Are you Brand Conscious or Brain Conscious,

while choosing a practice management software for your clinic?

Because when your casual Google search for “practice management system”  returns over 16 Million results, it can get a little overwhelming, especially when the majority of these platforms look promising for your business. Promises sound fair until they are kept and sadly, your ceaseless faith in market trends can do you more harm than good. In the process of creating a brand, we often forget what might have  worked for a few others may not work for us! Hence, eventually, we find ourselves fascinated with sale campaigns and end up spending loads on software which may not be a perfect fit for your care facility. 

While looking for an ideal healthtech software, one must consider a few things, which include:

Overall value of the software: Pricing is integral to any business decision, however, decision on price point alone may not ensure the value. And, purchasing expensive software just for its ‘fancy’ extra features may not work out for you either. Instead, begin with your ‘must have’ feature list, set your price range and while you are at it think also of your business expansion plans. So that when you’re finally negotiating, you’d know what you want. 

  • Software support and implementation requirements: Other than selecting a software with good adaptation proficiency, your software should come with a 24/7 support team that can handle any grievance immediately. It is better to check on the implementation methods if your Clinic Management Software is complex and your staff requires training. A dedicated relationship manager also reduces your overall training cost with every attritio.

Pro tip: If your software provider assigns a dedicated team for implementation and staff training, it’s a keeper! 

  • Speciality wise customization: HealthTech companies pay attention to the customization that are significant to every specialty. Customization, on paper, sounds great, but a highly customized platform may bring you a system which is complex and cumbersome. Thus, experts suggest locally customized software over standardized platforms as it facilitates you to explore the platform for effective management. 
  • After-sale services: It’s true that a good after-sales service team significantly enhances the client-company relationship and has proved to elevate the sales via just by word-of-mouth. However, these services help clients just the same. After-sales service team is that connecting chain which attends to all your suggestions while making sure that your care facility system is taken care of. 
  • Tech update plans: If you are buying a healthtech software, it is crucial for you to know how often they are pushing updates. Ask your vendors the frequency of these updates and how those are communicated. 

These pointers will keep you fixated on your features checklist and away from fake campaign loops during healthtech-gazing on the internet.

A reliable practice management solution not just enables your care facility with its day-to-day operations, data management and doctor-patient relationships but is also an investment for your future practice. An efficient software provider prepares the technology to grow in multi-folds, and purchasing a ‘fix-it’ healthtech solution may cause your practice to lose its patients’ trust and future growth possibilities. Let us discuss further below – 

The existence of commodification in Healthcare

When you look in the rare-view mirror, you will find a similar practice pattern of prescribing medicines, or tests that seem fit according to their experience and patients used to comply with the treatment(without 2nd opinion). While there was a strong doctor-patient relationship in the bygone days, it was not necessarily an equal partnership. Back in the days, patients would want to stick with one healthcare provider and get referred only at the suggestion of their primary doctor. Although the system has its limitations, the doctor-patient relationship was not looked at as a commodity in healthcare. 

Patients today are proactive towards their health more than ever, which is relatively ironic when it comes to their bond with doctors. To top it off, listing websites in healthcare have not only flourished the commodification in the healthcare system but have also created an unnecessary competition among the care professionals. Yes, you read that right and if you are aware of the doctor-patient ratio in India, this wouldn’t be news for you. Here, when these websites are giving a chance for easy doctor-patient “interactions”, they are ultimately also favoring one practice over the other. Somehow, staging a scenario, where either the care provider doesn’t have enough experience, degrees or worse they don’t have enough reviews to prove their credibility. As a result, your patient gets confused and is high over heels for a new doctor for every new consultation! 

“Truth to be told, to be able to choose your care provider is an amazing perspective, but the aftermath of such consultations elevates out-of-pocket expenses for the patients leading to fragmented care which is hardly a bargain.”

– Kartik Vijaywargi, Founder HArbor

Imagine being in a situation with a bulky Clinic Management Software installed. Frustrating right? Often care providers find themselves in a situation where software ends up imparting additional weight rather than unburdening them of the existing ones (PS: Not every grand advertisement gives you the healthtech your care facility needs!) 

Eventually, it lowers the staff response time, deteriorates their relationship with patients and creates a system that looks functional on paper but feels robotic in reality! 

While installing a clinic management suite, remember that the system must assist you  to organise and optimise day-to-day operations, report generation and patient data management. Also, it should be able to integrate the latest modules while keeping you updated with the changing healthcare delivery dynamics. 

HArbor Says:

Finding the right software for your business is a daunting task. With the fast-paced business world, it is more important than ever for healthcare facilities to be able to stay organized and efficient. Although, a practice management solution can assist you grow your business and keep your patients happy; you need to be conscious of every decision you’ll make while walking through the maze of health tech platforms. 

It’s time to sit down with your team and call HARBOR!

Can HealthTech take the temperature-off of the Healthcare Worker Shortages?

