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Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in India Reduces Billing Time by 40% and Improves Patient Servicewith InterSystems TrakCare

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a 650-bed multi-specialty state-of-the-art hospital in New Delhi, India needed to replace its 20-year-old healthcare information system (HIS).

But first it had to overcome a number of factors which might hinder implementation. These included the hospital’s 35 specialties, many with different workflows which have “hardened” over the hospital’s 50 year history, making them difficult to change.

Lothian NHS Board, United Kingdom

  • Increased outpatient throughput
  • Better inventory control
  • Rapid access to lab results
  • Reduced allergy and drug interactions

“Basic rules for each department are framed by the departmental head,” said Dr. Karanvir Singh, the surgeon responsible for the HIS implementation. “Although this helps each department provide the best possible care, it leads to a complex implementation environment.”

Sir Ganga Ram chose InterSystems TrakCare® as its new HIS because of InterSystems’ track record of successful implementations at hundreds of sites around the world and the product’s technology advantages. These advantages include:

  • A Web-based user interface for ease of learning, use, and configuration
  • A single, unified information environment for all its modules enabling simplified information sharing, faster implementation, easier maintenance, and lower costs
  • A highly reliable technology foundation built on the InterSystems Caché® high performance database

“We now realize that our high transaction rate – with a peak rate of 2,500 per hour – is only possible because we are using Caché,” noted Dr. Singh.

Early benefits from the TrakCare HIS include savings through better inventory and medical package control and support for pharmaceutical substitution, more rapid access to laboratory results, reduced adverse allergy and drug interaction incidents, and improved continuity of medical records.

Efficiencies Through Automated Billing

TrakCare’s ability to automate patient billing in a very complex environment is a major contributor to Sir Ganga Ram achieving efficiency improvements. With over 400,000 outpatient visits per year, the hospital has reduced its outpatient processing time by 40% to increase patient throughput. The automated allocation of collected billing items saves 1.7 hours in a 4-hour registration shift.

Savings Through Better Inventory and Medical Package Control

TrakCare’s ability to present a unified set of healthcare information across all modules, combined with powerful security, has allowed Sir Ganga Ram to achieve savings in inventory control and medical package control. “TrakCare supports multiple security clearances with control at a high granularity level,” said Dr. Singh. “All activities, including the act of simply viewing a record, can be audited.”

This has allowed Sir Ganga Ram to prevent inventory “leakage.” With inventory levels linked to patient billing, inventory levels now change only when actually billed to the patient. Combined with security rights restrictions and audit trails, the hospital knows exactly who is responsible for every activity related to inventory.

TrakCare’s extreme flexibility was useful – almost all configuration was done via master tables alone.

Dr. Karanvir Singh
Surgeon responsible for
HIS implementation

Sir Ganga Ram was also able to understand where it had been losing money on medical packages. Previously, cost control was imprecise. “TrakCare gives us many ways to control expenditure within packages,” said Dr. Singh. “This includes defining what is allowed in each package at the group, subgroup or item level and setting limits on the number or value of items.”

Substantial Cost Savings Through Pharmaceutical Substitution

The new HIS has also led to substantial cost savings through pharmaceutical substitution. Doctors often prescribe a medicine which Sir Ganga Ram does not stock but for which a substitute is available. Previously the pharmacist would arrange for the prescribed medicine to be purchased externally at premium rates for delivery to the patient. Now the system automatically checks for substitutes in stock.

Flexibility Key to Implementation Success

Dr. Singh advises other hospitals looking for a new HIS solution to properly evaluate scalability, speed, flexibility and interoperability. “Visit a hospital with high volume transactions at peak hours and assess the software response time,” he said.

A rapid solution for Sir Ganga Ram’s complex billing challenges was possible because TrakCare is Web-based and easy to configure with little or no customization. “This is what contributes to the flexibility of the software and the reason for its success in a complex hospital like ours,” said Dr. Singh.

Because TrakCare is Web-based, it is easy to use and supports flexible screen designs, including the ability to present the same information differently within different workflows, something Sir Ganga Ram required. “This is where TrakCare’s extreme flexibility was useful – almost all configuration was done via master tables alone,” he said.

When it comes to flexibility, hospitals need to understand exactly how their individual IT requirements would be met, says Dr. Singh. “Do you have to approach the developer whenever your hospital wants changes? Or can it be done by simply changing the master tables? The better software products will allow more control via master tables than others. TrakCare, for example, allows virtually all customizations via master tables alone.”

TrakCare not offered in the United States.