A Doctor’s Role In Digital Health

As the world becomes more digitized, the healthcare industry is also transitioning into the digital age. Dr. Hanis Hasri, a medical doctor and subject matter expert for the Hospital Information Systems for all hospitals under the Ministry of Health in Malaysia shares what are the roles doctors play in digital health.

Dr. Hanis Hasri initially started as a medical officer in pediatrics after finishing her housemanship. However, her path took a different turn when her son was diagnosed with autism, and she had to prioritize his growth and development. She spent seven years in the pediatrics department before facing a crucial decision: continue pursuing a Master’s Degree in Pediatrics or explore other opportunities.

Her superior at the time offered her the role of medical officer in charge of the pediatric emergency department in the hospital. Since her department was new, Dr. Hanis had to assist her specialist in doing administrative work, while running the floor for clinical work.

While running the department, Dr. Hanis realized that automation was necessary to manage her workload and improve patient safety. She learned how to use Excel to count working hours, do rostering, and manage assets in the department. This allowed her to have more time for clinical work since her system catered to the administrative work.

As Dr. Hanis’s interest in technology grew, she attended coding boot camps to expand her skills. She expressed her desire to progress and incorporate technology into clinical work to her head of department, who recommended that she learn Health Informatics. With a simple Google search, she delved into building apps, websites, and utilizing Google Sheets, Drive, and Slides to do online simulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eventually, her interest in Health Informatics led her to pursue a master’s degree in the field.

I knew I needed to learn how to automate my admin work, if not I would struggle to cope.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to learn how to utilize technology to its fullest potential. Telemedicine is an excellent example of using technology to provide healthcare services remotely. The use of electronic health records (EHRs) is also essential for storing and retrieving patient information efficiently. Furthermore, digital tools such as wearables, health tracking apps, and artificial intelligence (AI) can help doctors monitor their patients remotely and detect potential health problems before they become serious.

Dr Hanis notes that the role of doctors as business analysts is becoming increasingly important in today’s healthcare industry, as technology continues to play a critical role in healthcare delivery. As healthcare systems become more complex and data-driven, it is essential to have individuals who understand both the clinical workflows and the IT infrastructure that supports them.

A critical aspect of technology adoption is collaborating with IT teams to implement digital solutions and workflows. Doctors who have a basic understanding of coding, data analytics, and cybersecurity can work more efficiently with IT teams and leverage technology to deliver better patient care.

Dr. Hanis Hasri, emphasizes the importance of clinicians’ roles in medical technology. As subject matter experts of hospital work processes, clinicians are in the best position to advise those in the technology world on how the system should be designed to best support clinical workflow.

This is because clinicians are the only ones who understand how hospitals work and how patients are treated. While engineers may have solutions, they do not always understand the problem that needs to be solved. Clinicians can filter and determine when and where to use certain technologies, as not all technologies are suitable for all patients.

There is a common belief that health tech companies are trying to replace doctors with their software. Dr. Hanis explains that it depends on what processes the system is being used to replace. For example, in her thesis on machine learning, she found that certain processes can be automated, such as classifying patients’ risk levels or predicting their length of stay in the hospital. However, the decision-making process for clinical diagnoses cannot be replaced by a machine. Dr. Hanis highlights that the role of clinicians in medical technology is to determine which processes can and should be automated and which ones require human expertise.

Doctors who possess knowledge in clinical medicine and IT can bridge the gap between the hospital and the IT developers, helping to identify opportunities for innovation and improvement in the use of technology to deliver better patient care. They can also help to develop and implement new software applications and systems that streamline clinical workflows, improve data management, and enhance patient outcomes.

Health tech companies are actively seeking doctors with both clinical and IT knowledge, as they recognize the value that these individuals can bring to their organizations. With the increasing demand for digital health solutions, doctors who possess computer science knowledge are in high demand and can command high salaries.

In conclusion, embracing technology is no longer an option for doctors. It has become a necessity to deliver quality healthcare services, especially during times of crisis. Our AI & Machine Learning Bootcamp for Doctors offers an opportunity for doctors to learn and embrace technology, enabling them to leverage the latest digital tools to provide better patient care. Don’t miss this chance to take the first step towards digital healthcare. Sign up for our AI & Machine Learning Bootcamp today!

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