When a system flourishes on default and not by design, its foundation experiences chaos. It fails to manage & utilize resources, resolve the existing problems and disrupts revenue cycles which is crucial to keep it fueled. Unfortunately, due to its disorganized growth, it faces difficulty while adapting new-age modules; we call these advanced modules ‘the helping hands’!

India’s healthcare system is no different. Carrying the weight of the entire system, care professionals are not just working their fingers to the bone but burning their potential capacity to zero! Now, the only question remains;

DOES INDIA REALLY LACK AN OPTIMUM HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE? 

According to WHO’s 2020 midterm report, the Indian healthcare system needs at least 1.8 million doctors, nurses and midwives to achieve the minimum threshold of 44.5 professional health workers per 10,000 people. 

Number of health professionals/workers per 10,000 persons, 2018

So yes, our healthcare system needs an additional workforce, but this inference shall not excuse the adverse effects of disrupted healthcare structure on healthcare professionals. And first, it is of great importance to understand the impact of relatively old and disorganized healthcare practices in private and public health spheres that are not ideal anymore!

Outdated Management

In all the loud and necessary debates about resolving the staff shortages in India, the conventional care management has been constantly overlooked. Although the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is striving to improve the healthcare sector with several initiatives, policywise; the workflow foundation of the majority of primary healthcare centres (the heart of the system) is too old to sustain the load. Outdated management exhibits tragically slower workflows, reduced care efficiencies and pressurizes the care professionals to share the responsibility. A load which can be perfectly handled by practice management software.

Simply put, healthtech solutions for practice management can efficiently assist every healthcare stakeholder, especially doctors, nurses and administrative personnel. Such solutions not only eliminate the redundant and manual processes but also build standard protocols for care procedures for anyone and everyone to follow. Thereby reducing re-work or any last-minute extra shifts.

Fragmented Care Delivery and Manual Processes 

While talking about tiring manual care modules, this discussion must take the responsibility to address the strain of fragmented care delivery on healthcare professionals. Our healthcare system is an unbalanced rather ‘broken structure’ at the grassroots level that lacks an integral value chain. It restricts care professionals to coordinate smoothly during patient care while burdening care facilities during referrals, record maintenance and designing treatment protocols.  

HealthTech platforms in such scenarios will not just streamline patient care delivery, but will eliminate the cumbersome and unnecessary processes. As a result, facility staff will always have more than enough time for patient care without worrying about tedious and redundant administrative work. 

Lack of Data Interoperability and Lack of Data Protection

A doctor spends around 35% of their time documenting patient data. What if managing patient data becomes as easy as tapping a few times on your phone while sharing it with a swipe?

You probably do not believe this but the funds, time and workforce required to maintain paper-based healthcare records are noticeably high. In fact, the expensive paper-record maintenance should be enough for medicos to consider switching to healthTech platforms. Yet, the vicious cycle of filling up MRD rooms and dedicating valuable staff working hours every month has become more of a healthcare ‘habit’ than a practice.

Paper based medical records slow down the data exchange process between its stakeholders, which means treatment delays and disruptions in care professionals’ schedules. Moreover, paper medical records are prone to tampering, stealing and are even hard to retrieve.

A modern EMR can come with cloud-based storage that guarantees maximum data security and the convenience of retrieving the medical records at their fingertips. Not only are these records encrypted and password-protected with correct authorization, care practitioners can exchange data and compile it all under a single patient ID within a few minutes. The Governement of India, has even started working on something on similar lines, with the visionary Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, ABDM, where they have envisioned a central EMR storage for citizens of India. 

Automated and faster processes may not be a long term solution for staff shortages in healthcare but it will have a significant impact on care practices and workplace conditions. Hence, it is justified to say that since the healthcare system is ‘stuck in time’, integrating healthtech platforms from ground zero (primary care facilities) should be our first call. And there by, improving physician response times, increasing efficiency and transforming team communications.

The Impact of Skilled and unskilled care professionals in Healthcare

To resolve the shortage of healthcare workers in India, it is also important to analyze the number of skilled and non-skilled professionals in the domain. According to a report published in the journal BMJ Open, India does not meet the minimum threshold of 22.8 skilled workers per 10,000 people as recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization). However, the study revealed an alarmingly large number of low qualified health professionals and low performing workers. These care professionals usually come under the first point of contact in low economic and rural parts of the country. 

When distribution and qualification of health professionals is serious problem, healthTech platforms will not only keep standard care processes in place, but will enhance overall productivity in care facilities. The SOPs designed by these platforms will eventually reduce any illegal practice, medical data breach and errors while delivering care.

HArbor Says

One of the biggest challenges faced by the Healthcare industry is the constant shortage of skilled workers. The increasing demand for qualified medical professionals has led to the creation of thousands of new jobs, but the industry can’t seem to find enough qualified workers to fill them. This has prompted many to ask if technology could solve this problem. Only technology can be used to “create efficiencies, automate tasks, and address staffing gaps through technology.”

Undoubtedly, India needs to invest in Human Resource for Health, HRH for increasing the number of active health workers but also needs to integrate healthTech platforms to improve the skill-mix and overall care practices.