In matters concerning healthcare accessibility, individuals possess the right to hold their own opinions. Nevertheless, many are unfortunately constrained by inadequate access to healthcare, and their voices often go unheard.
However, HArbor has taken the initiative to bridge this gap by extending a platform for those who must articulate their views for a healthier tomorrow.
Healthcare facilities have finally acknowledged the necessity for upgradation to enhance care-delivery worldwide. However, it still wouldn’t be too irrelevant to ask – how can we upgrade healthcare systems when one of its crucial pillars is still functioning or perceiving healthcare in the same old fashion? Most importantly, is the medical fraternity aware of the challenges that their staff have been experiencing after the introduction of technology?
According to the studies – the Indian healthtech market is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2023 and to $50 billion in another ten years, suggesting that healthcare technologies are gradually moving to the core of healthcare processes while implying that the care delivery patterns are evolving and we are finally heading towards a new age of renaissance in healthcare. But, is our workforce strong enough to sustain the change, let alone flourish in the light of development?
Today, as the state of affairs between nurses/work staff and technology continues to influence the quality of care, patient safety, staff efficiency, and job satisfaction, these two have been viewed as being in a love/hate relationship.
HealthTech and Nurses – A mismatched duo!
According to the Head of Staff for Nursing Department, Mrs. Gayathri Iyer from Government Medical Hospital, Nagpur, nursing and technology have a complex relationship. Technology can improve the efficiency and accuracy of nursing care, but it can also introduce new challenges and stresses for nurses. Electronic medical records, for example, can make it easier for nurses to access patient information, but they can also add to the workload and take time away from direct patient care. Additionally, new healthtech tools are not easy to learn, which can create additional barriers for nurses. Overall, while technology can be a powerful tool for nurses, poorly designed software will bring nothing but chaos to a care delivery system. Further in the conversation, Mrs. Gayathri highlights the relationship dynamics between healthcare professionals and technology while telling us why the healthcare workforce is still underskilled to adapt HEALTHTECH!
Tech Literacy and Adaptability Issues.
The future of the healthcare systems is poised to bring better & more fulfilling work responsibilities for the healthcare workforce only if care facilities adapt to healthtech swiftly. However, with a low tech literacy headcount within the healthcare organisations, the adoption is not as easy as it was anticipated. As a result, the care facilities that fail to fuse their workforce and healthtech systems are not only missing out on great leaps in patient engagement and efficiency, but, in the worst-case scenario, it can also lead to a loss of position as a patient’s provider of choice.
So to bring your workforce to speed, here are a few strategies that can help:
Provide training and education: Training staff to use a healthtech platform efficiently is one thing and helping them understand why it is important is another. It’s more about the perspective they have regarding technology. Figure out a way to change the perspective of healthcare force towards the way they perceive healthtech, and reap the benefits of automation in healthcare.
Choose your tech partner wisely: Given that your healthcare workforce wouldn’t be pleased while functioning with multiple healthtech tools for different operations, opting for an integrated healthcare management suite will encourage smooth workflows. Integrated Management Suite comes with an all-in-one solution platform making your inter and intra-departmental processes easier while creating a balanced ecosystem for your patients and staff.
Regularly evaluate and update the technology: Updating healthtech platforms is necessary for several reasons. First, it ensures that the tool is functioning properly and is free of bugs or glitches. Second, it allows for the incorporation of new features and improvements that can enhance the user experience and make the tool more effective. Third, it is crucial for maintaining compliance with industry regulations and standards.
Opt for a healthcare system that does not require tech support: Having a tech-admin team is an added benefit, but if your practice management software doesn’t need a tech-support, in a way it implies that the system is easy-to-use and you won’t have to worry about all the hassles that might come while managing a tech-support team.
HArbor Says: The healthcare industry is facing major challenges such as healthcare accessibility issues, chronic disease, and a shortage of skilled professionals. In order to meet these challenges, it is essential for the healthcare workforce to be equipped with the latest knowledge and skills, including digital literacy and the use of technology. This will not only improve patient outcomes but also increase efficiency and reduce costs. It is time for the healthcare industry to embrace the digital age.
If you are looking for a practice management platform that is easy-to-use and would assist you and healthcare staff in everyday operations, feel free to reach out to HArbor!
