Need for digitization of health records in private practice

Stethoscope and GlobeToday, doctors everywhere are trying to adopt newer technology to improve their clinical practices. Doctors want to improve communication between patients, hospitals, and their referral doctors. Some are utilizing scheduling and appointment software for online appointments, and some offer a dedicated helpline or SMS reminders for patients. Mobile apps and telemedicine are being used as well. Pathology labs and radiology clinics are now emailing patient reports to the patients and referring doctors.

Every practicing physician wants to ensure his/her patients’ satisfaction. The time spent by the doctor with his patient, as well as the clinic’s waiting rooms at the outpatient clinics testify to the patient experience. What’s more is that the doctor-patient ratio in India is quite low, so existing doctors are overburdened with the volume of patients and time constraints.

In India, private expenditure in healthcare is about 70% [1], so most patients seek private practitioners and private hospitals for their health advice and treatment. Nearly all of the health data of every Indian resides within the private clinics and hospitals. Hospitals are showing keen interest and have taken steps forward to digitize patient data. However, clinics are lagging behind, and paper records are still their choice method.

Every clinic or outpatient setting has 3 types of patients:

  1. Walk-in: first visit will take more time for history and examination
  2. Referred patient: first visit will take more time for history and examination
  3. Follow-up: examination and follow-up treatment

Every physician examines a mixed bag of patients every single day. It is impossible for them to remember each patient’s findings when he/she comes for a follow-up. As of right now, paper records are the only source of information during...

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2 Comments

  1. Dr. Kasim Kolakkadan
    Posted Mar 2014 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    when i came back to India after working in Saudi, UK, and Australia I was looking for an ideal Electronic medical record and didn’t find one for my private clinic. problems i faced are
    1- good one are costly for Indian scenario
    2- net connections are not reliable in rural areas
    3-the patient load is too-much and the time spend on each patient is very less
    4- As other colleagues are not using it so electronic communication to them is difficult

  2. Arun Kumbhat
    Posted Sep 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Dr.Kasim, would be happy to speak to you.
    My e-mail is arun.kumbhat@gmail.com

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