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IT & Communication

India is home to a billion people where the provision of healthcare is on par with the Western world. But despite advances in medical technology, the country is still battling the problem of efficient storage of healthcare data.

This article takes an in-depth look at the latest in data

storage, the technologies involved and the keys to privacy and security.


ealth Management and Infor- mation Systems (HMIS) solu- tion is a potent tool that

optimizes the generation, storage, and management of information in healthcare settings. This solution can be molded to suit the requirements of various entities in the health- care domain — hospitals, individual doctors, insurance companies, phar- maceutical players, clinical research organizations, and academic insti- tutions. The Clinical Information Systems that are used in hospitals to manage patient data and everyday administration is a branch of HMIS. Insurance payers tweak the HMIS solution according to their needs to encapsulate the management of claims processing, while research organizations and academicians use it as a virtual knowledge portal to study the design of diseases. HMIS is a remarkable breakthrough

in Health Informatics, which is a disci- pline that combines the study and application of Information Technol- ogy and computer know-how with the unique knowledge of medicine and clinical healthcare management.

Features and Guidelines of HMIS In a hospital or clinical setting, the HMIS becomes a Hospital Informa- tion System (HIS) or Clinical Infor- mation System (CIS), which is a comprehensive end-to-end solution that encompasses patient clinical data management through usage of electronic medical records, labo- ratory and Radiology information

management, billing and prescrip- tion processing, and other routine administrative tasks. In India, the use of healthcare

insurance is very low, as most of the expenses (80 percent approx. ) incurred on healthcare are out of the private health budget. So, sending and processing of claims from healthcare providers to insurance companies is limited. However, the Government has now begun a pattern of introduc- ing health insurance schemes, like the ‘Kalaignar Kaapeetu’ Scheme in Tamil Nadu (now discontinued), and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which benefits numerous people from socially and economically-dis- advantaged backgrounds, including those living below the poverty line. So, schemes such as these require a leap forward in the usage of HMIS to handle the voluminous and inevitable quantities of paperwork involved in claims management. Pharmacies can also manage the

processing of prescriptions for medi- cines and manage their inventories effectively through HMIS. Requests for refills for repeat prescriptions for regular patients can be set to pop- up as alerts at procurement depart- ments, so that there are no delays in handling requests and administering treatment. Pharmaceutical majors make use of data warehousing and mining capabilities in health informat- ics to analyze healthcare-related data collated through the HMIS systems, in order to use the information in drug trials to predict drug reactions and treatment responses. 37

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