Using Telemedicine on HArbor’s integrated platform is super easy and can be easily managed without IT support. Moreover, HArbor’s assisted-telemedicine can assist patients to cut down on their costs for in-person and ER visits, thereby proving to be a good investment for medical practitioners.
Today, HealthTech is the only solution for some of the age-old healthcare issues, but we can’t ignore the fact that every technology comes with its own drawbacks. With #Telemedicine picking up the pace of healthcare delivery, here are some of the issues that #medicos face while operating with it.
Here are the major barriers to health integration and how HArbor platform solves the problem.
1. Just a Telemedicine tool, not enough!
2. Believe it or not, Tech literacy is a thing!
3. Medical Data security is priority!
4. Affordability is the first step to accessibility.
Have you ever wondered why patient engagement and care satisfaction is so challenging even when your staff has given their best? The answer is not out of the world.
For patients, the end #Goals are simple: accessible care, economical medical bills and positive treatment outcomes. But, medical facilities face varied challenges in ensuring patients desired experience during hospital/clinic visits. Besides this, every healthcare facility aims to deliver the best possible care, but if only, every care encounter would guarantee patient satisfaction and engagement!
Out of the various parameters determining a care facility’s success, inter-departmental coordination issues have taken a front seat in healthcare units lately, as the repercussions can be lethal if left unchecked. Fundamental to a healthcare unit, inter-departmental processes guarantee smooth workflows and diminish human errors.
“ When lives are at stake, asynchronous communication is a health hazard”
Challenges of Interdepartmental coordination in Primary care
Ineffective inter-department interactions
Imagine being ill and constantly juggling from one department to another (OPD – DIAGNOSTIC CENTRES – CLINIC RECEPTIONS – OPD Chambers). And, it gets egregious, followed and preceded by hours of wait time.
Patient care and their transfers are dependent on smooth interaction between the departments. Whether it is between clinical to non-clinical departments or between clinical-clinical transfers, an efficient healthtech platform can be the key to eliminating the gaps and unforeseen hurdles during the processes. It assists the receiving departments to be on alert while being prepared for the same. For example – In NSD (Normal Spontaneous Delivery) cases or Accidental Trauma cases – a secondary care unit (with the prior information of the transfer) will be prepared with specialists on call, OT and any diagnostic evaluations essential for that particular case.
While it’s crucial to understand the importance of healthcare systems for smooth interdepartmental processes in a hospital, it is essential to note that without a healthcare system, a primary care unit separates itself from the entire healthcare pool. Think of it as a ‘break of chain’, which is paid in ‘patient’s health’ currency and leads to patient satisfaction.
Ineffective information hand-offs
In between primary care to specialty care transfers, abrupt interdepartmental communication may create hindrances in the continuity of a patient’s care. The timeliness of information hand-offs between clinical departments or “calling of patient reports” is crucial for enabling the receiving department to check their specialists, equipment & staff availability and more.
During a conversation with staff nurses regarding patient transfer calls, she speaks about why patient transfer and further proceeding hit a delay. When the staff nurses are busy managing other patients in the department, manual report transfers of a patient can take ‘forever’ to process. As a result, patients wait in the state of illness for the treatment to begin. Helpless they stand to manual operating systems of the majority of clinics/speciality clinics in India, the transfer period imparts additional stress in treatment processes.
A simple solution to this times-old enervated problem is EMR. Think about it – if all you have to do is press a button to send a patient’s report to another healthcare facility, wouldn’t that be easy? Similarly, if your patient wants to discharge and shift to another healthcare facility, it’ll need just a few seconds to be done.
It seems ideal but not impossible, right?
Ineffectiveness of information technologies
Talking about EMR’s role in patient transfer, often information from EMR is not enough. The reason being, the fragmented and compartmentalized nature of information in the EMR.
“In a parallel universe – an ideal EMR would be the transcript of a patient’s health.”
Technically, EMRs are performing what they were designed and chosen to do. Which is harnessing all of the clinical, operational, and patient-specific data and cataloguing them perfectly for the entire health system to refer. But, EMRs are not, by design, communication tools. They are just treasure troves of information and not purpose-built for workflow communication.
For example: If you are a software developer working on Android studio, you can’t expect to communicate with your team members via the framework designed by you. You’ll need communication tools like team chat rooms, emails or skype to transcending ideas. But, wouldn’t it help if you can conduct meetings on the same platform or add your teammates on the same to process the work together?
