How precious are your ideas?

There’s a famous saying that “Ideas are cheap, execution is everything”.

Having lived through some moments where my ideas were instantly ‘adopted’ elsewhere, rapidly proliferating, while I was still dragging my feet around it, living in a cocoon of grandiosity. It was clear that while I was thinking about those ideas, perhaps thousands, if not millions of people were having the very same idea. Unfortunately what matters is how those ideas are translated into reality.

The culture of sharing ideas must be cultivated. Breaking down barriers to communications between different specialties and industries will be important if we are to make significant advances in technology. The unfounded fear that your ideas might be hijacked will only hamper its execution.

Although the intellectual property (IP) rights must be respected, early ideas are likely not unique to that individual. Once the ideas become a tangible project, talking about IP rights become more apt.

In Healthcare, the communication between healthcare and technology professionals must be as seamless as possible. Developing digital solutions for healthcare requires a clear understanding of the processes and its complexities. This aids in developing meaningful and impactful solutions for healthcare.

The next time you have an idea, develop it by sharing with a clear plan of bringing it into reality.

How to best utilise tech in medicine?

medical-tech
Technology can be expensive in healthcare. Developing a custom solution can cost one thousands to millions of ringgit to create. Even then, the solutions are usually fraught with bugs and inabilities to integrate with other existing softwares. The market is so fragmented that solutions are usually purchased separately resulting in the use of different solutions at the same hospital or place of practice.

Thus the use of technology in healthcare can be disruptive in every sense of the word. Although we cannot escape the digitisation of healthcare and the many benefits that it brings, we cannot deny that, perhaps, it is still not quite ready for prime time medicine. The use of big data analytics and how we interpret the information, following which we present that in useful manner to the patients in order to bring benefits, is still science fiction on most occasions. It adds noise and sometimes confusion to the art of medicine. The art of looking at the patient, asking the right questions, watching the non-verbal cues and at the same time exude empathy, will soon be a lost art as digitisation aims to rob both doctors and patients of the chance to “intimately” know each other.

Most EMRs in the market is packed with features. It almost parallels a airplane cockpit control panels. There are lots of devices that gives out a lot of information. The key is to focus on the right things at the right time and to interpret the information in a coherent manner, especially during critical times. Training in EMRs is often not robust and regular enough for healthcare personnel. There is literally no checking mechanism to ensure that the system is utilised appropriately and that staff will be trained regularly to ensure quality of data being entered. It is assumed that this should be second nature to healthcare staff, when clearly it is not. Most EMRs require substanstial learning and practice to be fully proficient.

In my opinion, the best systems are ones that uses tech which is familiar to all. Large multinational tech giants have done some of the work for us in terms of gaining familiarity, be it Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Dropbox, Evernote and the list goes on and on. Perhaps using some of these platforms to launch a healthcare solution will be best in order to minimise re-learning and to ensure that the systems continue to be developed and improved on. Perhaps custom made EMRs are going to be the thing of the past as many of them are not easily upgradable and spending on server space and security can be a very costly affair.

Indeed, the technology that we need is already there for us to use, maybe in an innovative way. A way that it was perhaps not intended to do when it was first developed. This is also way cheaper. Tech does not have to be expensive. It just takes some creativity and bravery to think of ways to use existing tech solutions in unconventional ways.

Public-private co-operation needed in healthcare

Agree that there is a huge discrepancy in the services between private and public healthcare. Although the dear Minister insists that the population should utilise public healthcare services, the deficiencies and weaknesses of the system is often not addressed.

There is a greater need for public-private healthcare co-operation. This can help the public services cope with the overcrowding at their clinics and hospitals.

Private hospitals and doctors must also ensure that there is added value in paid healthcare services. There must be a distinction in private healthcare, focusing on patient experience and satisfaction. Outcome based fee may also be a solution to ensure added value for private healthcare.

Universal insurance coverage should be the aim of the Malaysian government. This would also ensure that newer more effective but expensive medications are still available to the poor. We have witnessed the inability of the Government to cope with financial assistance when it comes to more expensive therapies. Subsidies are sometimes limited to a very basic care.

The Minister must take the lead in this. Otherwise it will also be a catastrophe for the public healthcare services as well when it can no longer cope with the ever escalating cost of healthcare.

Healthcare budgeting, much to learn

This article appeared on Medicine Malaysia,

Following this article on Healthcare IT News,

technology

Technology leads hospital expenditures

Investments in HIT, data analytics and modern clinical infrastructure are foundational for providers

October 29, 2015

Hospitals are continuing to make big investments in technology as they recognize the need to effectively manage population health, according to C-suite execs polled for Premier’s Fall 2015 Economic Outlook survey.

More than 64 percent of respondents reported an increase to capital budgets this year, reflecting the need for investments in advanced technology to meet value-based care goals. In fact, 39 percent of these respondents increased their budgets by at least 10 percent.

The biggest investment for hospital expenditures is on health information technology, according to 72.2 percent of respondents to the survey.

“Investments in HIT, data analytics and modern clinical infrastructure are foundational for providers to seamlessly deliver population health services across their inpatient, outpatient and alternative care sites,” said Michael J. Alkire, chief operating officer of Premier, in a press statement.

“Increasing capital budgets are a positive indicator that health systems are better equipped to invest in building and wiring care centers that can meet these new demands,” he added.

Budget increases reflect a greater focus on healthcare providers’ needs for greater patient engagement, with almost 55 percent of respondents looking to increase these capabilities over the next three years. Additionally, nearly half of respondents will expand their budgets to focus on health data analytics.

Continuing story here..

New hospitals in Malaysia must be built on the foundations of modern technology. Curating a hospital requires an in-depth knowledge of current technologies and perhaps even forecasting future technologies and accommodating upgrading when required.

Unfortunately technology requires money. The less we put into it, the lesser the technology and the quicker it gets phased out.

The expansion of medical information and the need to manage a swath of data has necessitated this embrace of digitisation. It has revolutionised care in many aspects and will continue to be the pivot for change.

Investment in technology will likely yield benefits in the long run. Cutting costs of healthcare by trimming unnecessary patient visits and reducing medical errors or making a more accurate assessment of the patient with artificial intelligence, is an advantage that requires some initial financial commitment and trust.

Spending in healthcare cannot be compromised if we are to remain at the cutting edge of science and medicine. Spending in research, similarly, cannot be compromised if we are to build a society that can propel a country to the edge of space.

We have a lot to learn on how we budget for the future, not just for the next financial year.