According to the independent and professional investment information and credit rating agency, ICRA Limited (ICRA), the long-term outlook for the Indian hospital sector is stable with annual revenues likely to grow at 12-14 per cent over the next five years on account of rising demand and medical tourism. The hospital industry in India stood at Rs 4 trillion (US$ 61.79 billion) in 2017 and is expected to reach Rs 8.6 trillion (US$ 132.84 billion) by 2023. India’s unorganized primary healthcare system is presently worth $30 billion and is growing at least 25 percent a year.
Apart from the size of the market, another striking fact is the hunger for innovation by entrepreneurs and patients alike. This is why multi-specialty chains and diagnostic laboratories are turning out to be game changers in this domain.
Also, unlike many restrictive Indian industries, from insurance to real estate and telecoms, there are no limits on foreign ownership in healthcare.
Healthcare Is The Most Lucrative Destination For Moneybags In India
The healthcare sector in India is all set to be the next boom area in the economy. With a growing population interested in personal health and hygiene, government efforts that prioritize health policy and spending and a significant, if underutilized, population of medical professionals, the health economy in the country is proving to be a magnet for private equity and venture capital investments. Goldman Sachs, Warburg Pincus, Sequoia Capital and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp are among investors that pumped $520 million into India’s basic healthcare industry this year, compared with $137 million in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data.
In my previous blog posts, I’d explained how the Indian Government has emerged as a key market force, with funds focused specifically on healthcare. The national budget for the year 2018-19 has allocated funds specially for healthcare entrepreneurship and innovation. Add to this, limited grant funding, philanthropic & other public-sector funding agencies, investors of all types (high-net-worth individuals and angel investors, venture capital funds, commercial private equity funds, impact investors), initiatives like tax rebates for new businesses, incentives for investors who support early-stage organizations and a growing spate of public-private partnerships and academic institutions, it is easy to see why the medical sector in India is poised for significant bolstering.
Why Is It So Hard For Organised Healthcare Providers And Start-Ups Alike To Succeed In India, Inspite Of Obvious Market Potential Here?
You are a leader of your own healthcare organization in India. Or, you are looking at the numbers and deciding to foray into India’s dynamic and growing healthcare market. As part of your market scan, you understand only too well the pressures that rising health care costs place on individuals, employers, and the government, as you are of the unacceptable shortfalls in the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the country.
Through your personal experiences in your own institution and through communication and collaboration with colleagues in others, you may have learned that better health outcomes at lower costs can be achieved through care transformation initiatives. These measures yield improved results, more satisfied patients, and organizational cultures of continuous learning.
In this last of the three part blogpost series, I have created a set of questions that you can use in the form of A Checklist for High-Value Health Care In India. My attempt is to describe, in as generic a way as possible, the foundational lessons that will be relevant to every Medical Director, CEO and Board member, and to the healthcare delivery organizations they lead.
These are central not only to your work, to date, in Indian healthcare, but also impact your ability to sustain and reinforce the system-wide transformation necessary for continuous improvement in the face of rapidly increasing pressures, demands, and market changes.
This Checklist is intended to be a living and dynamic document, and I invite both suggestions to improve its utility and reach, and inquiries from decision-makers of healthcare organizations who wish to incorporate these transformation strategies for effective, efficient, and continuously improving health care for all Indians.
- What is our strategy for continuous improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of care, and are we reinforcing it with every member of our organization?
- What else can our Board and its members do to emphasize and help drive our continuous improvement efforts?
- In what ways are our employees at every level supported and empowered to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and outcomes in their daily work?
- What tools have we built into our processes for continuous feedback and action to improve care delivery?
- How well is our I.T. system used to help providers streamline administrative tasks and improve the care experience and patient outcomes?
- How well is our Electronic Health Records (EHR) aligned with Meaningful Use requirements?
- For which of our most common and highest-cost conditions and procedures do we not yet have evidence-based care protocols? What is our strategy for filling these gaps and keeping others current?
