Virtualising the healthcare ecosystem from a paper-heavy to paperless or paper-lite environment will enable healthcare providers to provide virtual healthcare services to their patients and provide greater access, portability and ease of delivery of healthcare services, says information and communication technology services provider T-Systems South Africa Healthcare sales executive Shiraaz Joosub.
In times of a global pandemic, human and physical resources are stretched to the limit.
Healthcare businesses, operators and service providers need to virtualise the delivery of healthcare, while trying to sustain business as usual.
Accessing a patient's electronic health record virtually removes the risk of relying on incorrect and/or duplicate paper records and allows care providers to manage their patients remotely, he highlights.
In the past few years, an increasing number of local healthcare organisations have been transitioning to more virtualised care, but there is still some way to go.
“With the advent cloud computing and the Internet of Things, the transition to virtualised information technology solutions and services has allowed healthcare facilities to develop digital health transformation strategies that aspire to international best practice and interoperate seamlessly,” says Joosub.
Virtualising the healthcare environment also integrates service delivery operations in every type of business unit for clinical care and back-office functions and will be key to containing the current pandemic.
Virtualisation can help hospitals to create a mobile/remote workforce to manage back office and administrative functions, maintain communications and review patients’ and their workforce’s state of health, as well as providing the ability to track and trace patients.
Virtualisation will also help hospitals to streamline the procure-to-pay cycle for required medical supplies, as well as ensuring connectivity through virtual networking, hence allowing healthcare integrated delivery networks to still function optimally, says Joosub.
“Although this is a bad period for mankind, we should use this time to virtualise healthcare in South Africa,” he states.