Similarly, EMRs should be on supporting platforms to enable easy communications, vital data analysis and in a one-tap share module between healthcare staff, of course with role-based access control.
An approach of this kind will assist the care professionals to interact efficiently not only with the care facility’s staff but with the patients. Like while ordering a series of lab tests. With an integrated system, medicos can discuss the findings of the ordered test samples with the patients via in-app alerts or notifications.
Managing a healthcare facility isn’t easy, especially when the care facility’s operations and management may get ‘lost in translation’, leaving patients high and dry after every consultation. When it comes to patients, you need a more integrated approach and smooth interdepartmental communications to back your care delivery.
Want to know how? Ask us today! https://harborvision.in/contact.html
Idealistically, healthcare must be same for all, however, when it comes to healthcare accessibility and affordability, this world is distinctively categorized into the privileged and not privileged people.
Interestingly, there are several factors contributing to this segregation but the main factor which contributed the most to this is the outdated and overburdened public care delivery system which places the primary care practitioners to foot the bill for age-old conditioning within the healthcare system.
Majority people who are the beneficiaries of these public health systems are so tired and exhausted with the sheer lethargy of the process they go through when they needed instant care that they get worked up on the smallest of the factors in private care. When these people make that transition from public to private, they expect their medicos and care-givers to be prompt and create a holistic environment for them. However, This does not mean that they can suddenly afford to pay higher than what they were paying in the public system.
So the next time when your patients in the private clinic are unable to keep up with their follow-ups or they are concerned if they should continue with the treatment or they are showing temper tantrums while waiting in the reception area, believe that a single step towards resolving these issues will enhance better patient engagement and overall care outcomes.
Being a doctor, do you think that healthcare system’s limitations are significant enough to hinder your healthcare delivery and if yes, then how to ensure better healthcare outcomes while addressing these hurdles?
Trust us, TECHNOLOGY is your ring bearer.
There are many reasons why it is imperative to enhance healthcare affordability as soon as possible. First and foremost, rising healthcare costs are putting a strain on families and care practices alike. According to a report by BMC,
The average cost per episode of outpatient care is around INR 400 for public providers, INR 586 for informal private providers and INR 2643 for formal for-profit providers. This cost is marginally above almost 55% of households in India. In addition to this, the current healthcare system is simply not sustainable in the long run.
One way to do this is to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system. This can be done by streamlining processes, increasing transparency, and using technology to improve communication and coordination between care providers. Moreover, we need to find ways to reduce the cost of care on the whole. This includes the cost of medicines, diagnostic test, long travels. Another aspect of reducing the over-all cost of care would be to move the society towards preventive care and using point of care test kits (POCTs)
It is clear that there is no “one silver bullet” that will solve the healthcare affordability problem. We need to take a comprehensive approach that looks at all aspects of the healthcare system and only then can we hope to make meaningful progress in improving healthcare affordable for all.
Do you know: Out of 55-60 Mn Indians are pushed into poverty every year, a staggering 39% do not have ‘access’ to requisite healthcare services i.e. around 22-24 Mn Indians do not receive any medical attention before death.
One of the most important factors in healthcare affordability is accessibility to care.
When people have easy access to quality healthcare, they are more likely to get the care they need, when they need it. This can prevent serious health problems from becoming worse, and can also help to identify health problems early, when they are more easily treated.
People who have difficulty accessing healthcare are more likely to delay seeking care, or can forego care altogether. This can lead to serious health problems, and can also make existing health problems worse. In addition, people who have difficulty accessing healthcare are more likely to end up in the emergency room, which is often the most expensive place to receive care. These burden of a series of small payments sum up to ‘care dissatisfaction’ while en route to a healthcare facility.
Making healthcare accessible to everyone is an important step in making it affordable for everyone. Meaning when people can easily get the care they need, they are more likely to stay healthy, and less likely to need expensive emergency care.
How does bad healthcare experience affect healthcare accessibility?
Bad healthcare experiences can have a significant impact on healthcare accessibility. If patients have negative experiences with the healthcare system, they may be less likely to seek out care when they need it. This can lead to a number of serious health problems, as patients may avoid seeking care for fear of encountering more negative experiences. In addition, bad healthcare experiences can also lead to patients feeling more disconnected to the system, which can make them less likely to cooperate with their care providers. This can make it more difficult for providers to deliver effective care, and can ultimately make it more problematic for patients to access the care they need.