- Which of our care protocols are not yet integrated into provider workflows via our EHR and what is our plan to fully integrate them?
- What procedures have we put in place for continuous monitoring of patient flow, occupancy, and staffing levels for each major service line?
- What indices do we use to identify and eliminate unnecessary and wasteful fluctuations, variation, and inefficiencies in each element?
- What procedures ensure optimal care transitions, both within units of the hospital and between the hospital and the community?
- How do we assess which care setting is most cost-effective and appropriate to the patient experience and outcome?
- How do we define the patient’s care team and ensure that each care step is delivered by the most appropriate team member?
- What tools are being provided to our clinicians to aid in the communication of complex medical information to patients and their families?
- How do we require and facilitate the routine engagement of patients and their families as fully-informed, active decision makers in the planning and execution of their care?
- What is our procedure for identifying, engaging, and tailoring the management of high-risk, resource-intensive patients?
- What resources are we dedicating to the targeting and intensive management of the health of these patients, here and in the community?
- For which of the most common injuries and errors have we developed or adapted specific protocols to reduce their incidence, and what are the priorities ahead?
- How are these protocols fully integrated into existing workflows, such as through prompts in our EHR?
- How do we measure and benchmark adherence to evidence protocols, service utilization rates, and performance on quality, costs, and outcomes?
- What are our procedures for using performance data to improve outcomes and reduce variability, costs, and waste?
- How do we communicate clinician specific performance data back to clinicians, and how can we improve that communication?
The Checklist addresses the systems-level issues central in transitioning to a high-value healthcare system in India, one that improves outcomes while reducing costs. The Checklist’s 22 items reflect the strategies that, in my experience, have proven effective and essential to improving quality and reducing costs.
They describe the foundational, infrastructure, care delivery, and feedback components of a system oriented around value, and represent basic opportunities – indeed obligations – for hospital and healthcare delivery system CEOs and Boards to improve the value of health care in their institutions.
Taken together, this Checklist needs to be woven into the organizational strategy for improving quality and reducing cost amid a changing landscape, one that is marked by growing demand for cost-effective, quality healthcare services in India, the rapid proliferation of telemedicine, the penetration of health insurance companies, mergers and acquisitions leading to rising corporatisation in the medical industry and government schemes that are fast changing the competitive landscape.
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You have decided to enter the Indian market, much encouraged by the initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. You have engaged the consumer, segmented the and market and now stand poised to take the next step, when media gets buzzing with the GST bill. In the fast changing Indian markets, this is just a reminder to you.
GST = Get your Strategy Together!
A very important third step in Modi’s Marketing Manual is CREATE. Read about it more at http://wp.me/p6tQjj-3o.
Case in Point:
The Prime Minister is a firm believer in the power of technology. Since taking office in May 2014 the Prime Minister has sought to increase the usage of technology in the working of the Government. He launched the Digital India initiative, an all-encompassing programme, to invigorate the working of the government with latest technology and provide solutions to people’s problems through the power of technology. The Prime Minister has started a unique initiative PRAGATI, a technology based multi-purpose and multi-nodal platform where projects are monitored and people’s problems are addressed. On the last Wednesday of every month, the Prime Minister himself sits down with top officials during the PRAGATI sessions and covers substantial ground in a wide range of sectors. This has made a very positive difference in the lives of many Indians.
Like PM Modi, do you have an Automation, Technology & Engagement Strategy (A.T.E. Strategy) in place to capture a large market share?
Here are a couple of pointers to get you started:
It is common knowledge that the proven channels that helps businesses top the ranks in digital marketing ROI and which offer them a cost-effective way of reaching out to customers are, email marketing, closely followed by social media listening. Automation technologies for data storage and sharing as well as for measurement & analytics can help businesses perform better and deliver results no one expected.
Do you have an integration mechanism ready for this in your marketing strategy?
Navroz Mubarak, peeps. May this New Year be filled with success, prosperity & happiness.