Fraame Healthcare is a Microsoft partner, using the latest Microsoft technologies to deliver robust and scalable solutions to its valued clients.
At Microsoft, we believe health is a key ingredient to the stability and success of all nations. Healthcare is a critically important human endeavour, and properly-used information technology (IT) needs to play a fundamental role in helping deliver better solutions, reduced costs, and better patient outcomes.
Technology has the power to transform industries, but it is not being used to its full extent in health. Consider the insurance and travel industries, where IT has fundamentally changed business practices and productivity.
IT has revolutionised in the way insurance claims are processed: mobile claims facilities can be triggered remotely, and customers do not have to wait for inspectors to visit. Technological models for forecasting and analysis mean the industry can better understand and more efficiently determine risk, and underwrite those risks more accurately.
It seems almost impossible to remember a time when technology wasn’t an integral part of the travel industry. We make our bookings online, our tickets are emailed, we check in online, and e-passports remove the need for stamps.
Healthcare isn’t so different from an airline. An airline has seats, passengers, pilots, air crew and ground staff; while a hospital has beds, patients, doctors, nurses and administrators. Each run 24-hour rosters. They provide safe and effective services while running support services of linen, laundry, food, cleaning, and buying and maintaining expensive pieces of equipment.
So why is it so difficult to integrate IT into our healthcare systems? The industry embraced technology as a tool to help cure disease and advance the science of medicine, but it has seemingly ignored the value advanced IT can add in the delivery of care. Healthcare is in crisis as costs and inefficiencies increase.
Health services exist in a vast, complicated ecosystem, with differing levels of regulation, mixed public and private services, and a variety of business models. Designing, implementing and operating integrated “patient-centric” healthcare systems is difficult and expensive.
But this is only part of the story; complexities in relationships compound these issues. Healthcare is dependent upon relationships between physicians, patients, administrators, government, contributors, and life sciences organisations. These relationships are frequently challenging to reconcile and can be compounded by political drivers.
It may not be happening as quickly as many desire, but slowly the healthcare community will embrace IT as a core tool in resolving the challenges facing the industry. In the current economic climate, ongoing investments in healthcare systems will be important to reduce costs and complexities, and increase workflow, capacity, patient safety and quality of care. These are principles upon which all of us in the healthcare field can agree, as we prepare for a new world of health.