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June - 2016 - issue > CEO Insight

TRANSFORMATIONS IN TECHNOLOGY AND HOW THEY IMPACT THE INDIAN HEALTHCARE LANDSCAPE

Bhavdeep Singh
CEO-Fortis Healthcare
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Bhavdeep Singh
Technology, will the change and transformation ever stop! What feels like a perpetual wheel of activity that started in the early 80's just keeps moving faster and faster with no end in sight. As we are all aware, this has been among the most noticeable of disrupters in the delivery of healthcare and its impact is being increasingly felt by all of us every day.

Healthcare delivery in India is driven by the need to expand healthcare coverage, improve its quality and availability, at price points that are acceptable. The notion of who pays for healthcare-the individual or the State/Insurance have also dictated how rapidly healthcare infrastructure has proliferated. Setting up of brick and mortar healthcare delivery infrastructure remains a costly initiative. And as you continue to expand beyond the large metros, there is an obvious constraint of trained doctors, paramedics and nurses. For these reasons alone, we continue to face challenges as we try to address the ever growing problem of disease.

The genesis of today's network hospitals lies in standalone medical practice and smaller privately run clinics, each with their unique identity and mode of operation. Corporatization of healthcare is a more recent phenomenon that has led to aggregation and the growth of network hospitals. However, as we move forward, the idea of scalability is fast becoming the mantra This requires underlying consistency and commonality in processes to bring in rigor, while generating efficiencies that can then be scoped to manage large geographically distributed healthcare facilities.

We are therefore witnessing the deployment of integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to provide a unified view of a complex network operation. In the case of Fortis we have already integrated our financial, HR and supply chain backbones and are now leveraging these for chain wide efficiencies.

Fortis has also been a front runner in managing hospital operations and was among the earliest to introduce the Fortis Operating System. FOS, as it is referred to, is now being upgraded and an integrated state of the art Hospital Information System is under implementation with the intent to dramatically improve the patient facing processes and guest experience. Many of the front end applications are being internet/mobile enabled so patients can remotely make their own advance appointments and also confirm and pay for the consult via the internet. This will dramatically reduce wait time for a patient at the hospital. Our hospitals are also gearing up for an e-prescription service to replace the legendary doctor scrawl on hand written prescriptions. Patient histories, diagnostic reports, discharge summaries and other vital information regarding an existing patient will all be digitally stored so they can be accessed remotely by the patient as well as by any of the Fortis hospitals (with informed patient consent). Once this all comes together, it will be a useful tool in emergency situations where speed is of the essence.


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