Fake Medical Bills- A black hole in the Healthcare industry

FAKE BILL

Few days ago I visited a hospital in Pune and  by chance had a chat with a patient . The patient made me to cry as he was struggling to arrange funds for the treatment of his young kid fighting with Cancer and it was a quite big amount. I offered him some amount which was a bare minimum or negligible compared to his requirement and suggested him to look for some NGOs that helps in fund raising for Cancer patients and consoled him to have faith  in God. I  was fully upset for the whole day thinking about such people across us.

The next morning I was shocked to read a newspaper article which was about the misappropriation of government funds in crores in the form of fake medical bills. It was a case of government hospital that diverted the allocated funds which was actually kept for procuring medicines and various other medical equipment for BPL(Below Poverty Line) patients. Moreover It was done with an intention to clear some fictitious bills of last fiscal. This made me more frustrated thinking about the current messy situation that have not even spared the healthcare industry.

Can there be any solution to improve this situation? This may not be so easy as it needs to be transformed from the grass root level of our system.  But still some smart efforts may play wonders who knows.. I hope you can guess. I want to draw your attention towards the Information Technology that has brought a revolution not only in our nation but across the globe.

Today some private players are offering bunch of  IT products for healthcare units that not only  makes their workflows easier and quicker but also restricts any form of anomalies or malpractices to take place. Though it may not give a guarantee to make an environment corrupt free but still to great extent it can create an impact as it may not be easy to generate computerized fake bills or manipulate the existing bills thereby making the whole process accurate & transparent.  Moreover any kind of activity with the software application will reflect to one and all linked with the application. In addition to this for every action some sort of impression or proof will be left behind within the system. So it becomes easy to track or identify the culprit.

Spigot Software  offers a complete suite of Healthcare products or what we say a full -fledged Hospital Management System (Hospital Information System, HMS, HMIS, HIS) with a very detailed and elaborate Billing module for hospitals and clinics of any size. It’s a decade old well established organization with a highly experienced management and a team of highly dedicated professionals based out of Bangalore.

So to conclude whatever be the strength or capability  a technology  may be having, until  and unless our attitude and mindset is not in the right track nothing can change in this world and for our every wrong step others will have to suffer unnecessarily.

REBANTA DUTTA

 The writer is a Marketing Evangelist @Spigot Software

 

Is Healthcare Industry Ready to Enter the CLOUD?

 

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Once in a life time every father does a tremendous research to explore the best hospitals within their budget. I hope you can guess the situation. This is the moment when somebody is entitled with the designation of “Dad”. As like an aircraft needs a solid runway for landing much the same a baby deserves a right hospital for its advent. In our life we might have taken lot of decisions casually but at this point it becomes a challenge to discover the best health care unit for our next generation.

The hospital management can assure a guaranteed quality service only when its administration runs smoothly with its complex processes completely synchronized. That’s where a Hospital Management System Software comes into play.

The healthcare industry has traditionally been considered to be a slow adopter of technology. With the recent studies and some preliminary assessments of the various hospital functions it has been found that most healthcare organizations are still in the 20th century mindset, as they depend on workflows that consist of paper medical records, duplicate tests, film-based radiological images, handwritten notes, fragmented IT systems, and silos of information that anyhow gives invitation to uncontrolled revenue leaks, pilferages and more generally losses. This is really a serious matter that cannot be just ignored. To make it more complex, this scenario described above is prevalent in most of the health care setups. What I mean to say, the health care setups are slowly adopting technology and if at all some adoptions are going on or has happened, it is mainly in the urban centers.

However, it is to be noted that the scenario is drastically different in rural India which accounts for over 70% of the population, there; the hospital lacks even the basic infrastructure. This means that the doctors, nurses, administrators, and other personnel working in the rural hospitals are not exposed to new advances of IT at all, as opposed to their counterparts in the major cities. Can you believe this?

This brings to light the wide range of opportunity areas where these functions that have the potential to get automated and controlled seamlessly by the various modules of a Hospital Management System Software. This proposition becomes more interesting in the current context of technological advancements, the automation solutions can be made “Cloud Enabled” with the software being available at any point of time and that can be accessed from anywhere, making the system more efficient and less human intensive. This solution will definitely include the basic administrative functions like patient enquiry, appointment & scheduling, registration, ward management including discharge, billing, laboratory management, management information system reports, HR management like leave & attendance / payroll, communication (SMS, Email and online), procurement and Inventory Management, Ambulance Management and so on.

In addition, solutions like automation of prescription, tagging a patient’s record to a particular investigation report, images, videos etc., can be a part of overall scheme of automation. Furthermore with the automation of the entire gamut of activities in a hospital, will definitely improve decision making, capacity planning can be done in a better way, less time to retrieve the history of medical records of a patient and thereby creating high patient satisfaction. These heavyweight features will really create a huge and a positive impact in this entire industry.

One big benefit that cloud enabled Hospital Management System Software provides is that, it helps the hospitals and healthcare providers to use the applications, hardware, and services on a “Pay Per Use” model, which allows them to avoid heavy capital expenditure on buying and deploying expensive technology. This is something that really justifies the attraction towards cloud.

By the way the good news is the government seems to be quite serious this time as they are working hard and making sustained efforts in collaboration with private players to create uniformity in healthcare technology adoption. They do believe that Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors in terms of overall patient reach & satisfaction, revenue generation and employment. Therefore, it becomes imperative to modernize the healthcare automation software with the changing market dynamics.

Few major hurdles have to be made sure that they do not exist anymore, if any of the latest advances in Cloud & Mobile Space has to be successfully utilized. The availability of high speed network bandwidth & uninterrupted/clean power supply will be the key to success of these advents in the technology space.

Another major hurdle that comes across before embarking on any large-scale cloud initiative is to facilitate healthcare professional with an appropriate training tailored according to the needs of the users to adopt the technology at a faster pace. And it is quite important in order to take the entire ecosystem into confidence to make the usage of these new technologies smooth & successful.

India’s competitive advantage lies in its large pool of well-trained medical professionals. India is also cost competitive compared to its peers in Asia and Western countries. The cost of surgery in India is about one-tenth of that in the US or Western Europe. This is something we should really be proud of and to enhance this strength in the right direction would definitely be the main goal. Therefore, Information Technology with Cloud Adoption can be the game changer creating a transformational shift in the healthcare industry.

Therefore, to conclude, unless and until we change our mindset to adopt ourselves with the upcoming trends and the latest technology, we will have to keep struggling with our day to day challenges that will restrain our capabilities to provide a cost effective quality service.

And it is not the only responsibility of the government or private institutions alone to bring about a change, every one of us are equally responsible to make use of this technological marvel to create great benefits to the industry and a great patient satisfaction.

REBANTA DUTTA

The writer is a Marketing Evangelist @ Spigot Software.