AT the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was common to hear ambulance sirens breaking the silence on empty motorways. Hospitals became the battlefield where medical officers risked their lives caring for affected patients. At the same time, with a constant stream of patients being admitted on a daily basis, hospitals also serve as a breeding ground for the coronavirus.
Despite strict adherence to new standard operating procedures (SOP) and guidelines, it was the handling of physical currency - as well as other factors - that became an enabler for Covid-19 transmission.
Moreover, the higher level of safety procedures also greatly affected hospital operations, which traditionally involve large amounts of paperwork and manual tasks. In turn, this gave rise to administrative backlogs, amongst other issues.
Over the past few months, Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz UKM (HCTM UKM) has stepped up to the plate to strengthen their position with new SOP and guidelines to address these issues, while fighting in the battle against Covid-19.
It is doing so via digital means by partnering with digitised community-based safety solution KipleLive and cashless payment solution KiplePay.
Through this partnership with the two subsidiaries of technology and telecommunications company Green Packet Bhd, the hospital is immediately addressing key concerns on manual safety procedures.
Addressing manual issues
One of the key hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, HCTM UKM has an annual capacity of 40,000 inpatients, which means that safety is paramount in order to prevent the emergence of a new cluster.
Safety procedures in hospitals are strict in nature and are not easy to sustain without an increase in manpower. For instance, while hospitals have restricted access to a few entrances, they will still need to allocate additional manpower to monitor visitors at different stations.
Without digital technology, it would require a team of at least three at the entrance and many other personnel at different stations.
After entering the building, another round of paper-based registration with similar information is required at the hospital lobby, with visitors needing to fill in their temperature into forms for contact tracing purposes.
However, the misplacement of such paperwork or potential alerts of any outbreak can cause an immense amount of work, with the medical administration team required to shuffle through tons of manual records to trace people who could be infected.
Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, HCTM UKM is leveraging on KipleLive solutions to tackle the challenge, as these solutions are highly customisable and able to cater to changes in the needs and SOPs for different scenarios within the hospital.
Incorporated with a built-in framework for outbreak prevention, KipleLive comprises artificial intelligence (AI) thermal scanners, a mobile application for users and a backend platform for management.
This means that hospitals such as HCTM UKM can not only easily comply with the stringent SOP outlined by the government, but also be able to retrieve accurate contact tracing data points while operating at its full capacity.
Leveraging technology for operations
The KipleLive thermal scanner speeds up the registration process through automation. With digitalisation in place, staff, medical officers, visitors and patients will get a quick response (QR) code and are required to fill in the form online through the QR profile check-in for digital records, prior to entering the building.
Thermal scanners placed at all the hospital entrances register visitor temperatures with AI face recognition. In addition, the technology can cater for simultaneous scans, allowing for a large group of people to enter the hospital without causing any delay.
Beyond that is the need to push for cashless payment methods, as almost everyone that enters the hospital needs to deal with cash, either at the beginning of their journey or towards the end. This increases exposure to the virus, which is the reason why digital payments - that were once a convenience - have now become a necessity, with even the World Health Organisation recommending for countries to go cashless to curb the spread of the Covid 19.
In this, the KiplePay e-wallet solutions fit the gap in providing an end-to-end cashless ecosystem for hospital patients, visitors and staff. Patients only need to scan the QR code at the counter and pay through cashless methods from their phone. Upon collection, they will need to do a KipleLive Face ID verification, which can also be used as a contactless identification and authentication method.
Cashless hospitals would require merchants to be onboarded on to the digital payment platform, creating an ecosystem that is not only safe but also convenient by providing an end-to-end digital solution for their hospital staff, frontline professionals, patients and visitors alike.
For example, family members can purchase water or flowers with the KiplePay e-wallet, while the patient waits to collect medication.
Gone were the days where visitors had to worry about wasting time in a long queue at the ticket machine, as parking fees are automatically deducted from the mobile application via the KiplePark license plate recognition system as they leave the hospital.
These examples of HCTM UKM, partnering with KipleLive and KiplePay, set the bar for the medical industry as the hospital takes the initiative to digitalise safety SOP and introduce cashless payment methods to enhance and streamline its operations and safety procedures. With much uncertainty still looming despite the drop in new infections within the country, there is no guarantee that there will not be a second wave of Covid-19 to come, which is where digital platforms such as KipleLive and KiplePay can play a role in lifting some of the burden off hospitals, while ensuring all stakeholders remain safe and protected.