Application Of IT For A Modern Hospital

Ramesh Jambhekar,(President ­ Projects), Jupiter Lifeline HospitalLocated in Thane, Jupiter Lifeline Hospital is a 325-bed super specialty hospital offering a wide array of healthcare services such as Cardiac Care, Cosmetic Surgery, Dentistry, Endocrinology, Orthopaedics, and many others.

Information Technology(IT)is basically a combination of many technologies and sciences for data finding & capturing, data storing, processing,and transmission & retrieving in the form which is suitable for decision making. The information can be displayed in any desirable format and can be printed too.

The IT can be put to work in patient information system and stores management which includes creating store records and reordering levels of stock with its valuation of medicines & nonmedical items, and finding its consumption patterns.

Dr. Ankit Thakker, Executive Director

HR records and working out salaries based on Biometric records, financial information on daily billing, and receivables & dues on daily & cumulative basis are all conventional IT applications which most of the big and modern hospitals have.

In many western countries, IT is extended to several other areas and it encompasses the entire hospital operations as follows:

Patient Information System with EPIC:
When a patient checks in the hospital either in IPD or OPD, he is given an iPad to enter following information: His/her Name, identification details, medical history, and next of the kin, ailment and other insurance information. A software called EPIC takes charge of this information and administers patients' health information 24/7. This is based on of hospital's action taken on patient from time to time. It also includes costs in his portfolio or file. This information then is available online live to all concerned so that the patient is treated quickly. The information regarding medicines prescribed goes to pharmacy of the hospital for routine work inventory control.

Normally, all patients are given identity wrist bands. The staff on duty doctors, nurses and consulting
doctors all have information on patient at all time and even from home the doctors can guide a nurse on duty or resident doctor. All the information is available online but it could be printed and given to patient.

In case of emergency, the next of kin gives all necessary information. However, though this software is ultimate in application of IT for healthcare industry, it is prohibitively expensive (approximately 100 million dollars). Hence, many healthcare people have developed their own software for important areas in parts and then consolidate the report as required. But it does not give total live information and is not available 24/7. In this case, all reports are separately printed and the patient’s file has total consolidated information for doctors and hospital staff. The patient’s file of hospital has photostat copies or scanned copies of all hospital findings and it is stored in MRD.

•For OPD Patients: A patient on arrival meets the receptionist who arranges doctor's appointment. The patient makes the payment and the receipt is filed for doctor's reference. If the doctor suggests tests in addition to prescription, the patient meets the receptionist and he arranges further testing and next appointment with test report. It goes on, but OPD patient's files are not stored at all. Normally, patient is charged fee before consultation or testing.

•Laboratory Testing: When a patient comes for testing of pathological tests, the sample is drawn of blood, urine and others, and sent to testing lab. On testing, reports are sent to receptionist who collects fees and releases the reports. The same is done for radiological testing. For admitted patient the samples are taken in room and test reports go to patient's file for doctor's inspection and action. For radiological reports, patient is taken to radiology department and imaging is done. The report is filed in patient's file for doctor to assess. The charges of testing goes to patient folio for running bill. The inhouse patients are given medicines from hospital pharmacy and are billed to patient's directly.

•Daily running bill is submitted to each patient admitted in patient's room. It includes all costs incurred for a patient. Normally, the daily bill is a running bill so that it can be checked by patient's relatives.

•In U.S. a patient can suggest the name of pharmacy from where the medicines are supplied. The patient assures the pharmacy and hospital that payment can be arranged through insurance.

•Reports to Accreditation Agency: It is mandatory to feed various types of reports to accrediting agencies of various protocols followed by hospital for all types of procedures and changes made in those from time-to-time. This is done by the IT on a regular basis, and the information is also given to TPAs.

•All financial reports are worked-out from data available from hospital reports for efficient running.

•Most of the tertiary hospitals have been using all conventional IT applications, but it may not be too long that the case paper noting system gets eliminated soon and patient care is undertaken without delay. When doctor comes to the ward, he should be prepared and totally aware about patients' status regarding his health. It is only possible if all patient's records are available online to the doctor on his cellphone or laptop. This can also help him see more patients daily and increase his productivity.

•Research undertaken by software design engineers suggest that in next few years, all repetitive decisions made by consulting doctors can be done by computers, and doctor's job will be redundant.

We have tried to touch only very important areas of IT applications in hospital. However in western countries and particularly in U.S., paperless work is done in almost all hospitals and the treatment of the patient is without delay.