How Technology can assist your practice?
Technology can go a long way in improving the affordability and accessibility of healthcare for the millions of people around the world that live in rural areas and do not have access to healthcare. While Healthtech platforms enable you to connect with your patients, you can ensure timely healthcare delivery and continued monitoring via assisted care.
From the use of pen & paper, to the use of computers and laptops, to the use of mobile phones for remote monitoring, to POCT diagnostic modules, technology has allowed the healthcare industry to deliver more efficient and effective care to their patients. Furthermore, technology has allowed patients to more easily monitor their own health, which has been a boon to patients who are on medications or chronic conditions. All of this is made possible through the use of technology, which has made healthcare more effective and affordable.
Affordability & Accessibility are crucial parameters of healthcare delivery that determine the quality of a healthcare practice. And, when the healthcare dynamics is changed along with your patients’ behavior, only a healthtech platform like HArbor can enable you to reduce the overall healthcare costs for your patients while keeping your revenues unaffected while strengthening your relationship with patients.
If not yet, then here is a good start as the care delivery design is gradually changing and influencing all our lives as DOCTORS, PATIENTS, HEALTHCARE STAFF and well everyone!
Cost-effective, timely and efficient are some of the oft-used adjuncts when healthcare leaders discuss tech in the medical industry. Convinced as they are regarding the impact of technology in healthcare, we must admit that they are mostly right, generally because we have seen the vital role of technology from disease diagnosis to care delivery during COVID-19 Pandemic. Although, it goes without saying that tech has ‘waved at the tides of chaos’ in the existing healthcare system, but it wasn’t all so good – was it?
Let’s face it, the issues that technology has caused in the existing healthcare systems during COVID-19 pandemic point toward the lack of infrastructure and trained workforce in healthcare systems. And, if someone should take the blame for it, it should be tech literacy in the healthcare workforce which can be resolved with optimum training!
Fast forward to the present — today, healthtech systems have also caught the attention of Governmental organisations, Private Practitioners & as well as Patients, who find it an accessible and efficient form of care delivery.
In between the rising expectations of healthcare stakeholders and healthtech companies aspiring to fill these up silos using in the age-old healthcare system, the future of healthcare delivery looks quite different from the healthcare units of today.
Towards Digital Health
The digital age has given rise to a whole variety of online services, apps and virtual tools that have made our lives easier in so many ways. From booking a flight to finding the perfect holiday destination, we can access information and services on demand with just the click of a mouse or tap of an app. Many traditional industries have been forever changed by this new way of doing things – and healthcare is no exception. The medical world has also been transformed by the digital age, with AI-assisted diagnosis, Automated Reception-desks, Remote patient Monitoring and Telemedicine, all found commonly in diverse specialties. With several innovations taking place within healthcare, what does the future hold for a doctor’s visit?
Let’s take a closer look —
Being a patient, imagine getting a doctor’s appointment, on-time consultations and easy check-out – feels like a blessing, right?
In digital/virtual clinics, this is very much a reality, with just a few taps on your phone, enabling you to seek treatment from the comfort of your home. Such digital clinics can efficiently reduce the overall care expense to a great extent. With inpatient health care services being pushed to home via easy-to-use vital monitoring tools, digital health also guarantees to elevate personalisation in healthcare.
Although many complicated medical cases and severely ill patients will continue to need acute inpatient services, but, at least the primary consultations are expected to be faster and hassle-free.
For medicos, other than showing up to less crowded clinic hallways, they can monitor patients intermittently, while collaborating with specialists in other locations about diagnosis or treatment. Not only they’ll be able to make a prognosis in virtual clinic rooms but will reduce the patient load from secondary and tertiary hospitals. All this while, such virtual clinics will give a chance to primary care providers to expand their services in remote/rural locations by setting up Satellite OP-Clinics in the destination of their choice.
Other than the healthcare delivery reach, the existing care system is struggling because of poor healthcare record systems and digital clinics of the future seem to have a solution for it.
Medical Records and Data Security
If you search for your medical records, it is a stack of ‘yellow pages’ with clinics/hospital & diagnostic centre logos — Too old to be read and too fragmented to base a diagnosis on! This fragmentation usually happens at the primary care level, presenting a challenge for secondary & tertiary care units while delivering better patient care. In response to this challenge, digital healthcare records have emerged as the new standard for healthcare management making medical records more streamlined and secure than ever before.
