Reforming Healthcare Through It

Neeraj Lal, Cluster Head & Vice President, Rainbow Children's HospitalThere is an increased use of Information technology in various fields to increase productivity, cost efficiency and streamline the processes. In healthcare the use of IT has contributed for better patient care, cost efficiency, and reduced errors, standardizing the protocols.

Use of information technology has played an important role in terms of Hospital management software and its possible integrations which has a range of uses right from patient appointment scheduling to the management of his records. Gone are the times when the patients and the hospitals had to make multiple calls to book and confirm the appointments, now everything is a click away. No doubt that the bigger organisations have benefitted by IT hugely, but the smaller set ups have also benefitted by letting the clinicians pay more attention towards their medical practice by saving their valuable time which was used for the manual maintenance and retrieval of patient records.

Use of IT has reduced the man power dependency hugely in bigger organisations thus helping the organisation to maintain the continuity of SOPs despite of high attrition rates in few areas of hospitals.

Benefits of IT in patient appointment scheduling, Q management in OPDs, Electronic maintenance of records, in built Patient education tools in devices, remote access of patient records to doctors has been very useful for the patients whereas use of information system to analyse the wait time, study the costs, Easy access of patient records, MIS reports in Business analysis has reformed the way organisations are dealing with their businesses.
Patient Care and Management Through Information


Use of IT has revolutionised the patient care. Now the small and large healthcare set ups are dependent on appointment booking platforms which has replaced the conventional calling systems, this is saving time and cost both to hospitals and the patients. This has helped in reduction of man power and also reduced the errors and delays of conventional calling systems.
Lead management through software has helped track the inflow of patients and provides a wide opportunity for data analysis. The innovation of such technology has been patient centric. Patient is given all the required attention, he is constantly motivated to seek support and is monitored all the time. Technology like the patient Q management systematically manages the patient inflow to a doctor.

Patient education and exchange of information between a doctor / hospital and the patient has saved time and cost for both the sides through IT like in exchange of lab and radiology reports for a doctor’s opinion.

Patients who are staying miles away can now have their first consult with the doctor without even meeting him personally. This had brought down the first visit apprehensions faced by few patients to an extent. Hospitals have designed their own personalised apps to help patients get to them, these apps not only contain the organisation / hospital information but also has a lot of patient education content which are validated by the experts in the field.

IT has been very useful in the maintenance patient records. Digitalizing the records has helped in saving the storage space and retrieval has been made easy. These digital records are safe unlike the conventional paper records which can get are more susceptible for physical damages. Digital records can be accessed and shared remotely. The lab and radiology reports can be also be scanned and stored. There is newer technology to store the radiology reports in required resolution.

Follow ups have been made more systematic by setting up of timely notifications to the patient and the doctor or hospital, this has been very useful in cases where the patients are asked for short interval follow up visits such as in vaccinations, chemotherapy, post-surgery follow ups, physiotherapy, study of slowly progressing chronic ailments etc.


picture archiving and communications system, a networkof computers used by radiology departments that replaces filmwith electronically stored and displayed digital images. It provides archives for storage of multimodality images, integratesimages with patient database information, facilitates laser printingof images, and displays both images and patient information at work stations throughout the network. It also allows viewing of images in remote locations. This uses a server to store and allow facile access to high-quality radiologic images, including conventional films, CT, MRI, PET scans and other medical images over a network.

Business intelligence tools have been very useful to analyse the business trends within the company and in comparison with the competitors. These Business Intelligence tools are placed on top of the regular information systems to get data feed. These data which is been extracted from the information system of Hospital can give out various analytical reports which can be interpreted to analyse and improvise business. Sometime the BI tools also give an idea to organisations about their market placement midst their competitors. These tools are extremely useful to plan and strategize marketing activities.
To summarize healthcare professionals have relied hugely on IT to direct, retain, educate, monitor, treat and follow up their patients which has been beneficial for both the sides. The innovation in this field is very dynamic and is warmly welcome by healthcare professionals like me!!