Healthcare Revolution in Pakistan

Healthcare is a leading industry in Pakistan instead of being called as service. Since long time, no such policy was introduced by the government until 2010. Taking an initiative by then Chief Minister of Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Shareef, Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) was formed.

The Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC)

PHC is an autonomous health regulatory body established under the PHC Act 2010. The PHC aims to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare service delivery for all Public and Private Healthcare Establishments (HCEs) including Allopaths, Homeopaths and Tibbs in the province of Punjab.

The PHC is responsible for developing and enforcing Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS) at all levels of healthcare, to improve the quality of healthcare services and foster a culture of Clinical Governance. All Healthcare Establishments are required to implement MSDS to acquire a License to deliver healthcare services in Punjab.

Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS)

The MSDS define a set of the benchmarks for minimum level of mandatory services that a Healthcare Establishment (HCE) is responsible to do and patients have a right to expect. It entails a package of yardsticks essential for all types and Categories of the Healthcare Establishments and encompasses all the disciplines of healthcare and focuses on ensuring Quality Healthcare Services.

The standards prescribed in the MSDS cover the following functional areas for assuring quality healthcare services delivery:

Access, Assessment and Continuity of Care (AAC)
Care of Patients (COP)
Management of Medication (MOM)
Patient Rights and Education (PRE)
Hospital Infection Control (HIC)
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)
Responsibilities of Management (ROM)
Facility Management and Safety (FMS)
Human Resource Management (HRM)
Information Management System (IMS)
Healthcare Information Management System (HIMS)

HIMs is an information management system applied to automate healthcare establishments (HCE). It is the practice of acquiring, analyzing and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. With the widespread computerization of health records, traditional (paper-based) records are being replaced with electronic health records (EHRs). The tools of health informatics and health information technology are continually improving to bring greater efficiency to information management in the health care sector.

HIMS Initiative In Pakistan

With the increasing pressure from global organizations, including USAID and WHO, about the accuracy of healthcare data in Pakistan, Softech Systems Private Limited (a renowned and leading software solutions developing company in Pakistan) has been given a mandate by Government of Punjab (GoP) to automate healthcare establishments in Punjab.

Softech Systems’ HIMS

Developed under the years of collaboration between top healthcare professionals and software development experts at Softech Systems, HealthConnect has become widely accepted Healthcare Information Management System and hospital management solution across the country due to its flexibility, scalability and quality user experience.

HealthConnect caters for the full life-cycle of the processes in a modern hospital, incorporating comprehensive work flows for complex processes of a healthcare facility including patient registration, queue management, OPD, IPD, medical record management, pharmacy, blood bank, Waste management, Radiology, pathology and other departments of a hospital.

HIMS Deployment in Punjab

In the year 2016, Government of Punjab decided to implement HIMS in public sector healthcare establishments across Punjab with fully integrated end-to-end solution. In this regard, Softech Systems won the tender in open bidding and started deploying their in-house developed HIMS named as HealthConnect. Softech System has the mandate to deploy HIMS in 35 public healthcare establishments across the province including 15 THQs and 20 DHQs. By now in 2018, this HIMS has been successfully deployed in 25 hospitals out which 8 are THQs and 17 are DHQs.

However, GOP initiative is not the only HIMS deployment that Softech has done.

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Preventive Healthcare: Why It Is Becoming Increasingly Necessary For Corporates?

The annual business game plan lays out a straight forward framework that focusses on priorities, tracks progress and manages every facet of the business. Such proactive culture is the key to success. Our health too demands a similar game plan. Various researches have showed that it is possible to prevent the onset of diseases with preventive healthcare measures. Rather than treating a disease, prior diagnosis through preventive tests can save employees in an organization from a lot of distress.

Studies have evaluated that investment made in health and wellness programmes by employers ultimately result in behavioural change and attitude of the employees towards the organization. Thus, preventive healthcare in corporates pays rich dividends in the long run.

Now, the question is HOW?

Happy employees make happy customers!

June 21st, corporate India turned their lawns and cafeterias into a makeshift YOGA workshop in celebration of International Yoga Day! With a host of healthy activities that includes free sessions with popular YOGA instructors and arranging healthy diet for employees, the day was wrapped well. With maximum participation, credit goes to the talent engagement teams for adding life to the health and wellness dimensions of the employees’ lives. People are health conscious and such initiative repays. But with the rise in employee demands, it’s a tough for the employers to measure up as well.

Employees feel they are supported and taken care of!

Instead of comforting the cribbing and complaining workforce with unnecessary investments, it’s high time to choose an option that makes a real difference. Group medical insurance, accidental policies, parental insurance, such competitive benefit packages do attract talent but there are other employer-sponsored benefits that are non-cash compensation but and extremely beneficial. The American company, Aflac’s annual employee findings survey have showed that 60% of the employees would take up a job with lower pay as long as they received better benefits.

