Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

A New Day in Healthcare IT

A New Day in Healthcare IT

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Total Hospital Information Systems by Global  Care  Solutions

In my last Blog posting I hinted that a "new day was coming in Healthcare IT".  As HealthBlog readers may have surmised, I had advance knowledge of an announcement that was made late last evening and is hitting the press today.  That announcement is the purchase by Microsoft of a company called Global Care Solutions (GCS) of Bangkok, Thailand.  The company produces clinical and back office solutions for enterprise hospitals.  In fact, it was developed in one such hospital; Bumrungrad Hospital.  In case you don't know, Bumrungrad is one of the leading "destination hospitals" in the world.  Each year, this Joint Commission accredited hospital treats more than 1.2 million people who come from 190 countries. 

We've been working with Global Care Solutions and Bumrungrad Hospital for some time now.  Bumrungrad served as a case study hospital in the early days of our health industry vertical here at Microsoft.  We visited the hospital on multiple occasions and profiled it as a best in class example for the the use of SQL Server in an enterprise clinical setting.  Years ago we were astounded by the simplicity of Global Care's solution that, even then, was a marvel of clinical and back office work flow automation.  Furthermore, it did all this by necessity in many foreign languages. Today GCS is implemented in 7 hospitals around the Asia Pacific region.  The system is a fully integrated suite of clinical and back office modules (50 applications) designed to run in a single database operating exclusively on Microsoft operating systems and databases.

People come to Bumrungrad Hospital from all over the world for treatment.  Many people comment that the hospital feels more like a 5-star hotel than a hospital, and it runs just as efficiently.  Part of the reason it runs so well is because of the advanced IT solutions developed by GCS.  Initial markets for GCS will include hospitals that want to purchase and implement a full end-to-end system that rapidly brings them to a fully integrated and mature IT state, as well as newer hospitals that want an innovative approach with a fully integrated HIS suite on the Microsoft platform.  This includes hospitals and health systems in SE Asia and other developing countries like China and India.

By working together with GCS and Bumrungrad, Microsoft adds to a growing portfolio of health industry solutions such as Azyxxi.  Combined with and surrounded by our ubiquitous knowledge worker solutions, data analysis and reporting capabilities, world-class communication and collaboration tools, and other resources, I think it is safe to say that a new day in healthcare IT truly has arrived!

Bill Crounse, MD     Worldwide Health Director        Microsoft Corporation


Microsoft Announces Global Care Solutions acquisition and Bumrungrad Hospital Partnership

  • Bumrungrad acts as a model for how any healthcare facility anywhere on the planet can deliver efficient, patient centric healthcare.  The combination of enlightened management and extensive utilisation of the GCS software faciltate smooth patient flow evidenced on any visit.

    The major benefit that GCS has over any other healthcare software package that I am aware of is in the breadth of functionality provided in their clinical and back office solutions.

    Another key advantage is the fact that the system was designed from day one to cater to international healthcare markets.

    It will be interesting to see how the product and deployment methodology develop with time. There are plenty of lessons to learn from observing large scale HIT deployments that have been going on in the UK and elsewhere in recent times.

    I firmly believe that Microsoft will positively enhance the global HIT marketplace with their acquisition.

  • Thanks Phil.

    I totally agree that there is much we Americans can learn about Health IT from our colleagues overseas.  Some of the best implementations of contemporary IT solutions I've seen have been on my travels overseas.  With Microsoft's acquisition of GCS, I believe a new day is dawning for lower cost, more robust, easier to use, commodity based solutions in healthcare.

    Bill Crounse, MD

  • Bill,

    I agree that there are many good examples internationally of modern use of Health IT. I have recent experience of deployments in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. I have observed good and bad examples in all geographic regions. However, all implementations  provide rich opportunities for learning, from both successful and not so successful deployments.

    A common theme is that all deployments are complex. It is essential to engage end users of the service in deployment (patient/clinical/non clinical.) Also to have strong executive sponsorship of the project.

    Having personal experience with a range of solutions and a number of methodolgies, from single departmental clincial to enterprise HIS, the greatest benefits that I have observed for a facility/client (and therefore an individual patient), are derived from a robust enterprise IT solution. This is why I believe Microsoft has made a very astute acquisition.


  • In a HealthBlog post last October , I told you about Microsoft's acquisition of software, intellectual

  • In a HealthBlog post last October , I told you about Microsoft's acquisition of software, intellectual

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