Health 3.0 is the digital approach to healthcare that focuses on making healthcare accessible, fast, and affordable. It focuses on the ‘consumer-patient archetype’ where both patient and physician use technology for decision making.
Physician’s role in health 3.0
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 the independence to use their knowledge, experience, technology and communication skills to guide e-patients. In health 3.0, physicians follow evidence-informed medicine, which further strengthens 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.
Healthcare going the digital way
Digital transformation is revolutionising the healthcare industry and enabling us to live longer and healthier lives. The following ways show how healthcare is being digitalised:
1. Cloud access
Most hospitals, clinics and insurance companies are now storing data using the cloud to avoid tedious manual paperwork. As per HIPAA laws relating to patient privacy, the cloud helps protect the patient’s data. You can obtain 100 GB of cloud space from Google at the cost of Rs. 647 per month.
2. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
EHRs are computerised records of a 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 to 45 lakh depending on various factors such as the 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 crores and an unsecured business loan for doctors up to Rs. 42 lakh at attractive interest rates, with minimal documentation and 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. These paperless systems help 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 use 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 effectively manages 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 to 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. 42 lakh is a great way to take care of such investments. These are collateral-free loans that give you the money you need in 24 hours.
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, software like this 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 help to measure various health parameters. A mobile phone has many apps designed for it to keep track of your health. Automation allows patients to check pulse, weight, oxygen levels, etc. and enter into mobile patient portals. Wearables and mobile can be linked to generate health reports which can be accessed by the physician anywhere.
8. Practice management tools
Practice management tools assist in scheduling appointments, handling patient data, managing bills and insurance claims and generating hospital-related reports. These tools are highly flexible, customised, automated and save time and money. The cost of the software ranges between Rs. 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 increase the number of patients you can cater to.
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