Digital Healthcare

5 Reasons Why You Need UpToDate - Blog Image

5 Reasons Why You Need UpToDate

5 Reasons Why You Need UpToDate 650 486 Exist Software Labs

UpToDate is a clinical resource tool that provides clinicians support in making evidence-based decisions. Using UpToDate enables clinicians to have more confidence in making even the most complex decisions in the most complex situations. With an average session duration of just over a minute for both mobile and web users, clinicians can get the information they need to be able to make a more informed decision.

Not convinced yet? Here are 5 more reasons why you need UpToDate!

Remove Unwanted Variability

By using an advanced software that allows clinicians across multiple departments to make an evidence-based decision, unwanted variability in care can be reduced. Clinicians will find it easier to choose the best care treatment instead of having to test several procedures only to find out that it’s not the best solution.

This process aligns care teams by providing them with information on several treatments backed with evidence allowing them to provide the best care possible for their patients.

Author & Content Quality

“More than a summary of the evidence, our comprehensive content is designed to be accessible and actionable to help you answer common or complex and challenging clinical questions.

UpToDate’s unique differentiator from its competitors is its rigorous editorial process. Currently, there are over 7,400 authors and editors composed mainly of physicians, clinicians, and peer reviewers who continuously collaborate to provide useful information at the point of care. 

With each topic having assigned an expert physician author and at least two specialty-specific physician reviewers, a thorough evaluation of the literature is done. This committee then agrees on clear treatments and screening recommendations in order to assist physicians and clinicians in making the best feasible care decisions.

Thousands of Topics

UpToDate currently has more than 12,000 topics that are spread across 25 different specialties, provided with over 514,000 references. Note that for each topic, there’s an individual committee that strives to make sure that evidence and recommendations are present. 

In addition to this wide range of topics, UpToDate has more than 6,900 unique drug entries, along with information on drug interactions. There are also over 36,000 graphics that consists of tables, images, and figures that clinicians can use.

Graded Recommendations

“When you’re treating a patient, you want to make decisions based on the best available evidence and expertise. But even the most experienced clinicians need support in keeping up with new research and advances in care.”

While it’s great to have an advanced system that lets clinicians do their research, UpToDate takes it a step further.

Dr. Gordon Guyatt, along with the GRADE Working Group, has been working with UpToDate since 2001 to incorporate the GRADE system into UpToDate topics. 

Dr. Guyatt coined the term “evidence-based medicine” back in 1992. He is recognized as a world leader in this area and is the co-founder of the GRADE System. He provides regular training to UpToDate’s physician editors about evidence-based medicine and grading.

Gordon Guyatt - Why You Need UpToDate
Dr. Gordon Guyatt | Program Director of Internal Medicine at McMaster University from 1990 to 1997

The GRADE System is a set of recommendations based on a synthesis of evidence, including those that are obtained from clinical trials and experience.

Great User Feedback

In October 2020, a survey was conducted amongst 14,137 UpToDate users to test how they feel about UpToDate. Here are some notable results. 

98% or 13,854 of the respondents said that they trust UpToDate as a point-of-care clinical information resource.

96% or 13,571 of the respondents said that UpToDate improves the quality of care they can provide.

90% or 12,723 of the respondents said that UpToDate saves them time.

88% or 12,441 of the respondents said that using UpToDate had an effect on their patient management approach.

86% or 12,158 of the respondents revealed that using UpToDate led to more appropriate diagnostic testing.

These results only show that UpToDate, in fact, has a positive effect on its users and ultimately, the care they can provide. UpToDate currently has over 2 million users in more than 38,800 institutional sites across 191 countries – all of which add up to more than 617 million topic views per year.

If you’re interested in getting UpToDate for your hospital, kindly leave your information on the form below and we’ll reach out to you right away and discuss more on why you need UpToDate for your hospital! Get better care for your patients now, and make every decision matter with UpToDate. 

Next: We’ll follow this up with an article about how UTD and Lexicomp are “free from bias”

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    Do we really need EMRs for Telemedicine?

    Do we really need EMRs for Telemedicine?

    Do we really need EMRs for Telemedicine? 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    With the continuous innovation of technology in the world, the usage of Telemedicine is spreading now more than ever. 

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Telemedicine signifies the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve patient outcomes by increasing access to medical information. Moreover, they explained:

    “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.”  

