Regional Transformation Begins with Local Healthcare Champions: HIMSS Asia Pacific

Food and Healthcare Press Releases Monday July 4, 2016 16:50
SINGAPORE--4 Jul--PRNewswire/InfoQuest

Bangkok Hospital has achieved HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 6, becoming the second hospital in Thailand to reach this high level of HIT adoption and usage. Their achievement follows closely after Paknampo Hospital became the first in Thailand to achieve Stage 6 in March.

Thailand's Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) development has been heterogeneous at best, with the private sector leading the way. Even so, major hospital groups continue to face challenges when implementing cross-departmental and group-wide solutions due to political, cost and strategic planning factors. Bigger groups are also fragmented in terms of leadership and operational objectives, making it harder for coordination and agreement on preferred solution providers and best solutions.

A silver lining does exist, and continued growth of the HIT market in Thailand points to a critical factor – local champions. Said Simon Lin, Executive Director, HIMSS Asia Pacific: "Over the past 18 months, HIMSS has engaged with several major healthcare organizations and what we found is that while there remains many challenges, people are still the key drivers behind such projects, and in Thailand for example, there are local HIT champions who are constantly pushing the envelope and driving innovation and HIT uptake. In fact, we are witnessing these people who share the same mission as HIMSS shape the very future of Thailand's healthcare."

Dr. Somsak Wankijcharoen, CIO of Bangkok Hospital and the main driver behind its EMRAM Stage 6 achievement is one such local HIT champion. "We aim to transform healthcare by becoming a leading data-driven hospital.   HIMSS Analytics EMRAM gave us a roadmap to achieve this goal.   This is the approach to facilitate our world standard clinical services," said Dr. Wankijcharoen, who is also a head and neck cancer specialist and a self-taught HIT enthusiast who has, in his personal and professional capacities, advocated for the use of HIT since the mid-90s.

Dr. Narinthorn Surasinthorn, Assistant Hospital Director at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital and social media ambassador for HIMSS AsiaPac16 also demonstrates how clinicians can leverage on social media tools to educate. Affectionately known as Dr. Carebear by patients in Thailand, he offers wellness advice on social media platforms to a network of over 400,000 followers. "At Samitivej, we are dedicated to continuously improve our service quality and outreach. To be able to contribute as a social media enthusiast and clinician has proved to be extremely beneficial to our patients and to the hospital," said Dr. Narinthorn.

In New Zealand, HIMSS has recently signed its first Association Affiliate agreement with Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ), signaling a new chapter in HIT engagement there. Kim Mundall, Chief Executive, HiNZ said, "New Zealand has a fast growing and vibrant digital health community. We see the collaboration between HiNZ and HIMSS as a key step to building stronger networks between our members and the international experts in digital health."

Regional transformation takes time but with recent engagement activities such as regional roadshows, the upcoming launch of HIMSS Asia Pacific communities, as well as HIMSS AsiaPac16 in Bangkok this August, HIMSS Asia Pacific will continue to encourage HIT champions, adopters and conversations for the betterment of care in the years to come.

Hospital tours to Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej Sukhumvit, and Bumrungrad International are available only at HIMSS AsiaPac16 . Early bird ends 22 July.

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