Apollo Hospitals is a well known hospital chain with business in Asia and the Middle East regions. The chain runs clinical trials across locations and specialties under a non-profit arm called AHERF. The research and studies conducted at AHERF is aimed towards a better tomorrow. Clinical trials are subjected to international regulations from the stage of qualification by ethical committee to execution and submission of report to the sponsors. Data confidentiality and real time access to various internal and external partners is crucial. The organization were looking at developing a highly customized CRM platform for their needs.
Customized solution for Asia’s healthcare chain
AHERF chose Veon Consulting to implement CRM. The deliverable was complex. Its had 30+ custom modules with complex inter-relationships, workflows and some heavily customized reporting for the various types of users. Happy with the implementation, the company awarded a 3 year contract to Veon Consulting for managing further changes / releases as well as supporting the instance for them.
Apart from the fact that not many users were predicted to be computer savvy, many other items made the solution to be unique. The following are the major highlights of the solution which was implemented at AHERF.
a. Large volume of data
There were thousands of daily visits across 6 branches of the hospital chain. Detailed record for each patient was maintained. Each trial ran for multiple number years hence leading to high volume of data being recorded.
b. Access to Dashboard
Real time data was available on demand as records were maintained at in a single applications and could be aggregated. The dashboard helped in tracking of to-do list for the individual user groups and hence made them effective.
c. Location-wise Details
The head of the Clinical Trial was able to drill down and get a clear picture of other location. The location owner could report the progress of the trials being conducted and % completion specialization wise.
d. Formatted Reports
Multiple reports were made in pre-defined manner for proper analysis. These reports were designed to track the progress and urgent items which could help eliminate delays in trial completion.
e. Adherence to Quality Norms
Quality team was able to monitor quality and verify whether the standards are being maintained. This was not only to fulfill the statutory norms but also to track any risks that might arise due to any lapse in quality standards.
f. Cutting down on Lead Times
Lead time between different phases of clinical trial was unnecessarily too long earlier was severely cut down after implementation of the solution. This helped in overall tracking of the trials from inception to completion.
g. Automating Scheduling
Scheduling of patient appointment was a tough and cumbersome job. The solution helped in automatically scheduling the visits as per the trial protocol as well as ensuring that proper visit schedule is being followed.
h. Proactive Diagnosis
If some process went wrong, it could only be tracked at the end, which led to financial loss.After implementation of the solution it was possible to rectify issues much earlier.
The application matched the expectations of the management at Apollo who needed a simple as well as secured solution. The user interface was end user friendly and easy to learn as well. The system alerted senior management if any parameter of a clinical trail went out of the acceptable tolerance limit.
The solution implemented was a customized application to manage clinical trials and have a web enabled interface where real time data could be accessed. The following were the key business benefits of the solution.
a. High user adoption from day one
Due to simple user interface there was a minimal user training required to get on with the system. This was critical as the end users had varying levels of IT experience.
b. Efficient review process
The workflows implemented in the system made it easy for the ethical committee to review the new trials requested and get back to the sponsors (drug companies). This was specially made simple as all the relevant documents were also tracked in a single place. The multi-tier approval was made easy with the application resulting in 27% cut in the timeline of the review process.
c. Efficient handling of patient visits and outcome
The patient visits were automatically scheduled as per the trial’s protocol. The tests and observation were also saved in a single place. This was made accessible to the sponsors on a real time basis. This saved manual effort by as much as 42%.
d. Effective reporting and dashboards
The doctors had real time visibility of the trials going under their supervision across locations. This helped reduce number of travels by 50% and also increased the effectiveness of the study.