    Globally, the trend for the application of Telemedicine since the start of the pandemic has been consistently rising. The risk of contracting COVID 19 when having to go to hospitals for check ups and consultations may be the biggest driver for the increasing application of Telemedicine. 

    In the Philippines, one Telemedicine provider reported a 170% increase in the number of teleconsultations, with an 80% resolution rate. Even the Department of Health (DOH) urges the public to opt for a teleconsult when dealing with non-urgent medical needs to prevent overcrowding in hospitals, therefore minimizing the risks of spreading the virus.

    However, for telemedicine to be more effective, clinicians will still need access to patient medical information, such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR), in order to give proper diagnosis. Using EMRs for Telemedicine provides care providers the necessary information that they should have in order to make an informed decision. Simultaneously, EMR also increases efficiency by reducing redundant tests since patient history is properly disclosed in the patient’s records.

    By using a system that’s integrated with EMRs and Telemedicine, hospitals and clinics can practice the use of these features and be able to evaluate, diagnose, consult, and do follow-ups from a distance. 

    So why use EMRs for Telemedicine?

    1. Coordinated care and better teleconsult

    Through EMRs, e-consultations can support a more team-based & holistic approach to patient care. By being able to see the patient’s previous results across different care settings, clinicians are better equipped to make an informed decision, thus ensuring quality patient care outcomes.

    2. Minimized duplication of records

    With proper handling of EMRs, there will only be 1 record per patient. This becomes a huge help when dealing with patients who are not aware that they already have an existing record. When making an EMR for a patient, the system will automatically detect if the person already has an existing record, saving time for both the hospital and the patient.

    3. Automated data entries

    If EMRs and Telemedicine are integrated into one system, doctor notes during a consult will automatically be part of the patient’s EMR for future reference. This ensures the accuracy of data entries into the patient’s records.

    With all these presented, hospitals and clinics should consider having a system that can support the usage of Telemedicine through EMRs. 

    Learn more about how Exist’s DOH-Accredited Electronic Medical Records, along with a Hospital and Clinic system that carries a Telemedicine module, can help you improve your practice and enhance patient care.

    Start using EMRs for Telemedicine now! You may request for a demo now by clicking here.

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    How do Hospital and Clinic Systems Help our Healthcare Workers?

    How Do Hospital and Clinic Systems Help our Healthcare Workers?

    How Do Hospital and Clinic Systems Help our Healthcare Workers? 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    By this time, we all know that hospital and clinic systems are very helpful whenever it comes to patient care. Being able to know the patient’s medical history, allergic reactions, previous prescriptions is very helpful in making sure that our healthcare workers can provide the best care possible. Since the landscape of Healthcare IT is continuously evolving, we should know how do hospital and clinic systems help our healthcare workers.

    Most of us take for granted the importance of hospital and clinic systems in achieving quality patient care.  However, no one can argue that to provide the best care possible, doctors and nurses require valuable medical information like medical history, allergy information, medications and other clinical data.

    But these systems not only benefit patients, it also helps our healthcare workers making them more successful in the work they do which is saving lives!

    During this time of pandemic, our healthcare workers are frontliners – leading us in the battle against COVID-19. Knowing that, isn’t it important that we also protect them? It is possible that some patients have been consciously hiding information from their care team that could potentially put them at risk. Some have been diagnosed positive with COVID-19 yet don’t feel the need to disclose it to their physicians. Whatever their reasons, these actions put healthcare workers at risk.

    So how do Hospital and Clinic Systems Help our Healthcare Workers?

    Knowing the Patient History

    Knowledge about the patient’s history and previous conditions that could affect their current state. It also helps them by being able to avoid drugs that had already shown adverse reactions on the patient. The efficiency of patient care also increases because redundant tests will be avoided.

    In relation to the current pandemic, being able to know the patient’s history could help in determining the current causes of their illnesses, which could lead to knowing if it is COVID related or not.

    Misreading of Prescriptions or Previous Notes

    With EMRs, everything is digitally transcribed. A 2007 study in US showed that when hospitals started using EMRs, there was a 66% drop in prescription errors. Thousands of medication errors were recorded yearly due to a very simple factor – illegibility of handwriting.

    Support Tools

    Having a hospital or clinic system that has support tools has a great effect on patient outcomes. Some examples of support tools are drug referencing tools and evidence-based decision support tools, such as Lexicomp and UpToDate by Wolters Kluwer. By being able to look at previous studies, evidence, and drug approaches, physicians and clinicians will be able to have a more efficient, effective, and holistic view of the patient’s recovery plans. 

