How does a high traffic alternative medicine clinic embarks on a challenging digital transformation journey?

For the sake of digital transformation, businesses either change their operating processes to align with industry standard software, or they adapt the software to their ongoing way of business. The latter was the case with one of our clients who cannot be named because of NDA.

The client company is a family run alternative medicine clinic that caters to an unusually high number of patients. Housed in a small building, the clinic provides free as well as paid treatment. Due to its reputation the clinic attracts a very large number of patients, logging over 2000 consultation per day.

The client wanted end-to-end digitization of processes with emphasis on creating a detailed health profile of each patient which would enable preemptive treatment as well as allow the clinic to provide better service such as: reorder reminder, appointment scheduling reminder and more. Another important criteria was to create a system that would automate queuing, and facilitate calling of patent by next available staff. The integrated health records and operations management system was intended to help the client launch several online services in the near future.

The alternative medicine clinic currently has a free clinic and a paid clinic operating from the same building, and they have plans to open such clinics in other locations as well. The two clinics operate independent of each other and there is a designated staff for each clinic. To understand the system requirement it is essential to view it from the perspective of a patient.

How system workflow facilitates patient acquire treatment?

Typically a patient would book an appointment online or by calling the clinic’s helpline. The appointment booking system is simple and gives the patient the ability to book appointments for one or more patient for same or different dates. At the time of booking the, there is an option to select doctor preference for each patient. Payments are typically made online through a payment link sent via sms (in case of booking by phone). Upon successful booking of appointment, a time slot is given to the patient for the selected date.

When the patient visits the clinic, the receptionist marks the patient as checked-in and enters the patient’s personal / medical details, if these were not entered at the time of appointment booking. In case the patient has had earlier appointments, then all the records must be on the system and there will be no need to capture additional details. The patient is then assigned to the scan queue. When it is patient’s turn to see a scanning staff, he is called forward and the staff scans the patient’s medical test reports using a smart OCR software. These records are automatically assimilated into the patient’s health records. The OCR extracts key information and numbers from test reports and maps them to a relevant test parameter. Through this system the clinic intends to create an extensive profile of a patients key test parameters and helps the doctors know how these values change overtime (based on data obtained from future test reports). Once patient’s test reports have been scanned, he/she is automatically assigned to the junior doctor queue.

The junior doctor, opens a new case log for the appointment and records all the essential medical details. The case log module is provides the doctor the option to upload photos of physical examination, make detailed notes and record symptoms with levels of severity. Once the junior doctor completes preliminary examination, the patient is then added to the senior doctor queue.

In case the patient has opted for a specific doctor at the time of appointment, the system automatically queues him for that doctor. If doctor preference has not been opted for, then the system queues the patient for any available senior doctor.

The senior doctor reviews the notes, symptoms and comments entered by the junior doctor in the case logs and makes some additional entry if necessary. The doctor then creates a prescription, by entering the diagnosed condition and selecting medicines from the suggested list. The doctor also sets a suggested date for the next appointment and finalizes the case log and prescription. The patient is then added to the pharmacy queue and the prescription is automatically transmitted to the pharmacy department. When the order is ready, the patient is called to collect the order and make payments in the billing counter.

Key components of the system

  1. Appointment Booking Module
  2. Electronic health records (EHR) module
  3. Daily queue management system with dedicated interface for each type of role: receptionist, doctor, pharmacist and floor manager
  4. Staff roles, responsibilities and system access module
  5. Staff roster module that integrates with appointment module for capacity determination
  6. Smart OCR module that integrates with EHR module
  7. Gate keeper mobile app for managing high volume in free clinic

Tech Stack used for building and deploying the syst

Admin Modules & Patient Login

  • FIGMA Prototyping
  • Illustrator

Front-End Development

  • Full-Stack Front-End Development
  • HTML5, CSS3
  • AngularJS
  • Javascript and JQuery

Back-End Development

  • C# .Net Core Web API
  • Entity Framework
  • SQL Server 2019

OCR Module:
Windows Client/Server Application Development

  • Win Forms
  • Tesseract Library
  • Iron OCR Extraction Wrapper’s
  • WebServices using WebAPI

Digital transformation journey and its challenges

As it is clear from the overview of system requirements, the client wanted an application with unique capabilities and workflow. In order to enable rapid deployment, they explored the option of using multiple third party application which would be integrated to provide the desired capabilities and workflow. However, this did not seem a viable option as the required workflow couldn’t be achieved and sensitive data would have to be shared between multiple SaaS servers.

Creating a bespoke application which would only use third party integrations to facilitate two factor authentication and transactional messages seemed like viable solution. And, after months of discussion the requirements were translated into wireframes and documentations created to allow the development team to attain an understanding of the project requirements.

As development progressed, the intrinsic complexity of the system was realized and the development team could only build a few modules within the span of 1 year.

Currently, the modules that have been developed are undergoing UAT, while development work continues on other modules which will help the system scale-up to provide complete digital transformation.

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