Student Dissertation

Agency : Distributed Care Setups, Advanced Home Healthcare, ICT, Underutilization

Objective : To understand the human factors of poor utilization of ICT in Advanced Home Healthcare Services (Portea Medical Services).

Background : Portea Home Healthcare (2012) is one of the pioneer start-ups for home healthcare in India with 24 centres across India and 4 centres in Malaysia. Portea is healthcare with technology. It provides primary healthcare more accessible, affordable and accountable to patients. As per UN 2013 report, with 25% increase in non-communicable disease burden, more focus is diverting towards- “Distributed Care Setups” which includes- Home Health Care, Community Health Care, Telemedicine and Day Cares.2 Advanced Home Healthcare is used in place of ICT (Information and Communication technologies)-Based Home healthcare. It comprises technological solutions as e-mail consultations, E health, etc. The patient may be less frequently visited than in regular basic home healthcare. Advances in telecommunications, web solutions, and social networking tools have the potential to support health care delivery and education. But ICT can be effective only when the internal staff/employees utilize it at optimal levels. In this paper, the primary focus was to understand and analyse the factors of under/poor-utilization of ICT from employees’ perspective for Portea.

Methodology : Methodology: ï‚· Study type- Descriptive study ï‚· Study area- PAN India- 18 cities ï‚· Study period- 3 months (March to May 2016) ï‚· Study Respondents- Operations Manager, Business Managers, and Coordinators. ï‚· Sample size- Census (28 BM, 32 Operations Managers, 33 Co-ordinators across 18 cities of India) ï‚· Sample Method – Cluster Sampling Method ï‚· Data type- Primary data ï‚· Data collection tool – Semi-Structured questionnaire (online, telephonic, personal interview). ï‚· Data collection technique- Face to face, Telephonic interview and direct observations, Conference calls, Business travel plan ï‚· Limitation in data collection- Un responded questionnaire (2), People switched the organization (2) ï‚· Data Analysis- The data analysis done in MS Excel ï‚· Ethical Consideration- Data confidentiality will be maintained throughout the study; the data will be shared for the dissertation purpose only.

Findings : The questionnaire filled by respondents gave an idea about the current level of utilization of ICT from employees’ perspectives. Questionnaire results indicated several usability problems and deficiencies/gaps which considerably hindered the efficiency of Home Healthcare ICT use and professionals’ routine work. Systems lacked the appropriate features to support typical operational tasks, such as availability, delivery delays, process mapping, Approvals and inter departmental communication. Thus, from the study, the situational analysis shows that the major problem areas in ICT for HHC are: ï‚· Response time/delays (24%) ï‚· Interdepartmental Communication (22%) ï‚· Training & Education (20%) Major Parameters associated with the above factors are: ï‚· Multiple Clearances/Approvals (65%) ï‚· Availability (64%) ï‚· SOP/ Quality issues/Compliance (51%) There could be the permutation combination of any of these 6 major reasons which could change the situation of the ICT in HHC (Portea).

Recommendations : The study was aimed to understand the human factors associated with ICT at Portea. Despite the technology resource & availability, there were some human gaps in each and every delivery point. Hence, there is a need to understand & improve the utilization of ICT resources as well as need to form strategies to eliminate the delivery point issues. This helps to understand the problems & thereby assist in improving the quality of services both internally and externally. When the internal collaboration is there in the organisation, it improves the external outcomes and quality. This will not only help to improve the operational part but also enhance the quality services with profitable sustainable models.