    A survey done in 2020 with 14,137 participants showed that 98% of them are satisfied with UpToDate and that they trust UpToDate as a point-of-care clinical information resource. 96% of which believed that UpToDate improves the quality of care they can provide. 90% said that using UpToDate saves them time. 88% made changes to their patient management, and 86% believes that UpToDate has led to more appropriate diagnostic testing. ‘’

    Now that COVID is mutating faster than we can cope up, having a support tool that is updated by professionals around the world gives our healthcare workers the edge to making sure that they and their patients are safer.

    Telemedicine Module

    Another emerging tool for our healthcare workers is the option to do consultations virtually. With widespread internet and affordable devices, geography poses no issue anymore. Telemedicine provides doctors and their patients an immediate and more convenient way of doing consultations. Because of the risks posed by COVID-19, it is definitely safer not only for the patients who have to travel, but also for the physicians and clinicians as it drastically reduces the number of in-person appointments. Despite its limitations of not being able to perform close examination crucial to some specializations, the benefit of remote consults will benefit healthcare workers as it helps reduce the spread of infections.

    Hospital and Clinic Systems Do Help.

    We could go on and on about answering the question “How Do Hospital and Clinic Systems Help” and discuss the many benefits of these systems, but it all boils down to answering the question.. Does it do good for patients and healthcare workers alike?

    Learn more about Hospital and Clinic Systems. Schedule a demo now.

     

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    How Integrating UpToDate to Hospital Information Systems Helps

    How integrating UpToDate to Hospital Information Systems Helps

    How integrating UpToDate to Hospital Information Systems Helps 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    Introducing innovation into the health system is directed at enhancing clinical effectiveness

    The healthcare industry is becoming more and more volatile as made more apparent by the ongoing global pandemic. Globally, research are being conducted in hopes to find better ways and solutions in dealing with the virus. Prescriptions, medications, and treatment protocols are updated on a daily basis in order to minimize the rise of more COVID cases and deaths. Simply put, all clinicians and health practitioners rely on updated data to improve delivery of patient care.

    The power of accessible medical information and staying updated on medical news, studies, and breakthroughs is essential in improving patient outcomes. Such valuable information is exactly what UpToDate offers. Read on to learn more about this evidence-based decision support tool, and how integrating UpToDate to Hospital Information Systems can be helpful.

    What is UpToDate?

    UpToDate is developed by Wolters Kluwer, a provider of trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engages clinicians, patients, researchers, students, and the next generation of healthcare providers. 

    UpToDate is updated daily following a continual comprehensive review of peer-reviewed journals, clinical databases, and other resources, by more than 7,100 world-renowned physician authors and editors.

    UpToDate not only provides clinicians with easily accessible data, it also aligns care teams to provide a more unified decision whenever it comes to clinical analysis. UpToDate also provides the opportunity to align care teams to provide a more unified decision on clinical analyses. Consequently, this allows a more synchronized delivery of patient care through evidence based data and recommendations by renowned experts around the world. 

    Results from Asian Hospital and Medical Center have shown that with the use of UpToDate, there has been a downward trend in ICU mortality. Dr Ana Maria Jimenez, Director for Quality, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, says

    If, for instance, an ICU intensivist needs to review certain topics, be it about an illness, diagnostics, or differential diagnosis, and especially when they encounter these topics for the first time, they turn to UpToDate.

    UpToDate and COVID-19 Treatment

    COVID-19 is novel, therefore physicians require regular updates on its infections and treatments. With UpToDate, resources are updated daily – this brings clinicians more confidence in making sure that their decisions are supported by evidence and information.

    Dr. Jimenez also states:

    The ICU intensivists also use UpToDate to check if there are new guidelines on process measures for ICU as well as the contention with regard to how fast to lower FiO2 in ventilated Covid-19 patients. Our Emergency Physicians likewise refer to UpToDate for Covid-19 treatment updates like for the management of ARDS and for use of high-flow nasal cannulas. Furthermore, we consulted the literature when we created the hospital policy on protected code blue, which resulted in an improvement in our Healthcare Worker safety.

    MERX HIS – UpToDate Integrations

    Critical to healthcare quality and safety, clinical effectiveness ensures patients’ total healthcare experience remains the primary priority

    As a Gold Partner of Wolters Kluwer in the Philippines, Exist continues to find ways on how to improve its hospital and clinic systems to promote evidence-based care to help them achieve quality patient outcomes.

