Cisco powers Narayana Hrudayalaya to paperless hospital
To facilitate this transition, NH partnered with Cisco to deploy Cisco Meraki, a platform that offers unified visibility of dispersed corporate applications and faster speeds for enhanced application experience, integrated with end to end security to protect against advanced threats
New Delhi: Living the Digital India dream is Narayana Hrudayalaya, a leading healthcare service provider with hospitals and care centers spread across India. They are going paperless by digitizing most of their business-critical operations, partnering with Cisco in this endeavor. As in all good stories, this one, too, began with a dream.
A dream of providing affordable and world-class healthcare in India. To have a network of hospitals and healthcare centers, pool in the expertise of medical personnel spread across locations, and then offer this expertise across 30 specialties to patients - not only in big cities but even in remote areas.
To the reader, such a dream may seem a tad outlandish. Yet, in a world of digital transformation, anything''s possible. Especially if it involves a commitment to reaching the end-goal and choosing the right technology partners in the journey. Such is the road traversed by Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH), a healthcare service provider in India, and its technology partner, Cisco, to usher in the future of healthcare in India.
When NH embarked on this mission, they were confident of their expertise in healthcare. However, they recognized the need to overhaul their information technology (IT) and network infrastructure to manage an expanding array of healthcare centers. They also wanted to standardize their network architecture to address specific challenges. For instance, employees shuttling between centers had to connect to the center''s Wi-Fi systems manually. Any digital transformation, NH realized, would be most effective if accompanied by a paperless system — one where data such as patient details and doctors'' recommendations are entirely digital and can be accessed through any device, including mobiles.
This kind of network also had to be secure, with the cybersecurity landscape expanding across the globe. To facilitate this transition, NH partnered with Cisco to deploy Cisco Meraki, a platform that offers unified visibility of dispersed corporate applications and faster speeds for enhanced application experience, integrated with end-to-end security to protect against advanced threats.
"India''s population makes it challenging for government healthcare to reach everyone - according to a study in India, there is only one Government doctor for every 10,189 people and there is adeficit of 600,000 doctors, where as the nurse-to-patient ratio is 1:483. The only way to take healthcare to the masses is by going digital and creating ''people literate'' technology that can be adopted seamlessly by anyone," said Kumar KV, Group CIO, NH.
"Our vision is to build a digital hospital that allows a frictionless patient experience, improves efficiency, increases productivity, improves clinical outcomes and ensures patient safety while keeping costs in control by focussing on automation, decision support and shared services," he added. "Inarguably, technology is the greatest equalizer. In partnership with Narayana Hrudayalaya, we are leveraging digital technologies to bridge the gap in access to affordable healthcare in India," said Sudhir Nayar, Managing Director, Commercial Sales, Cisco India & SAARC.
Together, NH and Cisco first conducted an extensive evaluation of the hospital network''s existing systems. Tying together current requirements with future demands, they developed a blueprint for NH''s technology transformation, one that was built on four key pillars—scalability, simplicity, productivity, and security.
● The scalability of technology was fundamental to NH''s growth plans. Any technology solution had to account for potential expansion and the nature of that expansion. For example, if NH added a satellite healthcare center, it would only need to adopt technology specific to such small centers.
● A successful technology transformation had to be simplified. Getting employees automatically connected to a standard network irrespective of their center''s location was essential. It also had to be easy enough that medical personnel, using even hand-held devices, could access patient data, recommend therapy, and analyse progress from anywhere. Finally, replication of the network — a key to scalability — had to be enabled in a "plug-and-play" format.
● The new system had to ensure productivity. A new digitised system was essential to reduce paperwork, manual file management, and errors that often arise due to a paper-based system. Overall, this system also had to bring down costs — key to NH''s aim of offering affordable healthcare across the country.
● Finally, security had to be a cornerstone of the entire value chain – cloud and on-premise data storage, end-point access by multiple people using different devices, etc. Kumar KV, Group CIO, NH, said, "The Cisco Meraki platform is plug-and-play. As soon as the switch comes online, it''s visible on the dashboard, and policies can be enforced immediately.
The dashboard also makes it simple for our IT team to manage and monitor the system across all our hospitals, reducing operations costs and freeing up IT resources." Sudhir Nayar, Managing Director, Commercial Sales, Cisco India & SAARC, said, "Given the vast volumes and sensitive nature of data generated across NH''s hospitals, network security is an essential requirement. Cisco Meraki provides a unified end-to-end view of all activity on the network. Additionally, it facilitates an improved user experience while ensuring the highest levels of enterprise-grade reliability and performance." A journey that started with two partners believing in a shared vision is now six years strong.
From high-definition video equipment solutions for remote healthcare to world-class networks and security infrastructure that are easy to replicate, NH and Cisco have covered ample ground. Narayana Health is on the journey to create a truly paperless environment through a combination of digitisation and digitalization. This is just the beginning of NH's future healthcare journey, and India as well.