The waves of innovation and technology have kissed the healthcare industry with spurring benefits and introduced the era of e-medicine. Online Healthcare services are ubiquitous and offer various benefits for corporates, which aim to crack the business model with effective strategies. With the launch of digital healthcare space in organization, employers can play a proactive role in taking healthcare aspects to the next level. The e-medical service will help employees to get their check up done on time and avoid severe health complications later. The preventive healthcare measures extended with online medical facilities in-house, will never go unnoticed. After all prevention is better than cure.

Seeking medical advice before falling sick!

A very inexcusable scenario of the modern era is premature death due to preventable and curable diseases. Routine check-up is, hence, a mandate for all. Regular online medical consultation is a practice of gauging health status even when we feel fit and fine. Employers will go an extra mile if they instil such practices within the workforce by launching a healthcare benefits that enables employees to feel relaxed all the time. A regular headache after a certain period of time at work every day might make an employee tense about his/her health. With the available, accessible and affordable online health consultation, employees can speak or chat with a general physician from the workstation itself and reduce anxiety. It is time to idolize, “We care for you”, the universal motto printed on every employee handbook.

How preventive healthcare addresses the present occupational health situation from deteriorating

“Lifestyle disease” is a very powerful term associated with deteriorated health conditions of employees in private sectors. We cannot escape the norms of competitive market but we can certainly help ease the stress factors with some impactful actions. The preventive healthcare segment with technological advancement has made the journey a lot easier for corporates that have built alliances with online medicine industries. With online medical care through app or desktop, organization encourages its employees to create personal health records with reputed doctors. It helps them to gain access to quality healthcare services at anytime and from anywhere.

Preventive Healthcare allows employees to have their mind at work

Attending an important meeting while leaving a sick child at home is the messiest phase in the life of a parent. Apart from applying for a half day leave, online health care service enables us to contact an online doctor and talk about the symptoms of the child in details. The medical advice from a reputed doctor will certainly be beneficial. We may also fetch prescriptions online and hold a video consultation once back home. Being a parent, it is extremely important to keep a close check on children’s healthcare. Our office work should not delay the necessary and preventive healthcare measures dedicated towards our children. With online healthcare benefits, harassment and delays of doctor’s appointment are eliminated, thus, allowing patients to get treated at the earliest.

Helps to be a Considerate Employer

Employers owe a duty of care towards a traveling employee. The change effects in various ways on the employee should be thoughtfully compensated by the employer. Along with the monetary benefits, it’s the care factors that play a vital role. Employees’ health is of paramount importance and employer should empower the individual with online doctor service installed in Mobile Apps. This will help the employees to have access to doctors from anywhere and at anytime. Digital healthcare is an effective and prompt medical consultation system that would provide assistance anywhere and anytime. Organization will be praised further if it extends its assistance to the employees’ families by providing them access to online doctor facilities at any point of time. The care-o-metre will certainly keep the employee happy and relaxed.

Work place morale plays a great role! If the employees are healthy, they are happier, and a happy employee is the most productive one. When employees understand that their company takes care of their wellbeing and health, it generates loyalty and trust. Hence, the benefit is mutual. While the company invests in Health apps and virtual GP services for employees, they receive substantial improvement in work performance through those affiliated employees.

On-demand access to healthcare 12 hours a day will make employees feel relaxed at work and, thus, improve the attentiveness.

Aids in Reputation management

An organization, whether product based or service based, is more concerned about its global reputation, not just as a provider but also as an employer. Companies are often evaluated on their workplace and people management culture. Wellness programs are, therefore, a definite practice that uplifts the banner intact. Health camps set-up on a quarterly basis receive havoc responses from employees as they feel it’s easier to consult a doctor amidst work instead of a pre-fixed appointment. Keeping these scenarios in mind, online healthcare industries have extended their reach among corporates to build alliances and act as a preventive healthcare regime within the organization.

Reduces Absenteeism

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) report on Preventive Healthcare and its impact on Corporate Sector states that “One rupee spent on prevention saves Rs. 133 in absenteeism costs and Rs. 6.62 in healthcare costs”. Increase in productivity through maximum attendance is one of the major boon of Online Doctor services.

Preventive Healthcare as Customized Package Offerings

Exclusive female doctor consultation is another top feature provided by the Digital healthcare service. Expectant females can at anytime cross consult their health issues with certified physicians available online through chat or call. Today, corporate tie ups with online healthcare industries that call for health check-ups of employees and such practices foster a stronger employee-employer bond that will bear fruit.
Strict confidentiality about employee health records or consultation is highly assured.
Preventive Healthcare is an opportunity for corporates to contribute to the well-being of its employees and also their families. It is also an awareness and education program that is much needed in today’s fast-paced life, thus, restoring the much needed healthy balance for a happy and productive work-life.

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