    At present, we are already integrating UpToDate (and Lexicomp) into our hospital information system, MERX. This means that clients can easily access these clinical decision systems right inside their MERX interface. With this integration, clinicians and healthcare teams will have quick access to relevant and updated information provided by UptoDate and Lexicomp and help harmonize decisions in the delivery of patient care.

    By integrating UpToDate, MERX is further able to:

    • Provide tools that integrate into clinical workflows that reduce medication and diagnostic errors, 
    • Align care teams across the entire healthcare system with information that supports evidence-based care. 
    • Provide information that helps the physician make good decisions and ensures that the nurses, pharmacists, and patients are all aligned with that decision making.

    This quality of healthcare solution that Exist Healthcare provides is one of the reasons why the team caters to 3 out of 6 JCI (Joint Commission International) Accredited Philippine hospitals. 

    Get the most out of your hospital system by integrating UpToDate into MERX!

    Learn more about this in our upcoming webinar on The Power of One for Decision Support! Click here for more details.

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    The Power of One for Decision Support

    The Power of One for Decision Support 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    A FREE Learning Session on why Every Decision Matters

     

    This event will be held on June 24, 2021. Click here to register!

    More than ever, outcomes are determined by the quality of care team decisions and alignment of decision-making across teams! Care suffers when members of care teams — physicians, nurses, and pharmacists — look up clinical information on disparate and unconnected resources. 

    To truly improve the quality of care, reduce unwanted variability and reduce costs, you need to empower all healthcare providers and patients with trusted and consistent information. This means having actionable evidence-based content from one trusted source that works across the continuum of care and aligns with best practices.

    Join us as Wolters Kluwer and Exist host a learning session on “The Power of One for Decision Support” and take a deeper look into the industry’s most comprehensive medication and disease solution to support hospital clinicians’ decision making and help enhance patient safety.  See how Exist’s Merx hospital information system provides quick access to UpToDate and Lexicomp to align care teams with the same evidence-based guidance — that translates into a better, more “harmonized” care for patients!

     

    Here are the speakers that will help us make each decision count!

    Michelle Topacio, Partner Business Lead, ASEAN Region, Wolters Kluwer Clinical Effectiveness


    Michelle has more than 15 years experience in the healthcare industry covering pharmaceutical, medical devices and healthcare IT. She joined Wolters Kluwer Clinical Effectiveness Division in February 2021 and is responsible in offering Clinical Decision Support resources for the Philippine market. Michelle is a strong advocate for evidence-based medicine to support healthcare institutions and medical schools to reduce variability in care and improve patient outcomes.

    Willex Perez, VP of Sales and Marketing,
    Exist Software Labs, Inc.


    Willex Perez is one of the founders of Exist and the key person responsible for Exist’s Sales and Marketing group. He also heads Exist Healthcare and is in charge of leading the push for healthcare IT innovations with their Merx Hospital Information System and Medcurial — its enterprise leading clinic management system and EMR.

    Pandemic Highlights Need for EMR, Information Systems Beyond the Hospital and Clinic’s Walls

    Pandemic Highlights Need for EMR, Information Systems Beyond the Hospital and Clinic’s Walls 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    Despite the uptake of practices using EMRs, the country’s struggle to capture COVID-related data and the presence of health information systems that are not interoperable exposed the need for EMR, hospital and clinic systems’ that contribute and empower the greater health sector.

    It is nearly impossible to create or build healthcare capacity during a pandemic.  Hospitals everywhere struggle with staffing and bed resources to keep up with Covid surges while preventing infections.  The lack of clear political strategy and guidance seems to leave health providers fending for themselves.

    Yet, it is these types of situations that also enlighten and ultimately force a reckoning for businesses.  In healthcare, it is not just about finding a means to stay afloat.  It is a matter of ensuring survival of staff and populace.  It is about how to improve and extend patient services while contributing to the greater need of containing the pandemic.

     

    Need for EMR and Clinic Systems: How it can help.

    If it wasn’t as clear before, it has become imperative that any operating business will need to invest in IT and digital solutions.  It is about finding systems that answer core business requirements while also being equipped to support functionalities yet to be identified.  For hospitals and clinics, it is not enough that systems and applications exist only for internal consumption.  Systems need to enable them to participate and share health data (in a secure manner) to reach patients.  They need to contribute information to guide policies for the greater population.