While operating via digital clinics and digitising health care records, providers can more easily and accurately track patient care & medications thus reducing medication errors. Additionally, digital healthcare records can be easily shared between providers, which can help improve coordination necessary for personalised care at the grass root levels. For patients, digital healthcare records can help to ensure that their health information is accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, digital healthcare records can give patients more control over their health information and make it easier for them to access their records from anywhere.
It is understandable that accessibility of medical records will raise several data security issues, and the brilliant minds of IT professionals in healthcare seem to have it covered via below mentioned key functions —
Data Accountability: Medicalinformation is protected by ensuring health care providers are accountable for their access and the platforms that are used to deliver virtual-care protect the data via role-based access control.
Master Backups: Eliminating all the middle-men and being the sole-key person to access the data from cloud reserves will reduce the data breaching issues in healthcare to great extent. The future digital clinics consist of such EMR modules that are absolutely unbreachable.
The journey towards digital healthcare delivery has already begun; now the question is, do you see yourself associating with the advancements in healthcare?
The involvement of technology in healthcare, stakeholders behaviour and overall economic challenges are evolving the way we perceive healthcare. Moreover, with secondary and tertiary healthcare units adapting tech-driven solutions to enhance the care outcomes, and somehow the silos in the primary healthcare structure are unblurred. Hence, the introduction of Digital Clinics in primary care not only promises to support the exponential care requirements but will cement the age-old care delivery issues.
It is time to change the healthcare delivery practices from the core, make way for Digital Healthcare units!
A vegetable vendor, Ghanshyam from a rural area of Sitapur with health aliments, relies on the Government health centre in his village. He is aware of his deteriorating health but prefers to visit the facility only when his condition becomes unbearable.
Irrespective of his rare visits, he was optimally treated by Dr Ram, in-charge of the PHC and was suggested further tests to confirm the prognosis. Ghanshyam, being ignorant of his condition, hoped that this ‘temporary’ alignment would go away with traditional home remedies. And, thus he ignored the tests, medicines and routine follow-up requests suggested by his primary doctor.
After a few days, when he got severely ill, he was admitted to a Government Medical College in his district. When his wife was asked about his condition and related healthcare records, sadly she didn’t have any. With no previous history and medication data, the doctors started their protocol procedure followed by tests one by one.
This led to,
– Delayed diagnosis and treatment resulting in deterioration of health.
– Time, Energy and Resources spent by Ghyansham and his family while travelling to GMC.
– Prolonged days of pain and illness.
After running all the tests, doctors concluded the diagnosis, which turned out to be a condition due to a simple chronic disease.
If only, Ghanshyam had taken his primary doctor’s treatment seriously, he and his family would have avoided this unfortunate event and contained the disease in its initial days.
If only, Dr. Ram had a health tech platform which would keep consistent reminders of appointments, and treatment for his patients, his patients would have been better literate about their health.
Like Ghanshyam, several other examples are living in every corner of India and facing the consequences of ignoring health.
Low health literacy levels can negatively impact an individual’s ability to navigate the healthcare system, manage chronic diseases, follow a healthy diet, and monitor medication.
Don’t be like Ghansham, be responsive to your doctor’s treatment.
Don’t be like Dr Ram, be responsible for your patient’s adherence to your treatment.
Be a part of our mission to strengthen the health literacy rate in India. Join us today!
Healthcare has always been an integral part of our lives. India, the country of ‘AYURVEDIC’ practices has seen its glorious tradition of public health service from 5500–1300 BCE when the likes of Sushruta and Saints performed care-giving as practice. Ever since then, the objective of delivering healthcare to ‘everyone’ has indeed presented a spectrum of contrasting landscapes. Fast forward to the present, the healthcare sector has made prolific advancements, but its leaders and care providers are still appalled by the same challenge every now and then. The situation of the present healthcare delivery system is an eye opener and, make no mistake, it will be a ticking time bomb, unless it is systemically fixed.
Truth be told, several attempts have been made to enhance healthcare delivery in India since 1983, when the first National Health Policy of India (NHP) was formulated. With central and state governments trying their best to put forward the most ‘suitable’ policies to provide healthcare for all, very little has been done to make space for the integration of advancements of the future.
