Healthcare bites the cloud pill

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SummaryTechnology is bringing about a fundamental change in the way healthcare is delivered.

Technology is bringing about a fundamental change in the way healthcare is delivered. For evidence, look at Max Super Specialty Hospital in south Delhi where a significant portion of patient records are now electronic with minimal usage of paper charts. A comprehensive electronic patient health record, computerised physician ordering, bar coded medication, clinical alerts and reminders, and other such innovations are helping the hospital’s doctors and paramedics deliver the highest level of care to its patients.

To put it boldly, science fiction yesterday is evolving into reality today and hinting at tomorrow’s possibility. Doctors at the Max facility actually receive pertinent, evidence-based alerts and reminders as they enter electronic orders for their patients to maximise point of care safety processes for medication administration. Net result: more lives saved from life-threatening conditions and lesser complications due to medical errors.

This turnaround in healthcare has quickly given the Max brand an instant global recognition too. It is the first hospital in India and only sixth in Asia to achieve “Stage 6” on the electronic medical record (EMR) adoption model from Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a Chicago-based organisation focused on the optimal use of IT in the healthcare industry. The EMR adoption model identifies the levels of electronic medical record capabilities ranging from limited ancillary department systems for laboratory, radiology and pharmacy (Stage 1) through a paperless hospital environment (Stage 7). “Max’s innovative use of technology has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of patient care,” says Sid Nair, vice-president and global head, healthcare, Dell Services.

As Max Healthcare’s technology partner since September 2009, Dell Services manages all IT operations for Max Healthcare, including infrastructure management, datacentre hosting, applications portfolio management, project management office, clinical transformation and implementation of electronic health record (EHR). In September 2010, Dell Services converted the IT infrastructure of all Max Healthcare facilities into a private multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) cloud, running remotely from Dell Services datacentre in Noida. This cloud infrastructure made Max Healthcare one of the most technologically advanced healthcare chains in India. As Max Healthcare adds more hospitals to their network, the cloud deployment gives a near plug-and-play capability for IT deployment.

Down south, the hospital information systems (HIS) application for Narayana Hrudayalaya is completely deployed on the cloud. An infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution from HCL Infosystems is being deployed across 22 Narayana Hrudalaya hospitals and has been already rolled out in Bangalore, Ahmedabad,

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