    For medical practices, the shift and need for EMR has grown rapidly in the last few years.  This is apparent in larger clinical practices offering a variety of medical and diagnostic services across a network of branches.  Ease of coordination, as well as seamless transactions, give these clinics an advantage.  They offer a more well-rounded patient experience that mirrors that of a tertiary hospital but at a more affordable cost.

    Why does the need for EMR constantly arise? EMRs allow users to coordinate care across various specialties.  The system provides the entire clinic and its team of doctors the needed information about the patient at every turn. With available patient data, the practice is likely to adapt towards providing more evidence-based care.

    Outpatient clinics need to step up to provide help to hospitals. Clinics can provide triage as a first line of care for patients before going directly to hospitals. As vaccination programs roll-out, clinics across the country can be viable centers given their experience providing immunizations.  At this time, multi-specialty and diagnostic clinics can be a safe haven for patients needing medical help while avoiding the high risk of infection in hospitals.

    Such a larger role requires that clinic management systems cannot just be about the need for an EMR.  Clinic systems will need to be mini-hospital information systems (HIS) except without the support for admission and its supporting modules.

    Like hospital systems, the clinic system orchestrates a team of doctors, nurses and other users across different sections organized by medical specialty, different laboratory or even outpatient surgical care. Support for an integrated online patient portal and telemedicine are fast becoming the norm since the pandemic. Imagine a doctor providing teleconsultation without need to open another application for accessing and updating the patient’s electronic medical records!

    These functionalities are critical to ensuring that medical services will remain operational while reducing physical contact.  With a portal, the patients are provided a tool by which they can update their records and provide feedback on their medical outcomes.

     

    Breaking Silos and Transmit Covid-related Data

    Maintaining a single source of patient information across multiple branches is just as important.  Firstly, the patient will have more options not limited by location for in-person services such as laboratory and diagnostic tests. This ensures that doctors and other care professionals view updated and complete patient records regardless of clinic branch which opens potential for further interoperability. With consolidated patient records inside clinic systems, clinics have in their possession, valuable data.  Data that can yield patient insights and provide information on future services and investment as well.

    In the fight against Covid, using information from paper records seems almost anecdotal at best.  For any viable health program to succeed in this pandemic, data needs to guide the plans.  Surviving the pandemic needs the entire health sector — both public and private, to work together.  Hospitals and clinics will need to pay attention to the needs of population health for Covid data as well. Using the right hospital information and clinic systems is vital for transmitting and collecting health information and statistics.  This is important in creating a holistic health plan for cities, provinces and ultimately an entire country.

    The Covid situation is like being part of an ongoing global research study.  It is both tragic but one which hopefully, with available data, will strengthen and lift healthcare standards everywhere.

    In the Philippines, this means that IT systems used by hospitals and clinics need to comply with the required standards set forth by the Department of Health (DOH) as well as Philhealth.  Systems with these certifications not only give health facilities the license to legally operate but show a commitment to contribute to improving healthcare beyond its four walls.  By taking advantage of information systems, care institutions give themselves and their patients a fighting chance to survive the pandemic and continue to be relevant players in the healthcare business as well.

    Check out our other Digital Healthcare insights here!

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    Check out our healthcare product, MEDCURIAL. See how it can help our nation improve its response to the ongoing global pandemic.

     

    Investing in Healthcare IT, Supporting Care Workers

    Investing in Healthcare IT, Supporting Care Workers 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    2021 is for the health and care workers who are possibly among the rare few not threatened with job displacement. This is despite the increased use of technology.  On the contrary, the partnership between them has helped push online care providers into the mainstream. Yet, this is just the beginning.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared

    and rightfully so because more than any other group, they are at the frontlines risking their own health caring for those seemingly increasing numbers of patients with Covid.

    According to WHO, “the YHCW is an opportunity to draw attention to the need for greater investments in health and care workforce readiness, education and learning to manage the pandemic and its consequences and to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Beyond COVID-19, investments are also needed in health and care workers’ ability to deliver primary health care, manage noncommunicable diseases, and provide mental health services, maternal and child health care, long-term care, and palliative care.”

    Technology More than Plays Its Part

    Further, WHO also states, “investments in education, continuing professional development, well-being and occupational safety in all of these areas are important preconditions for retaining and attracting health and care professionals. Without making health and care work a desirable and supported career path. Countries will also struggle to attract newcomers, including in rural areas. Moreover, it will also be challenging to progress towards universal health coverage and stronger, more resilient health systems.”

