UltraGenda has a distinct and innovative vision with regard to the problems the healthcare industry faces today. In turn, our perception of potential solutions is revolutionary as well. When we develop solutions, we do not ask ourselves only what the market demands, but also what the sector needs.

Recognizing the Challenges

Healthcare on the Move

An aging population. An increasing number of chronically ill people. The need for multi-disciplinary cooperation across healthcare communities. Shortened bed stays. The rising cost of equipment. Structural under-financing. Empowered patients. All these variables are creating a whirlwind in the healthcare field and they are changing the landscape, fast. The context in which hospitals struggle for survival leaves them with no choice: increasing efficiency and improving service have become imperative for survival.

Processes vs. Access to Information

Concepts such as process control, ERP and e-business have literally transformed many areas of economic life—but not healthcare. Even today, the huge challenges that the sector faces are often reduced to ‘a lack of access to relevant information’ and are expected to miraculously disappear with the introduction of Electronic Patient Record systems. Unfortunately, this analysis is an oversimplification. Processes, and even more importantly, planning processes need our attention. Appointment scheduling is the primary planning layer and that is why it is our first priority.

Controlling the planning process

At least 80% of all hospital activity could be planned. However, the tools to do so don’t exist. Clinical pathways, workflow and order entry systems are useful, if not indispensable, instruments for improvement. Unfortunately, they highlight the need for a planning solution rather than providing it.

The planning function in hospitals remains immature and fragmented and existing HIS systems can not meet today’s needs. Fragmentation is the result when outpatient consultations, imaging and operations are managed in different systems. In such an environment, productivity gains are hard to achieve and online referrals and bookings remain a dream unfulfilled.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Generic solutions for generic problems

In the European Union and the US alone, 1.5 billion hospital referrals and appointments are made every year. Many of these transactions are mired in inefficiency and frustration, making appointment scheduling a universal problem. Of course, the rules are different in each department, organization or country, but the underlying mechanism is always the same: planning resources in the optimal way by taking into account thousands of written and unwritten rules.

Best-in-Class software

The sheer quantity and diversity of rules explain the extreme complexity of the appointment scheduling process. The increasing sophistication of the hospital environment intensifies this complexity. Trying to tackle the complex planning issues of today with an EPR or an RIS is looking for trouble. Only generic, web-native and best-in-class software can offer an effective solution. Such software fits perfectly in the concept of a Service Oriented Architecture.

Towards a revolution

In healthcare, the transformation still looms on the horizon. Inside the hospital, there is room for a substantial increase in productivity and improvement in service. This is equally true when it comes to the interaction between hospitals and the rest of the healthcare community. Why is it that the average referral process remains convoluted? Why does a dialysis patient need to bother busy staff for a weekly appointment? State-of-the-art, robust software for referral and appointment management, integrated with innovative portal applications for the patient and the referring physician are the ingredients for this revolution in healthcare; a revolution in which everyone wins.

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