Friday, 25 May 2012

The Three-Legged Technology Stool of hospital operations

Let’s do an exercise first. You have to make a guess on the probability of the following events:
a. What is the probability that a hospital will have the latest medical equipment and machines, yet you can find someone in the same hospital using a P3, 256 MB RAM computer?
b. How high are the chances that you will find medical equipments in a hospital which do not communicate data with each other?
c. What is the probability that someone would have spent 50 crores in building a nice swanky hospital, yet would be using an HIS (Hospital Information System) bought for, say 1 lakh?
d. What is the chance that you will visit a hospital and would find a dot-matrix printer installed at the front-desk?
e. What probability you would assign to the situation where you will find that the network of a hospital has not been upgraded for years?

Most people would agree that there is a very probability of any or all of the situations happening in our hospitals. The question is, is there a problem with this kind of a situation?

Hospital operations stand on a three-legged technology stool. The three legs are formed by:
  • Medical Technology (eg. CT, MRI, X-Ray machines etc.)
  • IT Software Technology (eg. HIS, LIS, Tally etc.)
  • IT Infrastructure Technology (eg. Computers, Printers, Networking etc.)
For stable operations, all the three legs have to be equally strong and should match each other’s length. If you have one set of technology which is very advanced and the other set of technology is primitive, the stool will lose its balance. The consequences of such a situation have to be faced by your patients and your employees.

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