By gravitating towards the Cloud, Malaysia’s largest private healthcare provider has kept up patient care standards while building operational resilience.

Malaysia’s various flavors of Movement Control Orders (MCO) have been keep residents at bay countrywide, much to the chagrin of people in need of in-person medical care.

Many people are on long-term treatment plans, specialist consultation regimes and everything in-between. With any of the MCO restrictions in place, they may not be able to visit their clinic or hospital as needed. The medical facilities are also affected, having to innovate workarounds to deal with staffing, infection-control and supply-chain problems.

Bearing the brunt of such challenges was Malaysia’s largest private healthcare provider, KPJ Healthcare Berhad (KPJ), which runs a network of 28 hospitals nationwide. How could its medical facilities continue to effectively and safely serve patients while protecting its personnel?

Cloud-based teleconsultation

KPJ’s existing patients had already been using teleconsultations as an alternative platform. However, when KPJ adopted Google Meet, the workflow became smoother for both patients and hospitals. According to KPJ, a key benefit of Meet is that it does not require infirm patients to install any additional files. Following simple email instructions, all that have to do is open an email invitation, click on a link to the meeting, and then click on the session to join.

This is practical not just during the MCO, but also in the future with an inevitable transformation of the healthcare landscape.

All teleconsultation sessions must be recorded, in compliance with KPJ’s internal policies and procedures for the protection of both the medical consultant and the patient. However, Meet’s built-in functions, combined with Google Workspace’s unlimited storage, took care of potential hard drive capacity issues during a session.

Managing patient data securely

In healthcare, there is an even higher emphasis on security controls, especially in terms of patient-doctor consultation sessions. According to KPJ’s Chief Technology Officer, Yap Chee Wai: “Very much like a regular consultation, medical consultations need to be highly personalized and patient data must be handled on a need-to-know basis only.”

This means safety from digital inference. KPJ’s recent adoption of Google Meet, Forms and Sites has provided medical personnel with a secure way to interact with and serve patients while maintaining patient confidentiality and confidence.

According to Yap, the transition is in place. Today, KPJ employees use collaborate using the Google cloud apps for scheduling events and email communication, collaborate on documents in real time, and both internal and external meetings online. Many employees also use the cloud-based apps to collect customer feedback and run surveys related to their services.

Developing the future of digital healthcare

With the successful outcome of its deeper foray into cloud-based collaboration platforms, KPJ Healthcare has big plans ahead. It is working towards turning its brick-and-mortar business into a hybrid one with digital as a new business arm.

Future 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 using them to enable patients to have a 24/7 view of their health status, 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 said.

Last year, KPJ Healthcare was recognized for innovation and excellence, and its Puteri Specialist Hospital won an award for Most Advanced Healthcare Technology in the 19th Hospital Management Asia Conference in December 2020.