Intelligent hospitals are pivotal to smarter healthcare delivery: Experts
A panel discussion hosted by Express Healthcare, in association with Schneider Electric, highlight the importance of adopting the right technology blueprint in hospitals
Lakshmipriya Nair – Mumbai
Express Healthcare, a leading publication from The Indian Express Group, alongwith Schneider Electric, recently organised a knowledge-sharing event in Ahmedabad. The event brought the experts, thought leaders and peers from the healthcare industry to jointly discuss just what it takes to leverage technology to keep processes and infrastructure at peak performance, anywhere and anytime in the healthcare sector.
Held at Ahmedabad, the event revolved around intelligent hospitals. It commenced with live demos of solutions from Schneider Electric for the healthcare sector. A presentation by Anindya Nandy, Country Leader – Healthcare, Schneider Electric gave an overview on the changing paradigm of healthcare and spoke on making hospitals more intelligent to improve efficiency and efficacy of healthcare delivery.
The highlight of the event was a panel discussion which centred on the importance of adopting the right technology blueprint in hospitals to continuously improve patient safety, boost patient satisfaction levels, and reinforce hospital security, among other issues, all within a tight budget. It highlighted that leveraging technology effectively can lead to improved financial performance and ‘smarter’ healthcare delivery, thereby creating more intelligent hospitals. It also touched on the gaps in current systems and the challenges which are hindering swifter adoption of technology in hospitals.
Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor, Express Healthcare & Express Pharma was the moderator for the session. The panelists were Ravi Bhandari, CEO, Shalby Hospitals, Ahmedabad; Dr Bharat Gadhvi, CEO, HCG Hospital, Ahmedabad; Neeraj Lal, COO, Sunshine Global Hospitals, Vadodara; Neha Lal, GM Admin & HR, GCS Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre; Pankaj R Dharkar, President, Pankaj Dharkar and Associates and Srirangarajan Kadaba, Director, Solution Business, Schneider Electric.
Roychowdhury, in the course of discussion, raised several pertinent issues such as what does it entail to be an intelligent hospital, what are the encumbrances which prevent hospitals from becoming truly intelligent, the roadmap for hospital providers in India to become world-class facilities etc. Bhandari began the conversation by asking a very relevant point. He asked that since the emphasis of the discussion is on intelligent hospitals, does it mean that hospitals were not intelligent until now? He then pointed out that hospitals, especially in the private sector, have tried to be at par with the current standards but also clarified that intelligence is an evolving concept and a continuous process. He advised the audience to keep upgrading their standards and adopt technology to improve their processes, reduce errors and offer best quality services to its patients.
Continuing the discussion, Dr Gadhvi pointed out any intelligent hospital does not rest only on technology and systems but also on intelligent people. He highlighted how important it is for people in a hospital to be intelligent and emphasised on the need for effective training measures to optimise the use of these intelligent systems. He also said that there is a need for a mindset change and make systems for idiot proof.
Kadaba took up the conversation and spoke on how data needs to be effectively evaluated and analysed to ensure that intelligent hospitals are created and sustained. He gave instances of how data can be effectively utilised to build intelligent hospitals. He spoke on the need to invest wisely and train hospital personnel to become more intelligent. He also expressed the hope that soon all hospitals would go down this route.
Neha Lal gave an account of the challenges and benefits of implementing intelligent systems in a large public hospital. She also elaborated on the measures taken at her hospital to become more smart. But, at the same time she also admitted that first there is a need for measures to train people who would be using these systems to optimise the potential of intelligent systems.
Neeraj Lal emphasised on the need for smart people to run smart systems as well. He also pointed out that now India has solution providers like Schneider Electric who offer great products to become intelligent organisations. He also gave examples of how things are done at his hospital. He also addressed a major issue that prevents hospitals from opting for intelligent systems – cost. However, he pointed out that the advantages of investing in the right technology are many and those who opt to do it at the right time would emerge as the leaders in the industry.
Dharkar, as an infrastructure expert, spoke on various technological advances which are making healthcare very efficient. At the same time, he also pointed out that operating and maintaining these systems effectively come with their own set of challenges. He said that architects and infra consultants in healthcare should incorporate many of these systems right from the designing stage to avoid hassles later. He also urged companies like Schneider Electric to come up with data or studies which give a comprehensive idea about the extent of the benefits accrued by implementing intelligent systems and processes in a hospital.
The audience raised several queries and interacted with the panelists to further understand the role of technology in enhancing healthcare. It was followed by a vote of thanks by A Revanand, Regional Sales Director, Proximity, Schneider Electric. He thanked all the participants for making the event a great success.