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A digital approach to make healthcare accessible and affordable
Patient-physician relationship and technology form the fulcrums of health 3.0
8 ways how doctors can digitise healthcare
Health 3.0 is the digital approach to healthcare that focuses on making healthcare accessible, fast, and affordable. It focuses on “consumer-patient archetype” where both patient and physician make use of technology for decision making.
At the core of health 3.0, lies the patient-physician relationship. E-patients have to be more responsible in maintaining health and e-physicians have independence to make use of their knowledge, experience, technology and communication skills to guide e-patients. In health 3.0, physicians follow evidence-informed medicine which further strengthen the patient-physician relationship. Trust is a vital element that makes both the patients and physicians accountable to each other.
The physician should develop trust by listening to the patient and be fully aware of his medical conditions.
Digital transformation is revolutionizing healthcare industry and enabling us to live longer and healthier lives. The following ways show how healthcare is being digitalized:
1. Cloud access
Most hospitals, clinics and insurance companies are now storing data using cloud as it avoids tedious manual paperwork. As per HIPAA laws relating to patient privacy, cloud helps protect the patient’s data. You can obtain 100 GB cloud space from Google at a cost of Rs. 647 per month.
2. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
EHRs are computerized records of patient’s medical history. An EHR system, such as Praxify, streamlines patient record-keeping, reduces management and storage cost, redundancy of work and human errors and increases the quality of service. The cost of installing EHR system may range from Rs.9-45 lakh depending on various factors such as functionality of the EHR, size of the hospital, amount of integration required and mode of operation: on-site or web based.
Physicians can make such an investment by getting a secured Loan Against Property for Doctors up to Rs.2 crore and an unsecured Business Loan for Doctors up to Rs.30 lakh at attractive interest rates, with minimal documentation& doorstep services.
3. Medical billing software
Instead of having a billing department, you can digitise this aspect of your clinic to make it more efficient, streamline it and reduce any room for error. You can use medical billing software, such as RetailGraph or MediXcel, to store and process medical records and insurance information, track inventory and speed up the billing process. This will help you make billing more secure and transparent, while increasing operational and staff efficiency.
4. Hospital Management System
Softwares such as Clinic Master and SkyVF will help you significantly. These hospital management systems digitise all the aspects of your clinic and allow you to sift through the information at a glance. This paperless system helps you track patient records, your schedule and that of other doctors, upcoming appointments, staff on duty, laboratory results, billing information and the inventory of medical supplies. Instead of appointing several people to monitor these aspects, you can make use of a hospital management system.
Telemedicine allows patients to consult with doctors virtually. Such a unit increases productivity by cutting the travelling time and overhead cost. As per the survey in 2015, 80% of the doctors said telemedicine is more effective in managing chronic diseases than normal visits. Furthermore, doctors can reach out to remote areas where healthcare facilities are inadequate. From the patient’s point of view, they can get excellent medical care without stepping out of their home. An approximate cost for setting telemedicine unit could range between Rs.15-25 lakh. Tele Doctor and eHealthopinion are two products that you can leverage to incorporate telemedicine into your practice. A Business Loan for Doctors with a high loan amount of Rs.30 lakh is a great way to take care of such investments. These are collateral-free loans which you give you the money you need in 24 hours.
How doctors can take their practice to the next level
6. Patient Engagement Program
When you constantly communicate with your patients, it shows that you are taking a personal interest in their health. So, they are more likely to return to you instead of going to another doctor. To further this effort, you can implement a patient engagement programme such as Wedmedy. Typically, a software like this one will help you send follow-up messages, monthly newsletters, digital copies of bills and receipts, advertisements and reminders for upcoming appointments.
7. Healthcare wearables
Wearables are devices that can be worn on the body and helps to measure various health parameters. Mobile phone has many apps designed for it to keep a track of your health. Automation helps patient to check pulse, weight, oxygen levels, etc. and enter into mobile patient portals. Wearables and mobile can be linked to generate health report which can be accessed by the physician anywhere.
8. Practice management tools
Practice management tools are software which assist in scheduling appointments, handling patient data, managing bills and insurance claims and generating hospital related reports. These tools are highly flexible, customized, automated and saves time and money. The cost of the software ranges between INR 8 to 10 lakh depending on the practice size, task complexity, available features, choice of platform, and deployment method.
Incorporating these digital practices will help you provide better medical treatment, improve your clinic’s efficiency and also increase the number of patients that you are able to cater to.
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