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EXCLUSIVE – Digital hospitals are the future: How to stay connected

EXCLUSIVE – Digital hospitals are the future: How to stay connected, increase efficiency and enhance patient satisfaction

OpenGov, in partnership with Schneider Electric, held their Breakfast Insight session on the future of the digital hospital on August 24, 2017 at the Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit hotel. More than 20 delegates representing the major hospitals and healthcare providers in Bangkok had an insightful discussion on some of the issues and challenges faced in their journey of digitalisation.
         
         The session was moderated by Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director and Editor In Chief of OpenGov Asia. Mr. Sumit Puri, CIO, Max Healthcare Institute, the invited speaker started the session by introducing an international case study on digitalising healthcare. Firstly, he spoke about how in the current technological age, patients expect personalised service and more control. There is an increased focus on patience experience, improved outcomes and increased efficiency.

There is a shift from the current hospital-centric model of healthcare towards the collaborative care model of healthcare as the former has issues of data silos, possible errors with manual entry of data and lack of control on operating costs. The future-oriented collaborative care model of healthcare allows for patient-centric automated workflows, better cost control and inter-site workload sharing.

Mr. Puri (above photo) explained that moving to a collaborative care model could engage more partners and enhances the overall experience for the customer/patient. One example of this is to create interactive mobile application-based systems with real-time dashboards for tracking and monitoring of process or people delays.

Enabling the IoT platform in the healthcare sector setting will enable everyone to connect better, allows on-demand infrastructure and services – it is about embracing some of these new trends which will gain traction in time to come. In addition, utilising technologies such as cloud computing can bring about operational efficiency and flexibility on demand.
         
         Polling questions and discussion
         
         Two of the biggest challenges for hospitals/healthcare providers as indicated by the delegates were:

  • Finding/retaining the right resources/people (35%); and
  • Selecting partners/vendors with the competency to deploy the chosen technologies (29%)

However, some delegates felt that choosing the right technology (12%) was the most challenging as making the wrong decisions could lead to a waste of time and resources. Mr. Puri mentioned that building a compelling business case and getting ROI was the most challenging at his current position. One of the delegates boldly stated that the main problem of the healthcare sector is that the leaders lack vision on how to adopt and lead the hospitals to the digital world. That needs to be transformed first and in his 15 years’ experience as consultant, the key challenge is not about budgeting but about the leadership.

Improving patient satisfaction is a key priority of many hospitals and one of the ways to do this is to provide patients the ability to control their room environment and monitoring. 54% of the delegates indicated that they want to deploy such a feature in the future and want to know more information. A delegate shared about his experience as a patient, that he has experienced inconvenience in waiting to be scheduled for an operation and there is no technology to reduce the waiting time.
         
         Another reality shared by a delegate is that private hospitals do not have that much budget compared to government hospitals. On whether the right security technologies are in place to protect patient and staff information as well as assets, 63% of the delegates were uncertain and wanted more information in that area. A delegate suggested that it is not so much about security technologies per se but more of security policies and processes that are in place to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of medical records.

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