    While Exist Healthcare and Medcurial have committed to developing the systems to promote better patient outcomes and better care delivery, YHCW is also a timely reminder of the need for better-designed systems that support positive user experiences enabling happy and productive care providers.

    Healthcare systems have time and again mitigated the risks of spreading infection for patients and users alike. This is due to the increasing use of online technology. Things are not likely going back to normal soon. Along with this, the use of telemedicine and remote care portals and protocols will likely continue and spur further improvements.

    Unsung heroes for years, the pandemic now gave care workers the attention they deserve. By equipping them with the tools, healthcare IT will always provide them with needed help. This will let them discharge their medical duties the best they can safely while at the front lines—not only for their patients but for their families waiting for them at home.

    Check Out Medcurial

    Check out our healthcare product, MEDCURIAL. See how it helped some of the biggest hospitals in the country provide better patient outcomes.

    Buy & Build Hospital Systems Dilemma Revisited

    Buy & Build Hospital Systems Dilemma Revisited 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    What do hospitals have to deal with in choosing to buy or build systems??

    Delivering care now generally considers hospital information systems, applications, and software. Despite misgivings about cost as the previous article has pointed out, what first was a tool to ensure operational and financial efficiency, has grown far more valuable and one that continues to become essential in achieving whatever doctor, clinic, or hospital has originally set out to do – provide the right medical care based on data or evidence.

    Custom (build) or Off-the-shelf Systems (buy)

    The eternal dilemma facing CIOs is whether to build a system from scratch or mold an off-the-shelf application to the needs of the institution. Most decisions are a hybrid mix, but many hospitals lean too far in the emotional direction. When hard data is available, making an emotional decision is not a good business practice! 

    TechRepublic says it best:

    The major factor that significantly reduces the custom solutions’ ROI is the lack of available personnel with proper skill sets. That is also true in many cases. Such ultimately causes the endeavor to fail as well. It takes many skills to design and deploy a business solution that is both scalable and extensible. 

    Unless one of your business areas is product development, there is an extremely high probability that your operations and maintenance technology resources do not include all of the skill sets necessary for a successful solution.

    Even worse, the team may not fully understand the problem domain, and may not discover unknown requirements. 

    While cost between custom solutions and commercial built products have now been significantly reduced, if you are a clinic or hospital and IT resources are not available within the organization, then the option to look for available solutions in the market makes the most sense. 

    Here are key considerations for picking an off-the-shelf solution vs building a custom one which is also essentially a choice between product and vendor support:

    A product vendor who is responsible for adapting the product to technological advancements that are aligned with your overall strategy.

    They should be capable of providing immediate and long-term support to your organization.

    The product can meet most of the core business requirements.

    It should also be able to accommodate unsupported core business requirements via enhancements or additional modules.

    Reality-check

    The allure of both custom and off-the-shelf software is that all requirements can be satisfied, but that is a delusion. 

    Requirements are not just about features but about other system characteristics and technologies. While features reflect the immediate need for hospitals or clinics, long-term benefits impact ROI on either option. Clarifying business goals and finding the right partners that will help the organization over the course of 3-5 business years are the keys to achieving these long-term benefits.

    Learn more and read a previous article where Philippine healthcare IT leaders share their thoughts about hospital information systems on this link.

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    Check out our healthcare product, MEDCURIAL. See how it helped some of the biggest hospitals in the country provide better patient outcomes.

    Philippine Hospitals HIS Adoption: Which Level Are You in?

    Philippine Hospitals HIS Adoption: Which Level Are You in? 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    This blog is the first in a series where we examine the state of HIS use among Philippine hospitals.

    Information systems in healthcare have evolved tremendously over the years. The use of some level of information management has become virtually indispensable among care providers, facilities, and health systems.  Around the world, the current pandemic has placed a spotlight on healthcare. It also set a level of scrutiny on how care is safely and efficiently provided. In this era, it generally involves the use of tools and IT systems.

    WHO states that what constitutes its importance is that, “such information systems serve multiple users and a wide array of purposes that can be summarized as the generation of information to enable decision-makers at all levels of the health system to identify problems and needs, make evidence-based decisions on health policy and allocate scarce resources optimally.”

    Health information systems are called upon to enable tracking along the continuum of inputs to the health system, from processes, outputs, as well as outcomes and impact. 

    Yet, owing to prohibitive costs and competing priorities, few developing countries have hospital and care facilities that have sufficiently strong and effective health information systems to meet all these diverse and important information needs.