In fact, when the seismic effects of technology in healthcare commenced the change to strengthen the existing care delivery system in India, the outdated infrastructure and policies limited this partnership between healthcare & technology, in the first few phases while leaving us in doubt about its excellence.
Although, there are several challenges in the path of the advancement of digital healthcare in India, let us add a little more light on basic infrastructure and healthcare policies.
India has a three-tier structure that comprises primary, secondary and tertiary care. This structure further segregates the primary care via sub-centres, primary health centre (PHC), and community health centre (CHC) and sometimes, even Anganwadis. The secondary care is largely delivered through district and sub-district hospitals while on the other hand, tertiary care is extended at state and central level institutions, super/multi specialty hospitals. While this system looks ‘perfect’ to facilitate healthcare coverage even at the extreme corners of the country, the ground realities are different than we anticipate!
Even after creating huge buildings and infrastructures across the country, the existing public healthcare system is still relatively inaccessible, inefficient and primitive for its stakeholders. This makes the public healthcare system, undesirable for a large part of the communities, even though many still avail it for its “free-of-cost” approach.
According to a study —
“Despite private healthcare being four times more expensive, 72% of rural and 79% of urban residents would not trust a public healthcare facility.”
On one hand, the statistics present patient experience and care outcome concerns, and on the other, it questions us if this has always been the case. The answer is No. In its initial days, Public healthcare in India was preferred by everyone and has assisted care professionals to deliver care to the patients. However, the times have changed, and so have the patient’s expectations; delivery methods and even treatments, but public healthcare infrastructure, policies and care-givers in India remain stuck in the old times, enjoying past glory without preparing for the future.
The blame for the underdevelopment of the healthcare delivery system in India also lies on the shoulders of ‘ancient’ healthcare policies & norms that we still follow. Moreover, these “dinosaur-era” policies remain to be one of the most significant factors why establishing digital healthcare delivery is so hard in India.
The Role Healthcare Policies in Healthcare Delivery
Since its establishment in 1983, the National Healthcare Policy was hardly revised till 2002. As for the latest National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 highlights, it presented the ‘Health for All’ approach to provide assured healthcare for all at an affordable cost. With schemes like Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) we are possibly even pacing up towards the vision of better healthcare practices, but as stakeholders are we ready for it?
Earlier in 2021, when the Ministry of Health announced the National Digital Health Mission, to digitise the existing healthcare structure, the policymakers certainly overestimated its results. The adoption of such remarkable policies has been much slow because we overlooked the ground-level reality check. The current state of the system lacks skilled professionals, it has low technology literacy and even the basic infrastructure to sustain these changes have corroded with time.
The truth is Digital health and the existing healthcare design is still at a crossroad. These are the times, when we as a civilization are facing a mounting healthcare crisis extensively exposed by COVID combined with Natural Disasters, Heavy Rains combined with an ever-increasing burden of disease with ever increasing population, resulting in low care quality.
These aged policies are hampering the adoption of digital health solutions in India. Interestingly, on the other hand, the time tested way of delivering “non-digital care” has also been affected by these policies. For example :
The norms of establishing healthcare facilities required a certain minimum land acquisition which increased the project cost by multiple times.
The process of hiring medical staff is tedious, requires “caste certificates” and numerous rounds of approvals.
This has had a knock-out effect on the development of any sort of health solutions, as many of the modern day solutions require a fresh look at things from beyond the purview of the ancient policies.
As a result, the potential benefits of digital health are not being realised in India, and the country’s healthcare system is still struggling to keep up with the demands of a rapidly growing population. It is essential that the government revises its policies in order to allow modern health solutions to flourish in India. Only then will the country be able to address its healthcare challenges sustainably and effectively.
From the Stakeholders Perspectives —
Ideally, digitization and modernization of the healthcare system must optimise the practice of doctors, enhance patient-doctor communication to improve patient outcomes. But, since the introduction of ABDM in 2021, the statistics showed a mixed response from the major stakeholders of healthcare. Wherein, the urban regions of the country showed significant adoption rates concerning Virtual Care Modules, but in the rural areas, nothing has changed. Infact, the ‘burden of digitization’ on the ‘Gramin’ healthcare system’ has created nothing but chaos!
Often the challenges that care professionals go through are due to age-old infrastructure or outdated policies. And, it is evident that until we redesign the healthcare delivery systems according to care professionals and the beneficiaries, we ain’t moving anywhere. Below is a small example of a public health doctor, exposing lack of infrastructure and trained medical professionals which would help him execute his duty.
