Monday, April 27, 2009

Canadian Centre of Excellence in Jaipur

An Indo-Canadian Collaboration
Andrew Holt

Health care is a global concern. World-wide growth in clinical and technical knowledge, pressures to meet the changing demand and expectations both locally and internationally, fragmentation of services and overwhelming cost burden have created many opportunities for international collaboration. Although there is widespread discussion at local, provincial and national levels little attention is being paid to systematically create collaborative international teams that draw on the inherent knowledge from diverse systems of medical practice, policy and governance, training strategies, professional licensing, funding and integrated systems for care delivery and observations made on the relationship between life style and susceptibility to diseases. The diversity of the ways in providing health care services offers many untapped opportunities for teams that collaborate across international boundaries to develop better treatment programs. Much remains to be learned through the organized and systematic sharing of care delivery strategies, methods, tools and bodies of knowledge. Collaborative models that draw from this vast intellectual and economic pool are an integral part of creating sustainable health care systems that will be effective, affordable and accessible over the long term.

The proposal to establish a Canadian Centre of Excellence by the Alpha Health Group, York University, and Michener Institute in Toronto, Canada in collaboration with the State of Rajasthan, India and the Rajasthan University of Health Sciences in Jaipur, is to work towards this goal. The Centre of Excellence will be at the forefront of technology and will focus on developing the following key areas:

  1. IT applied to Healthcare
  2. Medical Labs and Diagnostic Imaging Laboratories
  3. Accreditation and licensing
  4. Human Resource Development through Education, and training
  5. Applied research

Private and public sector resources from India and Canada will invest in the Centre of Excellence to ensure delivery of the best quality healthcare services in the following areas:
  • State of Art Medical and Diagnostic Imaging Laboratory services
  • Professional training and Continuing Education Technology School starting with Medical Laboratory Technology and Public Health Nursing School
  • Standards for Accreditation and licensing of Medical Laboratories, Hospitals, Nursing schools and other healthcare institutions in the State of Rajasthan
  • Electronic Medical Record
  • Electronic Document Management (including natural language extraction)
  • Other Software Products:
  • Electronic prescription ordering (to monitor pattern of use and also abuse by patients and ordering physicians)
  • Computer aided diagnosis and treatment
  • Evidence based medicine
  • Dynamic Scheduling of patients and optimization of resource allocation
  • Inter-disciplinary training environment for health professionals
  • Workflow Analysis
Other areas as required
  • The proposed Centre of Excellence for healthcare will apply the latest IT technology to health services and will collaborate in areas, such as:
  • Research: will focus on application of health informatics in healthcare, including tracking of infectious diseases and immunization status. Among the target research areas are evidence-based medicine, forecasting hospital needs and epidemics, biostatistic profiles, and monitoring quality of care. Alpha will also work with Rajasthan University of Health Sciences to facilitate the development and implementation of tele-medicine at the University teaching hospitals in Jaipur.
  • Education: this will include tools such as Alpha Computer Aided Diagnosis tool (Alpha CAD) to assist physicians and train medical students on the use of evidence-based medicine in diagnosis and treatment. Other areas of education will include medical schools and medical technology schools.
  • IT in Healthcare: Patient management IT tools will be made available in all 6 university teaching hospitals in Rajasthan (Globemed), clinics (UHM), and medical schools (Alpha CAD)
  • Accreditation and licensing: Alpha will provide international and national standards and facilitate the development of standards for accreditation and accreditation of healthcare institutions including diagnostic imaging, medical laboratories, hospitals, etc. where required.
  • Diagnostic Imaging and Medical Labs: a public-private partnership will be established to provide medical imaging and medical laboratory services to the University teaching hospitals and the private sector in Jaipur.

The Center of Excellence will provide state-of-the-art technology. Faculty from Rajasthan, York and Michener will use an inter- disciplinary team environment that integrates the latest e-health systems and evidence based clinical practices, to teach the students. Clinical and technical faculty could be augmented by professional faculty from areas such as engineering and international Masters in Business Administration to ensure graduating health professionals are properly trained to use the latest information systems in their team based clinical practices. Empowering health professionals to fully utilize information and knowledge management strategies is a vital skill required for life-long learning and the maintenance of competency throughout their professional career.

Experience gained at the Centre of Excellence would provide new insights into the provision of health care that could be shared internationally and contribute to the growth of quality health care within India and other countries. The International exchange of knowledge will bring together most relevant information into the clinical decision making process and training of new graduates. The Centre of Excellence will provide both India and Canada an opportunity to enhance the health services of Jaipur in the short term and will lay the foundation for a collaborative model with the potential for global impacts on health care practices over the longer term.


Corporate Profile
Alpha Healthcare Group

Alpha is a privately owned Canadian healthcare company founded in 1971 and is located in Toronto, Ontario Canada. The IT division of Alpha is engaged in developing Healthcare software including but not limited to, medical practice information systems.

Alpha Corporate Group has been serving the healthcare industry for over 37 years, providing state-of-the-art Medical and Diagnostic Imaging Laboratory Services, Industrial/Pharmaceutical Laboratory, and Managed-Care Medical Clinics. In addition, Alpha provides Electronic Medical Records and Practice Management Software for the healthcare professionals and institutions.

Alpha’s Research interest includes research in natural products, synthetic organic chemistry, physical chemistry, polymer chemistry, laboratory medicine and research and development of software systems to improve the efficiency, economy, and efficacy in treatment and management of diseases. Alpha is currently working with York University, Ottawa University, Dalhousie University and Waterloo University in Healthcare Related Research Projects to develop innovative solutions for care and treatment of patients and promoting healthy life style changes.

Andrew Holt is Vice President, Corporate Development, Alpha Health Group

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