Cloud-based EMR to Facilitate Holistic, Interportable Healthcare: Chander Verma
As the country moves rapidly to achieve the Universal Health Coverage under the ambit of Ayushman Bharat, a Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) programme, managing health records is going to be a key challenge for the healthcare providers. Because, the existing platform that generates patient healthcare records digitally – electronic medical records (EMRs) also known as electronic health records (EHRs) incorporating previous health history of patients including diagnosis and tests is inherently user restrictive and fragmented in nature.
Most of the EMR platforms that are in operation today are restricted to a particular healthcare provider. In addition, sharing of the details seamlessly between the healthcare providers and the patients is another challenge as only printed reports are handed out to the patients which cannot be transferred digitally. There is an absence of cross-functional platforms which can integrate both medical professionals and patients. Further these EMR platforms cannot communicate with each other, making a strong case for inter-portability which can ensure quicker and effective diagnosis and leads to appropriate treatment and personalized care. It reduces unnecessary investigations as well.
However, shifting technology frontiers has helped surmount these problems with disruptors developing intelligent cloud-based solutions to share EMR. Few private healthcare firms have developed cloud-based EMR platforms by consolidating their legacy EMR and practice management systems into the cloud. They are seeing tangible results already. Such platforms help sharing, processing and accessing data instantly from anywhere.
Given the countrywide spread of the healthcare facilities, implementation of EMR through software and hardware requires huge investment. Cloud-based EMR solutions are essentially cost-effective methods that facilitate real-time data collection, data storage and exchange between healthcare providers and medical professionals. Cloud infrastructure has high throughput and can store large volume of data which are key to efficient data analysis of large patients’ population.
Advantage Cloud-Based EMR
Besides overcoming the limitations of existing EMR platforms, cloud based solutions offer an array of benefits to the user industry. First, the implementation of cloud based EMR solutions are simple since they run on worldwide web (www) rather than on a computer. This means there is no need for installing additional hardware or software before migrating into cloud. Users can avoid cash lock-ups and get a faster return on investment with quicker implementation process. They can also save cost greatly by connecting to cloud as they need not have to pay the myriad costs associated with client-server model including software and hardware costs, licensing fees, maintenance costs, recurring updates and patches cost. This is turning out to be a tipping point for cloud-based EMR providers. Low investment cost is making such platforms affordable to small medical practitioners and healthcare providers encouraging them to think big. Besides, these platforms are scalable and can enhance the scope for collaboration among medical practitioners as they could access patient data from anywhere.
Although Cloud-based EMR platforms are becoming an integral part of the healthcare industry across the world, it will face a bevy of barriers to become successful in India. A big poser these platforms face is the lack of inter-portability among the legacy EMR systems based on client-server model. For this, the industry has to evolve standardized systems and formats that are platform-neutral and can be used by any cloud-based platforms of different makes. Similarly, it has to address the colossal task of data migration. Whenever a new EMR system is rolled out, the hospital data has to be migrated to the new system. This can prove to be a major challenge thanks to the sheer size and complexity of the data.
On the balance, the cloud-based EMR makes a compelling case for updating healthcare information systems on a national scale as the country moves to a universal health care system. Interoperability, data accessibility and reduced costs are tipping the scale in favour of cloud-based EMR platforms. However, challenges such as the standardization of formats need to be addressed by the platform providers. Once these teething troubles are overcome, the healthcare information system is in for a shakeout with patient data, connectivity, comprehensive communications, and insightful analytics just a click away for the healthcare providers. As the technological backbones for healthcare information evolve, low cost cloud computing is turning out to be a hit among medical practitioners and healthcare providers irrespective of their size. To adopt could-based EMR successfully, the application of Information and Communication Application (ICT) can’t be restricted to billing registration anymore. There should be a growing spirit of information exchange in the healthcare systems among players.
Source Link : https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/cloud-based-emr-to-facilitate-holistic-interportable-healthcare-chander-verma/70956784