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of the patient's unique ID and the medicine will get an alert if the time isn't within one hour of the time at which the medicine was meant to be given. "This kind of quality checks are built in," she said.

In-built Quality Checks COMPANY DASHBOARD Company: Max healthcare Established: 2001 headquarters: delhi and NCR Services: healthcare network chairman: analjit singh

The EHR enables a one-window information of any given patient's care at any point in time, and helps clearly bring out how a patient is responding to the prescribed regime. Indirect benefit for the patient-customer is that the EHR ensures that the charges are right -- no duplicates of any tests, no wrong medications are administered. The TPA now knows what is to be done almost immediately and the patient knows clearly why a doctor is asking for a particular test. This would also enable the faster approval of health insurance claims. In addition to the PCs that doctors have, there are also laptops-on-wheels trolleys that have been further customised with the addition of bar-code scanners, a pull-out shelf for the keyboards, a sanitised hardtop that ensures infections don't spread from one patient to another. These trolleys also allow the doctors to view images access the EHR using the hospital-wide wifi and so on.

Quantifiable Benefits

Photos by Subhojit Paul

neena pahuja, CIO, Max Healthcare has implemented EHR across several hospitals of the group, benefiting patients and the company alike

cin, and another for the generic, paracetamol. "We actually now store medication from generics, and of course the brands also there" which brings in a lot of efficiency in the system, she said. Keeping track of these helps in easily monitoring which medication was given to which patient at what time. Every patient in the hospital will have a unique ID assigned to the patient and the barcodes of the medication given to that patient will get associated with that ID. When a doctor prescribes a particular medicine to be administered at a particular time, the nurse after scanning the bar codes

The EHR went live in August and in so far four hospitals have become part of it, including three new hospitals that the chain started since. While the main objectives of quality of care and continuity of care are being met by this implementation, Pahuja expects that there will be some quantifiable financial benefits as well. For one, she expects that the project will eventually lead to a lot of savings in paper. For the patients, this would mean significantly reduced ing periods for the discharge processes to be completed, for example. In some cases, the streamlined quality and continuity of care might even cut down the number of days the patient needs to stay in the hospital itself, improving the hospital's "average days of stay" record. Pahuja's team has spent approximately 300 sessions on training the doctors and other personnel in using the EHR. The EHR was implemented by Dell Inc.'s IT services team and Max Healthcare used an open-source product called WorldVistA, that Pahuja said has been customised for Max Healthcare's specifications, including HIPAA compliance.

Soon, Analytics In future, the hospital will continue to add more systems to the EHR. One such project that will be integrated soon is a Radiology Information System that will use a speechto-text software programme and make a specialists' observations and dictated reports available within a matter of minutes. EHR's integration with several other systems may also allow Max to start looking at trends in instances of various diseases, and their causes. The Chief Technology Officer Forum

cto forum 21 November 2011


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