With Oracle SaaS, we have expanded our efficiency and scaled up our healthcare facilities: Arun Goyal, CIO, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
Arun Goyal, CIO, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, recently spoke with CXOToday about how, as the world becomes more data-driven and digitalised, the healthcare sector must be digitally equipped, flexible, and fast-paced to provide quality healthcare to the people. He also discussed Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s digital ecosystem and their focus on Cloud applications, with Oracle as a partner. He highlighted that Sir Ganga Ram has implemented Oracle Cloud Applications across business operations to streamline, enhance and optimise their key business processes including Planning & Management (ERP) and HR processes (HCM).
1. What are some of the critical challenges the Indian healthcare industry is struggling with today?
Some of the major challenges that healthcare providers face today in the current healthcare ecosystem are increased costs, lack of manageability, accessibility, and scalability. With the onset of global pandemic, we all have understood the importance of a solid healthcare infrastructure and realizing this healthcare institutions need to scale up their operations to deliver quaternary care to the Tier 2 cities of India as well while also making the framework cost-effective and portable enough.
Apart from this, as the world is becoming more data-driven and digitized, the healthcare sector also needs to be digitally equipped, flexible and fast-paced in its operations to be able to provide quality healthcare to the people. Today the cost of healthcare facilities is becoming a major hindrance for patients to get the right kind of quality treatment and care at hospitals. In terms of scalability and exchange of data, the pandemic has exposed one of the most prominent challenges for the healthcare organizations as they struggled with maintaining unified records of patients and transferring records across departments and institutions. Along with these, the hectic administrative operations pertaining to big data are yet another challenge they are facing today.
All these emerging challenges in the sector lead us to have a solid digital ecosystem within the healthcare organisations which can curb these operational discrepancies so that frontline workers can focus more at giving patient care with more love and warmth. Many healthcare organizations today are opting for complete digitization of their operations to tackle the concerning challenges and enable their internal team with the new-age advanced digital technologies. This is further helping them to create a systemized and unified platform to deliver high-quality care to patients.
2. What are some of the emerging trends which will be driving the future of healthcare in India. Can you give us an overview of the IT strategy being adopted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and the role emerging technologies like AI, Cloud, Machine Learning etc. has to play in it?
Over the last few years, especially during the crisis period, the healthcare industry and people associated with it have very well understood the role of technology and innovation to grow and evolve in this sector. In the post-pandemic phase, we witnessed increased adoption of digital technologies such as Cloud, AI, Machine Learning, Automation, etc., by several healthcare institutes and a clear focus towards digital transformation. Delivery of healthcare digitally, electronic processing and appointment facilities, innovation, and unified record keeping of patients are some of the developments which are driving the healthcare sector in India. We are observing a significant reliance on ‘Teleconsultation’ – which is basically remote consultation ever since the pandemic has hit us and it is thriving as India focuses on faster connection and digital-first strategy.
An effective IT strategy aligned with digital technologies have the ability to fast forward the growth of the sector and help healthcare organizations tackle the ongoing challenges of the industry. Organizations can cut costs, improve infrastructure management, and deliver personalized care to patients. With the help of a robust IT strategy, a healthcare institution can drive innovation to provide instant healthcare and consultation to the patients, enable clinicians to provide consultation & prescriptions to patients at the comfort of their home while simultaneously making the ecosystem encrypted and privacy-focused for the patients. Furthermore, it can also allow effective interoperability and unification of all the data in one place to deliver a unified one-stop healthcare facility.
As we discussed how important is to have a goal setting and creating an effective and functional IT strategy, especially for a healthcare organisations. At Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, we have developed a strategic framework to consolidate our IT strategy which focuses more on providing essential healthcare and wellness, connecting healthcare data, building a secure & data-driven ecosystem, and enhancing the experience of treatment and care at all our facilities.
While maintaining the data-driven ecosystem it is crucial to secure and have the required encryption in place to safeguard the data and make the platforms unified. The exchange of information is a recognized focus area for our IT strategy.
3. How has the implementation of digital tools helped your organization to overcome business challenges and how are Oracle cloud-based solutions particularly assisted in your digital transformation journey?
Implementation of Oracle cloud-based solutions has helped us in cutting down our manual processes through automation. With the adoption of sophisticated technologies and solutions, we have been able to expand our efficiency and scale up the healthcare facilities of our organization. Further, this has allowed the frontline workers the bandwidth to focus more at providing quality care and support to their patients.
Oracle is our cloud partner who have really helped us throughout our digital transformation journey with its Cloud-based applications. We have implemented solutions like Oracle’s Procurement Cloud Service and Enterprise Resource Planning service which have helped us with the automation of our business processes, strategic sourcing, planning of resources, and overall optimization while increased overall efficiency as a healthcare organization. Overall, the effective implementation of these solutions has helped us to cut costs and has given us a unified platform to work with and enabled us to focus on our most important task which is patient care.
4. While talking about streamlining business operations, how are you integrating technology into your internal systems and processes to support the frontline and backend employees?
In terms of managing and streamlining our internal processes, we are heavily leveraging the capabilities of AI, Machine learning, and Analytics to automate traditionally manual processes. Implementing a digital framework for our HR operations allows us to provide a complete overview of the organization’s massive employee data on a single platform and derive meaningful insights via analytics. We implemented the Oracle Cloud HCM solution to integrate and automate our internal processes while eliminating the need for manual record-keeping. We were able to digitise our management planning and identify focus areas to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem at our organisation using analytics, AI, and ML. Overall, we are empowering the frontline workforce as well as employees working on the backend for administrative processes to combat uncertainty and equip them with vicious operational capabilities to deliver high-quality patient care through cloud enabled HCM solutions.
5. In the post-pandemic phase, what are some of the significant opportunities you foresee in the healthcare sector in the coming years and imperatives for organizations to promote a quality healthcare facility to the patients?
In the coming years, we definitely see advanced digital technologies and innovation taking a central role. The healthcare organisations are focusing more at boosting the growth of the healthcare sector in India, by making their services more scalable, faster, integrated, and patient centric. The global pandemic has taught us some valuable lessons and in the coming times it is imperative for organizations to be equipped and prepared to handle any kind of uncertainty. Parallelly, the efficient management of resources is critical for a healthcare provider while also creating a robust digital infrastructure to cope with the changes we are going through in terms of technological revolution. Amongst all, we are expecting a very prominent shift in the way healthcare services are provided in our country with more innovation coming in and many healthcare providers will be seen investing heavily in technology solutions.
In the future, we foresee a huge opportunity for healthcare organizations to increase interoperability across departments, empowering patients with abundant knowledge and insights and leveraging analytics and other digital tools to create a robust healthcare infrastructure. The prime goal for the organizations must be to raise the overall healthcare standards of India and make us stand out on a global scale.