How a partner-managed cloud unlocks the benefits of 'hospital-as-a-service'

A partner-managed cloud unlocks the benefits of this service, says Peter Mills, Healthcare Deal Executive - Sales and Service Management at T-Systems South Africa.


Johannesburg, 22 Mar 2018
Read time 4min 00sec
Peter Mills, Healthcare Deal Executive - Sales and Service Management at T-Systems South Africa.
Peter Mills, Healthcare Deal Executive - Sales and Service Management at T-Systems South Africa.

* Modern 'hospital-as-a-service' cloud solutions present significant advantages over outdated systems.
* Hospitals are able to procure all technology as a service so that they can focus on their core business functions.
* Facilities are able to maximise patient care, improve profitability, and minimise risk/liability.

Across all developing economies, both public and private sector healthcare professionals are grappling with the challenge of providing quality medical care at an affordable price, says Peter Mills, Healthcare Deal Executive - Sales and Service Management at T-Systems South Africa.

Managing a hospital or clinic is certainly a tough challenge, as leaders must coordinate various healthcare disciplines and specialists, while minimising risk and liability, remaining up-to-date with regulation, and evaluating the latest trends and innovations in medical science.

Outdated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and previous generation 'Hospital Information Systems' often compound the challenges - hindering effective decision-making and leaving governance gaps, as well as exposing the hospitals to cyber security threats, revenue leakage and solutions that do not support a digital transformation journey.

But there are solutions in latest-generation, 'hospital-as-a-service' solutions: powerful cloud platforms that are managed and customised by your ICT partner. These platforms always remain current with the latest trends in technology within the medical sector, and position you for a future where big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will unlock new opportunities.

'Hospital-as-a-service' allows medical facilities to integrate every aspect of their operations into a single nerve-centre - linking up everything from admissions, to patient records, doctor engagements, theatre and specialist equipment usage, pharmaceuticals, billing, laboratory orders and results, movement of patients between radiology and the hospital and accurate medical aid case and claims management.

And as the world shifts towards a cloud-based approach of delivering and enhancing technology platforms, medical centres get the advantages of monthly licensed-based billing (an OPEX cost model). As there's no longer any need for large CAPEX-based technology investments, funds can be redirected to strategic assets such as theatre improvements, purchasing the latest medical devices, and hospital expansion to accommodate more patients.

So, just what are the advantages of 'hospital-as-a-service' platforms, over previous technologies? Some of the key attributes include...

* Improved quality of patient coding - which facilitates more accurate and efficient engagements with medical aids as well as optimising hospital revenue.
* Improved debtors' management and revenue collection - which is a major issue particularly in public healthcare.
* Bolstered defences against medical malpractice claims - due to detailed, digital records relating to every aspect of a patient's care.
* Reduced opportunity for materials theft and misuse - as proper authorisations and governance procedures make everything highly transparent for hospital leadership.
* Prevention of drug misuse - by having accurate, integrated records across healthcare facilities, it's possible to mitigate trends like the abuse of AVR scripts for use in the production of the street-drug Nyaope* or codeine misuse.
* Asset and plant maintenance - hospitals and clinics can get a crystal-clear view of every piece of equipment, its current operating condition, usage levels etc. (this reduces the opportunity for practitioners to take medical devices out of the facility for use in their own private practice, for example).

Perhaps one of the best examples that shows the power of partner-managed clouds in healthcare is the flagship Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital, a beacon for public-private partnerships that address critical social challenges.

The hospital encompasses a broad range of specialist disciplines, including general paediatric surgery, cardiology, cardiothoracic, renal, craniofacial, oncology, haematology, pulmonology, and neurosciences.

By embracing 'hospital-as-a-service', the facility moved to a fully-paperless model that enables faster, more insightful decision-making, and consolidates all patient records into a single view (no need to access multiple systems).

With all patient information visible to caregivers at any time, patients receive higher-quality care, while management can reduce costs and serve greater numbers of children, based on the efficiencies that are generated.

And while it's certainly "not always about the technology", perhaps the most compelling advantage of adopting latest-generation cloud-based healthcare platforms is the effect that it has on operational thinking overall.

Having new tools at one's disposal stimulates new thinking about how to better organise and optimise one's hospital operations, to improve the flow of information between stakeholders, automate wherever possible, and ultimately to focus energies on providing the best possible care.

Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 151 million mobile customers, 30 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of 31 December 2014). The group provides fixed network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has approximately 228,000 employees worldwide. The group generated revenues of EUR 62.7 billion in the 2014 financial year - more than 60% of it outside Germany.

T-Systems

Deutsche Telekom considers the European business customer segment a strategic growth area. Deutsche Telekom offers small, medium-sized and multinational companies ICT solutions for an increasingly complex digital world. In addition to services from the cloud, the range of services is centred around M2M and security solutions, complementary mobile communications and fixed network products, and solutions for virtual collaboration and IT platforms, all of which forms the basis for its customers' digital business models.

With approximately 47,800 employees worldwide, T-Systems generated revenue of around EUR 8,6 billion in the 2014 financial year.

Since the inception of T-Systems in South Africa in 1997, the company has cemented its position as one of the most successful T-Systems companies outside of Europe. A leading ICT outsourcing service provider locally, T-Systems offers end-to-end ICT solutions in both the ICT Operations and Systems Integration markets. Its extensive portfolio of services covers the vertical, horizontal, IT and TC space. T-Systems South Africa's head office is located in Midrand with another major office in Cape Town, and 20 further representative offices in locations throughout southern Africa.

Editorial contacts
Evolution PR Lee Wanless (+27) 011 462 0628 lee@evolutionpr.co.za
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