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Blog: Data of Hope - Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre Reimagines its Hospital Management System with Oracle

By Amer Khan —June 30, 2020

Today, data is a critical part of our everyday lives. From informing supermarkets what we want to eat for breakfast to helping schools better educate our children, and ensuring businesses provide the great customer experience we demand. And, in my opinion, data is yielding a lot of benefit in the field of health and healthcare.

Take its impact on cancer treatment for example. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimated that one in 5 men and one in 6 women worldwide will develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 8 men and one in 11 women will die from the disease. What makes it so hard to treat is that every cancer case is unprecedented and unique to the individual. This makes having complete information about each patient, their diagnosis, and treatment extremely important.

One such organization working to achieve this data goal is Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC). The first, charity-based, cancer hospital in Pakistan, its single mission is to provide state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic facilities for patients irrespective of their ability to pay. To date, it has supported about 2,800,000 outpatients and over 180,000 new registrations since it was founded in 1994, with 75% of them for free.

Recognizing the necessity for its doctors and clinicians across the hospital’s two operational campuses to gain a single patient view, SKMCH&RC set about developing its own advanced Hospital Management System (HMS).

Enhanced Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment with Greater Accessibility

With this central information system, healthcare professionals now can quickly, reliably, and securely bring together all the data held about patients, their diagnosis, and treatment in a single view that can be trusted. This means they can have sight of better treatment options and can identify where things are not working.

As the doctors and clinicians are also responsible for inputting patient data into the central, digitized system, having a single system to enter data into, helps to simplify and streamline the process; everything - including details of patient records and appointments, test results and billing - is just a click away.

All of this helps free up doctors and clinicians, enabling them to spend more time interacting with their patients. Additionally, the patients too can gain a comprehensive view of their records.

The availability and reliability of the HMS application are also essential for the successful running of the network’s operations. The centralized information system helps those using it to manage resources more effectively and identify unnecessary expenses.

This has helped SKMCH&RC invest in new equipment, which is essential given that it is a charitable organization and the number of cancer cases being diagnosed is growing; it increased 10% in 2019 over the previous year.

Cost-Effective Data Storage

Helping streamline this process of collaborative patient care are modern digital systems – like Oracle Database and other Oracle products – which have helped the hospital consolidate data sources so that they can be managed efficiently.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has also enabled the hospital to put its data in the cloud, as well as provide it with a toolset so that it can manage its critical operations more quickly and easily with unmatched security, performance, and cost savings. Using the cloud has allowed the hospital to add another disaster recovery site, maximizing the availability of data, so all key information is just a click away, even if something untoward happens. And, as the cloud doesn’t need the purchase and maintenance of expensive on-premise systems and equipment, savings have been invested back in patients’ welfare.

As Muhammad Idrees Khokhar i, Associate Director Information System and Medical Records, SKMCH&RC, shared of the new platform and its ease of use, “Oracle PaaS and Oracle IaaS are highly flexible, cost-effective, stable, secure, and scalable. This helps us eliminate unnecessary IT expenses, both now and in the future. A wizard-based provisioning approach simplified installation. We maintain an on-premises-like network architecture—while seeing all the benefits of Oracle Cloud.”

Better Collaboration Leads to Better Treatment Choices

The advanced HMS application, based on the Oracle platform, is not only benefiting SKMCH&RC, but it is also being implemented in multiple governments and private hospitals across the country.

As Dr. Faisal Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, SKMCH&RC said, “What’s exciting is that data is giving our patients new hope. This system’s purpose is to serve as a stepping stone towards creating a more advanced and improved patient-centric healthcare framework at SKMCH&RC and hopefully, across the country”. ( Watch Data of Hope Video Here)

i (The writer is Senior Sales Director, Technology Business, Oracle Pakistan Systems Private Limited)