Philippine Hospitals

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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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.

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.

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.

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.