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CIOs Boosting Healthcare with a Dose of Technology

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Shuvankar P, Dy.CIO & Sr.Director, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt.Ltd

Below is an excerpt of Shuvankar P, Dy.CIO & Sr.Director, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt.Ltd with CIO Insider magazine. Shuvankar hails with 25 years of experience in technology/ applications across various domains, with over 19 years in the healthcare domain. He is a certified blockhain expert specialized in robotics and has been involved in numerous government initiatives, policy making in the healthcare segment like NDHM, META DATA AND DATA STANDARDS(MDDS), Interoperability Blueprint etc. additionally, he shares expertise in digital transformations in healthcare vertical by introducing technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Process Automation by using BOTs (RPA) and Machine learning (ML).

In conversation with Shuvankar P, Dy.CIO & Sr.Director, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt.Ltd

The changing role of CIOs in the heightened technological innovation of India’s healthcare sector.
Earlier, CIOs in any healthcare organization meant IT manager. Running HIS and ensure smooth patient registration, admissions, billing & discharges. Network / Internet should be available 24X7. In some of the hospital/chain of hospitals, CIO used to helped prepare MIS presentation for assisting CXOs. Graduation, healthcare organizations started feeling that IT is not a support system only. They can help organization to analyze the patent data for driving their business. But this was the only advance thought until 10 years back.

As the healthcare landscape continues to shift with a focus on digital and strategic transformation, the role of healthcare CIOs continues to evolve. This shift further accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting a lot of pressure on healthcare systems around the world. Innovation and smart infrastructure have therefore become essential for healthcare organizations to sustain in this new normal.

Now CIOs plays an extended role of CDO, Strategic and Decision maker.

Kinds of technologies improving patient experience and reducing costs of healthcare services.
In the climate of health care reform, there is immense on the Triple Aim of improving population health, reducing costs, and improving patient experience. Costs of healthcare services or cost of care includes broadly the followings:

From care provider – Admin cost , Cost of Goods
From Patient perspective – Service Cost (fixed and repeating), Transportation cost, Medicine and medical devices buying cost.

In totality it is the Patient Experience Cost. Today’s world in healthcare, excluding clinical service, only technology can handle this cost effectively.
Here are some studies (source – blogs):

Pre-care
65 percent of customers indicated about experiencing, on the hospital website for scheduling the appointment, gaining information, and others, are equal to the actual treatment. 80 percent of surveyed patients used online reviews as a significant deciding factor. Around 50 percent of the patients in a study assured that they are ready to change their insurance provider to choose a healthcare provider with better reviews.

Shift to Virtual Care
Do you know that the new Apple Watch has biosensors to detect changes in health? The coronavirus caused a 70 percent cancellation of treatments due to fear of contracting the virus or other restrictions due to lockdown. According to an Accenture survey on 2700 patients, the results favour virtual care. 60 percent of the surveyed patients are planning to have treatment from home. Thus, if a healthcare provider cannot offer virtual care, there is a possibility of losing 60 percent of their customer base.

Therefore, technology providing patient satisfaction and ease cost of care , could be a simple website allowing patients to book their appointment seamlessly, patient app/portal presenting their complete treatment history and can be accessible easily, post care monitoring system and moreover the communication between patients and hospitals, is the demand of the day.

Technology for different use cases should be embedded underneath of single channel of patient communication with the hospital

The significance of CIOs in driving government’s healthcare projects.
I always agree that every CIOs need to participate in government’s projects. From ideation, building architecture, sandbox testing, to integrating our own healthcare information systems, government only have the healthcare establishments at remote area. Unlikely private healthcare system, government hospitals have the reach to the poorest person in the country. We should build the eco system along with government help to reach that person with our highest level of clinical excellency.

Benefits of focusing on financial innovation.
The importance of financial innovation in healthcare is immense. A finance team focuses on overseeing facility operations, information technology, personnel, and accounting, while improving patient care and reducing the costs of medical services. As the healthcare industry faces challenges, such as new legislation, advances in technology, and growing market share, healthcare administrators must strategize and address these matters to stay financially viable. To accomplish this, health organizations must recognize the significant cost factors and identify potential solutions to achieve financial savings. Another important think financial innovation helps to analyze the viability of new business, new technology project for the patients and the optimum utilization cost of medical equipment, resources and facility.

*“Innovative Finance is an approach to funding enterprises, interventions, and value chains that create positive social or environmental impact. It uses available financial tools (philanthropic and commercial) to catalyze and scale solutions, and when existing tools do not work it creates new ones. Innovative finance often relies on partnerships to pool resources from a range of public and private sources to solve problems faster, more effectively, and at a larger scale than would be possible alone.”( *Source: BSR)

Best practices to enhance patient experience and healthcare services using future innovative opportunities.

The bottom line is ‘Patient Experience’ for any healthcare technology innovation and implementation. The way sensor technology, Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR and RPA are raising, will be easy for any healthcare CIO to introduce technology in their organizations. Still there is huge space for technology in healthcare. Now a days technology is being used in healthcare organization to cater particular use case(s). Therefore, technology in healthcare is still fragmented. Integration is a tough challenge for any CIOs. Before going forward with any technology, we should keep in mind that, end of the day, patient should be puzzled with different way of communication with the hospital. Technology for different use cases should be embedded underneath of single channel of patient communication with the hospital. AI based chatbot can help immensely for this.

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