KPJ Healthcare hospital network connected via Google

By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic BLOOMBERG

THE healthcare sector in Malaysia, being at the forefront of the Covid- 19 pandemic, has been adapting to revolutionise and continue focusing on innovation using technology and automation.

The country’s biggest private healthcare group by capacity, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, is no stranger to exploring new ways and means of operating as it began utilising Google Meet recently.

The group has proactively adopted Google Workspace last year, aiming to ensure it maintained continuous engagement with patients and caregivers during the more challenging times of the pandemic.

“The migration to Google Workspace happened at a very unique time for KPJ Healthcare as we have been constantly exploring innovative ways on how to improve patient experience throughout our network of 28 hospitals nationwide,” it said.

Quite similar to many businesses when the pandemic hit in March 2020, employees were given over- night notices to begin working from home, leaving little to no time to plan workflow processes.

“Fortunately, KPJ Healthcare had already begun the process of implementing Google Workspace.

“We were already running a teleconsultation service as an alternative platform for existing patients, especially those who are not able to travel or have recurring follow-up appointments and top-up medication needs,” it said.

Google Meet has proved to be a viable and convenient way of interaction without any hassle.

The healthcare group added that using the platform does not require any form of installation, which turned out to be a great advantage as users varied in age and experience.

The Google Workspace platform was much less intimidating than they had thought and as a result, they were more receptive to adapting to a new tool.

“The only big difference compared to having face-to-face meetings was that the sessions had to be recorded to comply with KPJ’s internal policies and procedures for the protection of both the medical consultant and the patient.

“A bonus is with Meet’s built-in functions and Workspace’s unlimited storage, KPJ never runs out of space during a session,” the group added.

KPJ Healthcare added that the healthcare sector has a higher emphasis on security controls, especially in terms of patient-doctor consultation sessions.

Its CTO Yap Chee Wai said like regular consultations, medical consultations need to be highly personalised while patient data is handled on a need-to-know-only basis.

This meant safety from digital inference, where Meet, Forms and Sites proved competent by being a secure way to interact with and serve patients while maintaining patients’ confidentiality and confidence.

“Employees use Calendar and Gmail for scheduling events and email communication, Docs and Sheets to collaborate on documents in real-time, and Google Meet for both internal and external meetings online.

“Many employees also use Forms and Sites to collect customer feedback and run surveys related to their services. Navigating Drive is second nature to us because now we have all our files in one place and can find them easily. I believe Drive was probably the easiest of all the tools,” Yap said in a statement.

KPJ is working on turning its brick and mortar business into a hybrid one with digital as a new business arm.

“Plans include a digital platform for customers that will integrate its web and mobile applications for remote diagnostics and monitoring. As new tools become available, KPJ is keen to explore their uses for patients to have a 24/7 view of their health and a cloud-based approach is key to making this happen.

“Our mission now is to consolidate all of our data in one place and ensure that applications are cloud-enabled. Having our collaboration platform on Google Workspace is one of the first steps to making this vision possible,” Yap noted.

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