Blog

MedProjects Launches EMR for Hospitals in the Philippines

MedProjects today at the Private Hospitals Association Philippines National Convention in Manila introduced Health Engine, an Electronic Medical Records platform designed for Philippine Hospitals

 

November 13, 2017, Manila, Philippines — Healthcare IT company MedProjects announced the launch of Health Engine today, an integrated suite of hospital IT applications that include an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) platform, Social Intranet, and cloud-based Website and Portal, designed to enhance collaboration and communication, improve clinical processes and workflows, and transform patient engagement.

“Many EMRs in the Philippine market today address the needs of individual physician practices and small clinics, but no EMR solution has been tailored to fit the unique operational requirements and clinical workflows of local hospitals,” said Dr. Mike Muin, MedProjects founder and CEO. “Health Engine meets this need by delivering a fully integrated EMR solution.”

“Built on open standards and open source technologies, Health Engine offers many benefits for Philippine hospitals: better cost management, integration with existing hospital IT systems and devices, and flexibility to tailor the solution based on the hospital’s specific requirements.”

Health Engine offers an easy-to-use EMR platform that integrates easily with existing hospital systems and provides immediate access to patient records. It includes clinical and nursing workspaces, patient profiles and lists, hospital-wide results viewing, patient charts viewing and management, charts tracking, ancillary services and ambulatory care modules.

Through its full-featured Social Intranet, Health Engine adds announcements, news and articles, calendar, private and group messaging, file repositories, employee profiles, and notifications — which all aim to get everyone on-board and interacting with each other.

Health Engine also features a cloud-based Website and Portal application to share hospital services, access clinical information and improve patient engagement, so hospitals and healthcare organizations can extend its brand beyond the walls of their hospital.

With Health Engine,

Doctors and clinicians can:

  • View a list of their patients
  • View patient profiles, along with visit history and demographics
  • View lab results and reports
  • Review scanned patient charts
  • Write their clinical notes for outpatient services
  • Access clinical information via Internet

Patients can:

  • Register online to create a Personal Health Record
  • Access their results online via the Internet

Ancillary services departments, e.g. Cardiovascular Center, can:

  • Manage order lists and workflows
  • Keep track of status of procedures
  • Enter and finalize clinical reports

Hospital management and staff can:

  • Send, read and comment on hospital-wide news and articles
  • Send private messages to other individuals or groups
  • Manage files and documents
  • View and manage company directory and employee profiles
  • View and manage doctors directory and profiles

 

MedProjects’ presence at PHAP’s annual convention is a crucial component of its engagement with hospitals in the Philippines. Hospitals interested in early access can visit MedProjects at Century Park Hotel from November 13 to 14 and sign up to the Health Engine Early Adopter Program, which is a partner program designed for hospitals who want to play a pivotal role in the development of new solutions and technologies for the Philippine healthcare industry.

Interested hospitals can also sign up for the Health Engine Early Adopter Program here: www.healthengine.com/healthengine-eap.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for updates from the conference.

 

About MedProjects

MedProjects, Inc. is a Healthcare IT company focused on helping Philippine hospitals achieve better clinical outcomes, improve operational processes, and deliver better patient care through health IT projects and business process improvement initiatives.

For more information, visit www.medprojects.com.

 

Building a Business Case for Hospital IT Projects

Do you have a Healthcare IT project in mind for your hospital? Do you need help justifying it and getting it approved?

Here’s my quick tip: Use IRACIS to identify the advantages, benefits and value of the IT project. It is a concept I found in a book many years ago.

IRACIS is an acronym that stands for:

IR: Increase Revenues
AC: Avoid Costs
IS: Improve Services

Build your business case by using IRACIS as an anchor point. Brainstorm, draft ideas, and expound on each item. Try to be as concrete and tangible. Use actual numbers and figures, if at all possible.

Do you have a Health IT project in mind for your hospital? Do you need help justifying it and getting it approved?

 

Let’s go through each item one by one:

Increase Revenues

Let’s accept it — all projects in the hospital should contribute to financial viability. That’s why this part of IRACIS is important. Possible areas you can look into:

  • Turn-around time: Streamlining queue-based processes and reducing waiting times help patient throughput.
  • Additional services: IT projects can introduce new hospital services, for example telemedicine.
  • Value-added service: Basic services, including laboratory, can be ‘converted’ to premium services once enabled by IT services.

