Online Hospital Consultancy in India: A Fad or Market Reality?

Smart hospitals in India 

Every healthcare facility needs to identify shortcomings in terms of their technology, processes, infrastructure, manpower skills, financial judiciousness, and above all patient centric approach. While a fair number of healthcare institutions have spent years getting by with average facilities and practices, the “this has always worked for us and therefore we will continue to work in this manner” approach will not serve them well anymore. The willingness and strong intent to adopt technology, incorporate modern practices, and exceed patient expectations is paramount today.

Hospital consultancy, despite being a new domain, has been around for over two decades in its current form, and has been expanding its gamut of services on offer. And hospital consultants exist for a reason. They are not here to replace hospital management and administrators, but on the contrary to share their knowledge and experience with them and enhance the quality of healthcare facilities. Just like chartered accountants, doctors, wealth managers, investment bankers, IT consultants, engineers, plumbers, carpenters and a host of other professionals have a specific role to play, a hospital consultant too plays an important role that adds immense value to the industry. A healthcare facility needs the expertise of a hospital consultant as much as the hospital consultant needs inputs from management and administration at hospitals. If this synergy is recognized, it will be highly valuable to improving the face of healthcare delivery.

The competition amongst healthcare providers across all levels has grown fierce in recent times in India. It’s not just the celebrated hospital chains that are vying for market share and greater valuations, but also symbolic institutions that have stood the test of time for over five decades, newer professionally run hospitals, nursing homes, and independent doctor run clinics. It’s not enough to move along anymore just by implementing run of the mill practices, and ones that could be labelled as draconian in nature. Healthcare is getting smart, and consumers are getting smarter with information available at their fingertips.

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Having said this, as hospital consultants in India, we do realize that not everyone has deep pockets, and the need to be conservative and selective in upgrading and enhancing one’s facility is critical. With experience in the healthcare sector, doctors, hospital administrators, nursing home owners, as well as hospital management of varying types of hospitals can work with basic structures that have been provided by hospital consultants. Hospital consultants can design processes, recommend infrastructural developments/alterations, advise on equipment planning, provide staffing guidelines, create policy documents, recommend marketing techniques, conduct secondary research to understand market dynamics amongst other services.

In order to ensure cost effectiveness a lot of these services can be provided through online hospital consultancy.

Here are a few examples of the services that can be offered online.

Offer advisory on hospital equipment, patient furniture and Medical Gas Pipeline System (MGPS)

         • Provide equipment lists by departments
         • Provide technical specifications and other pertinent details for site planning
         • Provide indicative pricing based on the level of technology
         • Offer vendor recommendations based on the technology and equipment type
         • Provide techno-commercial comparisons to facilitate procurement

Offer advisory on manpower planning

          • Create an organogram and provide a list of personnel by department
          • Identify the optimum level of staff based on the level and type of services
          • Create elaborate job profiles for each type of staff
          • Provide general advisory on recruitment practices

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Offer advisory and technical inputs for architectural planning

         • Create an area program by department
         • Provide weight load and power load for all medical equipment that impact design
         • Create typical Room Data Sheets that incorporate equipment, furniture, utility, electrical, air-conditioning requirements  and interiors material requirements

Offer advisory on marketing techniques

        • Provide advisory on soft and hard marketing methods based on the type of hospital
        • Assist with the designing of the website and other marketing material
        • Create content for online marketing

Offer general feasibility advisory for upcoming healthcare facilities and expansion for existing hospitals

        • Conduct secondary research for a specific location to identify demographics, disease profiles, healthcare seeking habits, and healthcare service providers
       • Based on robust assumptions and client inputs, provide a financial feasibility report that captures capital costs, operations costs and revenues, occupancy rates, service wise costs and revenues, breakeven points, profitability, and future projections

Online hospital consultancy allows a hospital consultant to provide these services without having to deploy manpower to client locations. This enables a more cost effective approach for hospitals and allows them to use their own acumen and experience to work with these frameworks

So is online hospital consultancy in India a fad or reality? The ones that are keen on a first mover advantage are already making use of such services. With the right mind-set, and willingness to constantly improve, it can become your reality too.

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