Busamed, a fully black-owned South African hospital group, continues to deliver on its commitment to patient care through digital transformation by applying cutting-edge technology combined with an unparalleled dedication to quality of care. Busamed’s journey kicked-off with the commissioning of four hospitals, comprising almost 600 hospital beds, in the provinces of Gauteng, the Western Cape and the Free State, with the most recent facility recently opening in Modderfontein.
Busamed IT Manager, Servesan Moodley said the use of technology to deliver accurate, effective healthcare services to patients was a core value for the business since its inception in 2014. “At a global level, healthcare is increasingly becoming a precision industry, with healthcare providers striving for the ‘right treatment for the right person at the right time’. In South Africa, this is particularly challenging considering our diverse population. We believe that by building our healthcare services on the latest technology, we are able to move closer to the dream of personalised healthcare for all patients.”
Busamed’s network of hospitals is expected serve the communities in which it operates in many ways: from the healthcare services delivered to patients, to the creation of at least 1200 new jobs (within the first 4 facilities) and by stimulating positive competition in the healthcare sector. However, it faced the challenge of building hospitals which is a highly capital-intensive endeavour, with massive infrastructure costs and expensive medical equipment. Inevitably, these high upfront costs take time to deliver results – as bed occupancy rates remain low, and only start ramping up after some time.
By adopting a longer-term, opex-based model, Busamed could access the best IT services, specialised for the healthcare sector, with minimal upfront costs. This eased the business case for Busamed freeing up working capital and enabled the group to channel financial resources into other areas.
Busamed collaborated with T-Systems, a strategic SAP healthcare partner, to build a complete end-to-end Hospital Information System, financials, logistics, clinical information systems, human capital management and more. The system interfaces with external partners and third-party service providers, such as retail pharmacies and Laboratory Information Systems. “The technology is designed to integrate all our facilities to deliver a single view of every patient. This means that a Busamed patient may walk into any of our facilities nationally and immediately have access to their full patient files. We believe this will bring huge improvements to the accurate treatment of every patient, resulting in more personalised and effective healthcare service delivery,” explained Moodley.
A ‘healthcare-as-a-service’ solution which included hosting, support, project services, software, and maintenance was established. This incorporated the end-to-end healthcare value chain and included the three critical domains of a hospital – the patient, the enterprise and the employee.
“Information across the entire healthcare value chain is available in a governed, integrated and real-time fashion, allowing hospital management or care specialists to know exactly what is happening with a particular patient, at any moment. We have great visibility over the performance of specific wards or units, or particular cases, enabling us to make informed decisions on how to optimise processes and enhance the quality of care,” explained Moodley.
To date, the Busamed solution has already brought several immediate benefits to the group, including:
- A connected network of hospitals that allows the rich history of patient data (including results from radiology, pathology and other labs) to be accessed by authorised staff, irrespective of which Busamed hospital one visits. This helps achieve informed, accurate and timely patient diagnoses.
- Cost-efficiencies that do away with capex outlays for IT systems, enabling Busamed to invest its working capital into the operations of each facility. This has directly contributed to Busamed “cutting the ribbon” on new hospitals at an impressive rate.
- Integration between service providers which allows for data from independently-managed facilities – such as radiology or cardiology – to be integrated via the extensible technology platform. This offers care-givers a singular, comprehensive, and trusted view of the patient.
- Enhanced productivity through increased automation, fully digitised patient records which reduce time spent recording and searching for patient information, allowing Busamed staff to focus their energies on delivering exceptional care.
- Ease-of-expansion thanks to the cloud-based architecture, which allows management to quickly roll out relevant healthcare technology stacks to any hospitals or clinics Busamed builds in future.
- Superior patient experiences, from the admissions process which takes only minutes, to care services that are delivered swiftly and efficiently, the technology platform allows Busamed to improve patient happiness levels as well as potentially saving lives due to the more accurate and accessible patient information.
Peter Mills, Healthcare Practice, T Systems, South Africa, said: “Implementations such as this have the potential to make a real, tangible difference in the lives of patients. I am proud to see how the work done by the team is translating into real-world benefits in the healthcare sector, where technology holds such immense potential for real positive change.”
SAP Africa Healthcare Principal Charmaine Odendaal, added: “At a global level, SAP is making a considerable investment in technology to improve healthcare around the world by enabling smarter health decisions. This has the power to ensure better outcomes and lower costs. Working with our partners T-Systems enables our solutions in the healthcare sector and brings us closer to our commitment.”