Avoid Costs

Hospitals are pressured to manage costs. IT projects are often set in place to help avoid cost and reduce overhead in the long run. Possible ideas include:

  • Eliminate paper: IT projects can eliminate many paper-based requests and processes, e.g. logbooks, request slips.
  • Reduce manpower requirements: This may be a sensitive issue but some IT projects, not all, might eliminate several job functions.
  • Lesser redundant services: IT systems can catch redundant orders and tests. They also help manage inventory and supply chain.

Improve Services

This IRACIS component is often the most difficult to quantify. However, hospitals looking for opportunities to differentiate and expand their market cannot ignore this component. Some potential areas include:

  • Reduced waiting times and queue management: Hospitals can learn from innovative restaurants and banks about how to handle queueing, registrations and order-taking.
  • Patient engagement: Emails, SMS and Websites can increase range of patient engagement activities.
  • Customer service: Keeping databases on patient details and preferences can make the hospital visit feel more personalized.

The IRACIS approach is a quick-and-dirty but extremely useful tool when proposing and justifying IT projects to management. When building your business case, remember to be as concrete and tangible as possible in each specific component.

 

Question: Do you have tips, advice and recommendations for proposing and justifying hospital IT projects? What worked for you to get them approved? 

 

Written by Michael “Doc Mike” Muin MD

 

Dr. Mike Muin: Hospitals Need to be Data-driven

MedProjects founder and CEO Dr. Mike Muin talks about the potential and challenges of Big Data in Healthcare, outlines steps to building a data-driven hospital at the 6th annual convention of the Healthcare Executives Society of the Philippines

 

The tidal wave of data presents challenges and opportunities for hospital executives looking to improve bottom line and patient care. “By fully utilizing data, hospital executives can gain insights and optimize business processes to meet their objectives,” said Dr. Muin, co-founder and CEO of MedProjects, a Healthcare IT company committed to help Philippine hospitals and healthcare organizations achieve their strategic business and IT goals.

Dr Mike Muin, CEO of MedProjects at Healthcare Executives Society of the PhilippinesDr. Muin, who was guest speaker at the recent annual convention of the Healthcare Executives Society of the Philippines, is optimistic about the potential of big data in healthcare.

“Hospital executives need to take data management seriously,” he said. “Beyond improving profits, big data in healthcare could be used to deliver better care at lower costs and more importantly, improve quality of life.” Some valuable streams of data in healthcare that could be generated and analyzed for insights: treatments not delivering demonstrable benefits, treatments that are costing too much, replacements for such treatments, and patients with highest utilization of resources.

“If hospitals could capture data and start to create value out of it, doctors could diagnose early warning signs of a serious illness, predict illnesses better, and prescribe simpler treatments at less costs,” Dr. Muin said. “But data in the hospital remains very fragmented and unstructured — meaning handwritten; and many hospitals have not adopted any standards at all.”

Hospitals need to get down to basics. To put big data plans on a solid foundation, hospitals “should start with re-aligning their strategies to their core business.”

“Design and align your IT roadmap with your business objectives,” Dr. Muin recommended. “Following a defined strategy — applying the right technologies, and working with the right implementation partners — hospitals can gain an important competitive edge.”

MedProjects, Muin added, is ready to work with hospitals in the Philippines. “We are experts in hospital IT projects. We look forward to the opportunity ahead to help Philippine hospitals transform healthcare.”

 

About MedProjects

MedProjects, Inc. is a Healthcare IT company focused on helping Philippine hospitals achieve better clinical outcomes, improve operational processes, and deliver better patient care through health IT projects and business process improvement initiatives.

For more information, visit www.medprojects.com.

 

About the Healthcare Executives Society of the Philippines

The Healthcare Executives Society of the Philippines (HESP) is an association of healthcare executives whose purpose is to further advance and professionalize the practice of healthcare management through continuous learning, training, technical support, consultancy, and ethical regulation.

For more information, visit http://healthexec.org.ph.