    Like a growing enterprise, achieving a level of care system requires carefully thought out strategies. These involve starting with organizational objectives before even thinking about core features.  It also means assessing and building up support capabilities while considering the tools that will help lead the team towards its goal.

    Leading healthcare analytics company Health Catalyst, has brilliantly laid out a historical table that helps hospitals figure out which stage they are in their healthcare systems.

    • The main healthcare drivers in this era were Medicare and Medicaid. The IT drivers were expensive mainframes and storage. Because computers and storage were so large and expensive, hospitals typically shared a mainframe. Shared hospital accounting systems were the principal applications emerging in this environment.

    • One of the main healthcare drivers in this era was the need to do a better job communicating between departments (ADT, order communications, and results review) and the need for discrete departmental systems (e.g., clinical lab, pharmacy). The reduction of hardware size allowed the installation of computers in a single department without environmental controls. As a result, departmental systems proliferated. Unfortunately, these transactional systems, embedded in individual departments, were typically islands unto themselves.

    • Healthcare drivers were heavily tied to DRGs and reimbursement. For the first time, hospitals needed to pull significant information from both clinical and financial systems to be reimbursed. At the same time, personal computers, widespread, non-traditional software applications, and networking solutions entered the market. As a result, hospitals began integrating applications so financial and clinical systems could interact in a limited way.

    • In this decade, competition and consolidation drove healthcare, along with the need to integrate hospitals, providers, and managed care. From an IT perspective, hospitals now had access to broad, distributed computing systems and robust networks. Therefore, we created an integrated delivery network (IDN)-like integration, including the impetus to integrate data and reporting.

    • The main healthcare drivers were increased integration and the beginnings of outcomes-based reimbursement. We now had enough technology and bedside clinical applications installed to make a serious run at commercial, real-time clinical decision support.

    The information above gives us a concrete way to frame where most Philippine hospitals are in their hospital information systems journey — which more or less cuts and jumps through the different periods while also dependent on the level of and type of hospital organization (primary, secondary, tertiary and teaching) to which they belong.

    It is also good to point out that several factors mainly influence part of the adoption of these systems in local settings (approximating the following in order of importance):

    For the most part, Philippine hospitals were mostly using systems primarily supporting ADT and other operational requirements. While leading hospitals have blazed a trail of their own by benchmarking their systems globally, most had systems that were mostly siloed or islands among themselves.  Using paper, these hospitals barely even touch and encode clinical data. Such practice leaves doctors and care professionals to depend solely on their own competencies, sorting through paper medical records, and delivering successful outcomes against the growing complexities of providing care.

    But lately, things have been accelerating towards the adoption of better systems that require substantial clinical data because of government mandates related to DOH EMR compliance and Philhealth financial reimbursements.  

    Modern requirements subtly push Philippine hospitals to make use of electronic medical records for reporting statistics. Some of these include the renewal of licenses as well as providing correct clinical data to support claims reimbursements.  The outcome is multi-fold as this forces Philippine healthcare to shift from paper to electronic. It also promotes increased use of data in providing care and upgrade to systems that make better use of IT. Implementing these technologies will reduce manual errors and manage care complexities. Thus, leading to more team collaboration.

    So, can we say that the use of better hospital systems in the country is making progress?  Tell us what you think!

    In another article, we will discuss the available options for hospitals that aspire to step up in their healthcare proposition. As well as differentiate themselves against the competition using IT innovation.

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    Check out our healthcare product, MEDCURIAL. See how it helped some of the biggest hospitals in the country provide better patient outcomes.

    Virtual Launch of the PhilHealth Registry of Newborns

    Virtual Launch of the PhilHealth Registry of Newborns 768 487 Exist Software Labs

    Nearly 350,000 babies are born prematurely in the Philippines each year, accounting for about two in 10 of all babies born. This urgent health crisis faced by our newborns heeds for raising awareness of preterm birth. That’s why on November 17 of every year, the Philippines is one in commemorating World Prematurity Day.

    As the country’s largest health insurance provider, PhilHealth moves a step forward in utilizing accurate data that will improve our vulnerable newborns’ care and health outcomes.

    Tomorrow, at 9 AM, PhilHealth will be hosting a webinar on its official Facebook pageTogether for Babies Born Too Soon: Caring for the Future highlights the virtual launch of the PhilHealth Registry of Newborns.