by the Institute of Medicine as a vital means to accomplish the aforementioned six aims to improve quality in healthcare More particularly, the use of technology in healthcare upholds the tenets of patient-centered care by channeling new approaches to promote patient engagement and improve the communication between the patient and the healthcare professionals and consequently enhanced care
e-Patients, e-Physicians and smart hospitals
In accordance with patient-centered care, a partnership has developed between the patient and provider and a patient is encouraged to proactively participate in disease management as well as being engaged in the decision-making process. Moreover, a patient now increasingly resorts to the internet to seek health information. As a result, a patient today is “empowered, engaged, equipped, and enabled” besides being digital health-savvy leading to the birth of an e-Patient
E-Physicians are increasingly leveraging from the opportunities conveyed through smartphones in clinical decision making and better care coordination through smarter scheduling and organization of their tasks
Hospital facilities too are progressing in parallel by utilizing technological innovations to enhance the care and safety of the patient during their stay at the hospital, for instance, by installing automation systems in the building to regulate temperature, ventilation, and fixing smart locks. Interconnected clinical information systems such as Laboratory Information Systems ensure smart patient care processes. Moreover, identification systems enable authentication and tracking of patients, staff, and hospital equipment
Teleconsultation and remote patient monitoring
A more robust form of teleconsultation is remote patient monitoring (RPM) which deploys the latest IT tools to provide diagnostic and treatment services to the patients located in remote and rural areas Additionally, teleconsultations with the health provider have been found to enrich patient satisfaction due to improved outcomes, ease of use, low cost, better communication and reduced travel time
As excessive waiting time at the hospital continues to be a pressing problem faced by patients the efficiency of e-consultations to provide convenient access to healthcare professionals may be considered.
Miniaturized, sensor-enabled wearable devices have made it plausible for patients with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease [and diabetes to monitor their vital signs such as blood pressure and blood glucose level and thus indulge in self-care. Moreover, the data obtained from the wearable sensors alert the patient and the healthcare team regarding adverse events and prompts timely remedial action & many more groundbreaking changes in healthcare industry to name of Like :
· Personalized and precision medicine
· 3D Printing
· Artificial intelligence in healthcare
· The human genome projects
· Health portals
· Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
· Health apps
Undoubtedly, the road to achieving quality, equitable, accessible and affordable healthcare for all sections of the populations is laid with numerous hurdles, even so, not all is lost. The paradigm shift in healthcare delivery towards patient-centered care has restructured the dynamics of the relationship between the patient and the provider and is allowing patients to play a vigorous role in safeguarding their own health. Although this area of health care is in its nascent stages given that embracing it has been snail-paced and has a long way to go in its implementation, building up its evidence base and developing a regulatory framework, an enthusiasm is brewing in view of its unprecedented potential in disease treatment, disease prevention and promotion of health and may thus prove to be a silver lining in the healthcare system. By bringing patient-centered health care to the forefront, the patient is no longer a passive recipient of healthcare services and the concepts of patient engagement and empowerment have gained ground since they embolden the role of patients to proactively participate in self-care practices especially in this age of chronic disease upsurge