On the other hand, when we have unnecessary policies on the infrastructure side, we totally lack policies, guidelines and regulations on the data security side. This has led to data theft, misuse of digital prescriptions, electronic health records, fraudulent practices and solicitation in the form of listing websites in the noble field of care delivery.
Change is often not so easy but, when the existing policies and regulations lead to insufficient care experiences for the beneficiaries as well as the service providers, it is time we change them. We must modernise them. And, it must start with changing the age-old perspective toward healthcare delivery. An approach that remains more India-centric in healthcare tech while keeping all the major stakeholders on a single platform.
Here at HArbor, we have already started our journey by simplifying care practices for medicos to assist them to deliver the best care outcomes possible.
Connect with us to know how HArbor platform can help your care facility!
Electronic medical records (EMRs) have had a positive effect on patient care and the work lives of physicians. However, convincing healthcare professionals and healthcare management to adopt EHR/EMR modules have always been a challenge in India. This article sheds light on why healthcare professionals are still so attached to the idea of paper records when they should be reaping the benefits of new-age EMR/EHR modules!
Let’s get started.
From the perspective of a medical professional!
No doubt, we are gradually upgrading with the modern health tech solutions, however, full-fledged adoption of EMR still has a long way to go, and the reason behind it is the asymmetry of benefits. For a health tech designer, the tendency to look for technological fixes for significant conventional problems may have sufficed with every new feature, but, from a medical professional’s perspective, maybe there is a lot more to this.
The broken medical market – as economists would call it: A bitter fact about the existing healthtech systems is that the set-up and everyday usage of these largely ERP driven software is expensive. Until now, most of the providers haven’t recovered those costs, either in payment or in increased patient satisfaction in India. It’s beyond question that having digital data at fingertips can assist the healthcare facility to operate in multi-folds, but, the costs are hefty, and they have fallen on people who have no economic incentive to make the transition.
Time-consuming & complicated designs: In India, the average time for a doctor to see a patient is less than 2 minutes. At the same time, imagine dealing with a complex EHR/EMR system, when you can easily scribble the prescription! This critical aspect of an EMR module is very crucial for its adaptation.
The habit-loop of pen-paper practices: The practice of creating medical records using pen & paper holds a significant place at the core of the Indian Healthcare System, which may be a time consuming but irreplaceable habit. So, for a healthcare professional, switching EHR/EMR modules may disturb the practice flow while leaving the professional agitated and unproductive.
Moreover, healthTech leaders in India need to think about the various aspects of healthcare that would make sense to modernize and are ready to adapt to change, to incorporate into the core healthcare system. Meanwhile, we need digital record modules that would make the transition between paper to EMR easy and with simple designs.
You need an EMR module that comprises….
A Template-driven, Touch-Based EMR: Most clinicians are familiar with paper data sheets that are more or less in tabular formats. A structured EMR format with touchpoints to choose from a variety of templates will tidy up the data coming from different sources.
Tabular format simplifies the bulk datasets for easy visualizations and will hold up space for diagnostic reports, RX sheets and medical bills.
Speech-to-text AI replacing medical transcriptors: Often doctors feel typing patient notes can distract them from actually listening to their patients. But if they only listen to their patients and don’t feed EMR, the consultations won’t make it to a treatment plan or generate medical claims later.
Using Speech-to-text AI allows practitioners to dictate their medical notes during a patient encounter instead of typing them while making EMR more navigable.
This feature saves time and bridges the gap between conventional data entry practices to new-age health tech modules.
Handwritten prescription to digital using OCR: One tricky yet effective way to create a digital health record is to let the medicos use their favourite pen and paper and give them an option to save the image of that Rx paper. The EMR then should convert that image into a digital prescription.
EMRs compatible with digital writing pads: A way to replicate the pen-paper based medical records is to have an EMR which can connect with a market available writing pad. These writing pads can then transfer the record thus captured digitally and EMRs with special features can convert them into incidental electronic medical records.
HArbor is more than eager to see healthcare practitioners get onboard with the digital healthcare systems and especially, EMR! However, the perpetually diverse module requirements of the medical record modules in India cannot be resolved with just a single format. We need to make EMR adaptable and in order to make it happen, healthtech platforms must be able to bridge between the old practices and the new-age tech for a smooth transition.