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Edition 4 :: November 2017
01 | From the ME
02 | Products
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From the ME

Roll in 2018.

MediSwitch is an information technology company. Our role is to switch claims from healthcare practices to medical aids consistently and reliably. MediSwitch is a great example of how information technology can bring about huge efficiencies in the healthcare value chain. But, as an IT company we grapple on a daily basis with the transformational impact of changing technology both in our office environment and within the healthcare market. Technology has become very personal and ubiquitous. I am of course referring to the intersection of mobile smartphones and the Internet, enabling access to almost anything and anyone wherever you are.

My pre-teenage sons ask me questions on the way to school in the morning. If I can’t answer (which is often), I hear the words “So, why don’t you Google it Dad?” “But I am driving” I respond. Only be told that I should “Ask Siri!”.

The point, however, is that technology is transforming the way we access information. Healthcare is not immune to this. The way healthcare is and will be practiced in South Africa, and how patients interact with healthcare professionals, is changing. Patients can now book appointments online; look up their pathology results online; consult Dr Google; obtain hospital authorisations online; and check out their medical aid benefits online. Certain providers are now offering online video consults with participating healthcare providers. The list is endless and the expectation among patients to be treated as equal participants in the care process is increasing.

Increased patient participation in their own health is, of course, a good thing. Technology can be used effectively to bring the interests of the patients, healthcare providers and medical funders into alignment to provide better care through the appropriate sharing of key information. Chronic care patients in particular, can participate in their own care by uploading key health measures, like blood glucose readings or blood pressure readings, on a daily basis via their smartphones.

MediSwitch is working very closely with its sister company Med-e-Mass to continually evaluate new technology and develop new software and services that can enhance and improve administrative efficiencies in the practice, and also to provide clinical solutions to practices that will transform the way they interact with their patients and provide care to their patients.

Med-e-Mass and MediSwitch recently presented a paper at the Healthcare Innovation Summit held in Midrand on the effective use of our technology platform - HealthOne Connect - as an effective technology enabler to tackle and better manage the blight of chronic health conditions in South African society. Diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension are costing our society a lot, not only in health and wellness terms, but also financially. By leveraging the patients’ access to mobile technology, and providing better care co-ordination between the patient, the practice and the medical schemes, HealthOne Connect can and is being used to make a dent in this problem. I believe that this is exactly what we need to be doing with technology - using it to make a real difference in the health of patients in South Africa.

Included in this newsletter is an article by Richard Darby on Practice Management. He provides excellent input on a number of technical solutions that can assist a practice to embrace technology to improve the patient experience with a practice.

Enjoy and ‘till next time

- Andrew


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