Malaysia bagged the title of 'Best Healthcare in the World' back in 2016 and this year, we are once again honoured with the same title and rank by International Living Annual Global Retirement Index when we scored 95 out of 100 points. Followed by France, Thailand, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Mexico, we came in first thanks to various impressive reasons such as well-informed and trained medical staff, world-class healthcare services as well as top-level infrastructure. In a country that operates on a two-tier healthcare system where government and private medical centres coexist, Malaysia has a rather widespread and efficient healthcare system compared to other countries.
Despite constant, extensive technology adoption in government hospitals and clinics backed by the Ministry of Health, a number of private clinics have some catching up to do. Many private clinics are either still operating on the traditional way of documentation or they do double the work as they record with pen and paper as well as keying in information into a software system as a backup. Some of them may cite that they have trust issues with certain software because it may crash and data will be lost. Hence, they have a physical copy of the record that is filled in by the patients beforehand. They reckoned that this is more convenient for the administrators since they just need to key in the data and it is a way to minimise spelling errors as well.
Some worries remain even when they are using a software that backs up information to the cloud system. It is a concern of data safety and if the software company will sell their data to third parties. All these doubts are understandable as Malaysia is still in an infancy stage in the software industry. Old habits die hard and for private clinics who have been doing manual work for as long as they can remember to go on a complete transformation overnight is close to impossible. Therefore, we need to encourage gradual changes over a period of time to ensure a smooth transition and increased technology uptake of private clinics steadily.
Getting the most suitable and compatible software will solve most if not all of the problems. There is no need to do the same work twice, no extra costs every month for paper filing, no wasted space, no lost records and the list goes on. Patients no longer need to wait for a long time during registration, their medical records will be kept safe, clear and medical staff have a more convenient way in administrating any documentation or taking down notes. Clearly, the benefits and values outweigh the cons. Sure, software implementation may come with several risks but if you go the extra mile in researching and verifying for the legitimate software, then it will definitely be beneficial in the long run.
All industries around the world have been fiercely implementing software technology to compete globally. The vast benefits of software adoption will be able to spark domestic competition and drive competitiveness to maintain Malaysia's global ranking and healthcare quality. We should not put a limit cap on ourselves just because we are ranked first but instead try to improve continuously in all areas to maintain our rank and secure the title annually. Private clinics should stop hesitating or undermining the adoption of software into their operations process. A better system means more patients served and more people get to enjoy the tiptop healthcare that Malaysia has to offer. The change should start today, little by little and the best time to adopt software, is now.