 

How to Build your Quality Team – Part 2

In our Part 1 article, we identified the definition of Quality Management, which is the act of overseeing activities and tasks needed to maintain a desired level of excellence. This includes developing a quality policy, creating and implementing quality planning and assurance, as well as implementing quality control and quality improvement.

Quality teams may create sub-teams depending on their projects. To summarize, below are the steps on how to build a Quality Team.

  1. Identify the function/s of the Quality Team. This is typically done by Top Management.
  2. Appoint the head of the Quality Team and its reporting structure.
  3. Prepare a Quality Plan, which includes the team structure, functions, and projects, and have this plan approved by the top management.
  4. Based on the approved Quality Plan,
    1. Build your Quality Team, staring with a head and then add members, as necessary.
    2. Create Sub-Quality Team/s, if needed.
    3. Appoint Sub-Quality Team Members, typically composed of a Quality Team Leader, Champion, Sponsors, and Technical Experts.

As mentioned earlier, what’s important is that there should be a full-time employee (FTE) who will take charge of the quality management functions or head the quality team. The number of FTEs will again vary with the organization’s goals. In the healthcare setting, this team would have to expand in cases when the hospital applies for JCI accreditation.

When the The Medical City decided to go for JCI accreditation in 2006, we grew to about 10 in 2006 and up to 40 in 2014. We also consolidated all of the quality units including quality improvement, infection control, and safety into one division inside TMC: Quality Improvement and Safety Division.

If you’d like to know more about my experience implementing quality and patient safety best practices and standards, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

At MedProjects, we help healthcare organizations deliver better patient care by recommending and implementing best practices on quality and patient safety standards. We can work with your hospital Quality Team to conduct gap analysis and decide on the appropriate best practices and standards to be adopted and implemented. If you’re interested to find out how we can help, again, please leave a comment below or contact us.

 

Written by Ma. Carla G. Naniong, MBAH

 

3 Common Misconceptions about HL7

I’ve been working with HL7 for the past 3 years. And although I am not an expert (yet), I know enough to have successfully integrated several systems, including legacy ones, using HL7 version 2.x.

Project sponsors and stakeholders often have many misconceptions about HL7 — what it is and what HL7 does. Below are some of the common misconceptions I’ve encountered.

hl7misconceptions

Misconception 1: HL7 is a software

“How do we install HL7? Is the software free? Where can we download it?”

HL7 is NOT a software. It is a messaging standard. Something like a common language among systems so they can understand each other.

For the non-Information Technology (IT) side of the healthcare business, IT is about software and hardware. If HL7 is not hardware, then it must be software. Otherwise, why all the fuss about it?

Correcting this misconception involves impromptu lectures about system communication and messaging protocols. About integration and interfaces. About stand-alone systems sharing information.

Still, HL7 integration commonly involves software. Some of these software can be interface engines, messaging platforms and file managers. We use Mirth Connect as our HL7 interface engine.

Misconception 2: Integration is easy with HL7

“I thought you were using HL7. Why are you still having integration problems?”

Healthcare IT integration projects will always be challenging. HL7 makes it easier but NOT easy.

Choosing HL7 is like going to a grueling negotiations meeting with an agreement to talk in English. It’s a good starting point, but it doesn’t guarantee a win.

Decisions, processes and activities in health IT integration projects can include database preparations, staging tables, data dictionaries, field-to-field mapping and data migration. The integration may use HL7, but critical errors in these other areas can kill a project.

Misconception 3: HL7 compliance is a sign of quality software

“If it’s HL7-compliant, it must be good!”

Project clients, vendors and even Healthcare IT professionals can have this misconception. HL7 addresses the need for a common protocol between systems. It does NOT address the features, functions and usability of the software itself.

HL7 compliance doesn’t even mean seamless integration. It just means the software has methods of handling HL7 messages — hopefully both incoming and outgoing. Sometimes, those HL7-compliant systems can be the most challenging to work with because their compliance is based on strict usage and formatting standards of specific segments and fields. They become too compliant to their own HL7 implementation, that they become inflexible when working with other systems.



What misconceptions (and misgivings) about HL7 have you encountered? How did you deal with it? What are the challenges in educating people about health IT standards? We love you hear your thoughts. Send us your feedback by leaving a comment below.

 

Written by Michael “Doc Mike” Muin MD