Enterprise-wide implementation of e-prescription in a leading multi-speciality hospital in Kochi solved the operational gaps in the system, eliminated revenue leakage and increased the sales in the hospital’s pharmacy.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is an indispensable part of the modern healthcare ecosystem. There is an indisputable growth in the adoption of the system across hospitals in recent years. However, Kerala comparatively lags in utilizing EMR to its fullest potential, and there are hospitals across the state that continue to prescribe medicines to the patients on hospital’s/doctors’ letter pads. This case study outlines an EMR adoption, specifically the e-prescription feature of EMR, by a leading multi-speciality hospital in Kerala and illustrates the ways by which e-prescription helped the establishment significantly reduce revenue leakage, increasing sales at its in-house pharmacies.
The hospital is a leading healthcare service provider located in Kochi, Kerala, offering advanced clinical programs and cutting-edge treatments and diagnostic facilities for patients in India and abroad. The hospital provides treatments in diverse medical specialities and contributes to medical research through a talented pool of medical professionals.
Datamate is associated with the said hospital since 2004. The hospital was initially using Datamate’s flagship product Mediware Hospital Management System, and migrated to Datamate’s new Ellíder Advanced Hospital Information System (Ellíder HIS) in 2018. Besides the automation software, the hospital uses Datamate’s Business Intelligence Solution for deriving business insights from millions of data churned out by Ellíder HIS. Datamate also offers comprehensive service offerings, including equipment interfacing, customizations, database services and implementation services on a need basis at the hospital.
Datamate utilized the data from hospital’s Business Intelligence solution to identify the quantity variations of pharmacy sales before and after e-prescription adoption at the hospital. Datamate also used a qualitative method of engagement with various respondents (IT managers, doctors, nurses, technicians, etc.) to gather information about intangible benefits the hospital availed due to e-prescription adoption.
Being a leading hospital that has adopted automation since the beginning, every physician had the e-prescription facility via their EMR. While a few were using the system completely, others were transitioning from writing prescriptions on paper. However, the hospital migrates such hand-written prescriptions and diagnosis data into the EMR by physically scanning the papers with the help of additional staff. Not all medications were getting documented in EMR.
There was a considerable delay in the transmission of hand-written prescriptions in reaching the hospital’s pharmacies. The delay is reflected in the patient’s waiting time to purchase medicines. Eventually, many people gathered physical prescriptions from physicians and preferred purchasing medicines from medical stores outside hospital premises, leading to a loss of revenue. The data from Business Intelligence showed an imbalance in the number of prescriptions generated and the sales made from the pharmacy.
Comprehending the depth of business challenges, the hospital engaged its long-standing IT partner Datamate to monitor the progress of pharmacy sales of the hospital with an aim to achieve two objectives.
- To increase the sales in pharmacy
- To generate additional revenue from pharmacies
Solution: Strict implementation of e-prescription system
To attain the objectives, Datamate prescribed the hospital to implement the usage of e-prescription among doctors strictly. Multiple training sessions perfected the users in using EMR completely.
- The adoption of e-prescription holds the promise of increasing the quality of healthcare services and healthcare practitioners’ performance.
- The e-prescribe medication orders get automatically sent to pharmacies, eliminating the manual resource in transferring files to the pharmacy and also increased the pace of the process.
- The electronic transfer of prescriptions reduced the chances of handing over physical prescriptions directly to the patients and bystanders. Thus, it eliminated the options for patients to purchase medicines from external medical stores.
- E-prescription decreases medical error, reduces healthcare costs and streamlines the hospital’s operations.
- The holistic integration of an automation system within a healthcare setting reduces unwanted manual interventions, saves time and quickens the interconnected communication between departments, ultimately improving the quality of healthcare services.
- The e-prescription eliminated duplicate orders and ambiguous illegible handwriting, overall improving the process.
- 100% realization in prescriptions resulted in increased sales in the pharmacies of the hospital. The increase in revenue was seen in a short span of two months.
- The e-prescriptions also improved patient experience as they significantly reduced the queue in front of hospital’s pharmacies.
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