Shot In The Arm For Patients

Shot In The Arm For Patients
Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Jan 12, 2009
S.R. Raghunathan

One patient at home is task enough so you can imagine how hospitals manage. Healthcare management software helps smoothen the work of both doctors and patients. In a burgeoning healthcare market, the iSOFT eHIS is an interesting entrant.

Recently implemented by the Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust (SSSMT), Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi, Ananthapur District, with certain levels of customisation essentially considering the billing, local statutory and regulatory requirements in India, eHIS has quantifiable advantages, say hospital sources.

The Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust was set up in 1991 to provide healthcare free of cost to the needy. It operates two super-speciality hospitals: Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Prasanthigram, Ananthapur district Andhra Pradesh and in Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore.

Hospital administrators at SSSMT told eWorld that, “The iSOFT eHIS has been implemented in all key hospital departments delivering improved patient management and clinician support at Prasanthigram and Whitefield.”

Here are more details:

In what way has the iSOFT Product changed the way the organisation functions?

The biggest advantage is that patients can be serviced quicker.

For instance, OPD patient consultations can be completed the same day since clinical departments can interact more efficiently with support services.

With iSOFT eHIS interfaced to laboratory analysers, automated resulting in Biochemistry Department (constituting 35 per cent of total lab tests done) has increased the speed and accuracy of the results process.

We can share data between the Sri Sathya Sai super-speciality hospitals. For instance, orthopaedic surgeons at Prasanthigram can view online reports of MRI scans taken at Whitefield.

Why wasn’t the software being used until now not adequate?

Before implementing the iSOFT eHIS in 2007, SSSIHMS at Prasanthigram had fifteen-year-old in-house software for patient registration, administration and clinical history, which was developed using different technologies. Whitefield upgraded to iSOFT eHIS in 2006.

The software used earlier lacked user-defined templates needed for the capture of clinical data specific to clinical super-specialities.

Templates reduce the time spent during consultations for entering patient history. Data entered in these templates is stored in a structured fashion, facilitating research and analysis.

Prasanthigram went live with the iSOFT eHIS in 2007. Earlier, Laboratory and Radiology order processing was laborious. Results were available on paper only and delivered by hand. Multiple registers were maintained and Laboratory statistics were produced manually.

In some cases, when patients were discharged and they left with the copies of their reports, it was in a way an actual loss of patient data.

This is no longer the case since the full clinical history is now stored online.

For instance, where Biochemistry resulting previously took four hours per day now it takes one hour using automated resulting by analysers interfaced to iSOFT eHIS.

A specific incident in which iSOFT eHIS saved the day…

The telephone is always the preferred route for critical cases. However, the iSOFT solution helps efficiency in patient servicing for all cases, particularly with Laboratory and Radiology orders. For instance, at Prasanthigram, in March 2008, an Orthopaedic emergency patient received his haematology results within 11 minutes.

The donor database used by the Blood Bank makes a huge difference for emergency cases. This database enables donors to be quickly located and called in immediately to provide blood for such critical cases.

What future upgrades are planned?

In the coming year we plan an integration of iSOFT eHIS with a PACS (Picture Archival and Communication System) being commissioned at the SSSIHMS at Prasanthigram and Whitefield and an upgrade of the iSOFT eHIS from current version 5.x to version 10.x.

What kind of training is given to the staff so that they can use the application better?

A train-the-trainer approach has been adopted. iSOFT trained key users (or system champions) from all hospital departments, including the computer department.

These key users and computer department staff then trained the end users and continue to provide training within the hospitals.

A week-long parallel run was conducted to prove the iSOFT eHIS operationally fit all end-user departments. Included in these runs was end-to-end checking of old patient data migrated to the iSOFT eHIS.

New nursing and data entry staff are given classroom training covering the relevant functionality. In addition, clerical staff attend lectures on medical terminology.

Practice sessions then follow to build confidence and finally evaluations are held to gauge end-user competence with the system.

The Hindu Business Line Reference