The inaugural ASAIPA National Medical Awards 2018 have recognised five medical professionals for their use of cloud-based digital solutions to improve patient and practice management.
The Alliance of SA Independent Practitioners Awards took place at the Midrand Conference Centre to recognise and honour independent private medical professionals for their hard work and dedication to making a difference in South African healthcare. Sponsored by the likes of Sanlam, Standard Bank and Healthbridge, the awards were created as a platform for independent private health practitioners to put their best foot forward and to be selected as the national “Top Practitioner” in their respective categories and medical fields.
The awards included five different categories, including a digital health category sponsored by Healthbridge. The five finalists in the ‘Recognition for embracing digital solutions to achieve better patient and business outcomes’ category were chosen because of their role as champions for better care, using digital solutions. The winners of the category are Dr Vanessa Lalaram-Doorgha, Dr Breaan Spies and Dr Lutete Malanda from Gauteng; Dr Claudine Lee from Kwazulu-Natal and Dr Putswana Senoamadi from Limpopo.
Dr Lalaram-Doorgha was awarded for her embracing technology as an enabler to improve the delivery of patient care. Dr Lalaram-Doorgha, who has been using Healthbridge’s digital practice management solution since the start of 2018, noted the tremendous impact it has had on her patients. “Through the SMS functionality, my practice can send notifications to our patients about appointments, pathology results or outstanding payments. This is just one aspect of the system that works really well and overall I’ve been very happy with the whole Healthbridge system,” she said.
Dr Senoamadi was awarded for his concerted effort to understand, implement and engage technology to improve the management of his practice. He explained that since he implemented Healthbridge’s system in is Limpopo medical practice he has seen significant improvements. “Technology has enabled my practice to more efficiently communicate with patients, ensuring that they receive timely care for improved patient outcomes,” he said.
Dr Spies was awarded for moving his practice to a paperless system to improve the access, storage, and quality of patient files. He noted the importance of embracing technology to improve patient management and communication. “One of the main reasons for why I wanted to go totally paperless is because of space. Not only does going digital lessen your reliance on paper folders, but you can also quickly make alterations to patients’ files, which is not only better practice but also safer for the patient. The more I use Healthbridge’s system the more advantages I see,” he said.
Dr Lee was awarded for the innovative use of technology to streamline her work in diabetes care and female health and wellness. Dr Lee agrees with the above sentiments by noting how technology has become an integral part of every single medical consultation she does, from electronic recording to billing to ICD-10 codes. “Without technology, I would waste a lot of time and it also boosts the security of billing and records,” she said.
Dr Malanda was awarded for the effective use of technology to improve patient care in both the public and private healthcare sectors.
The other four ASAIPA National Medical Award categories were: Practitioners contributing to independent private practice; Organisations, groups or individuals enhancing the medical profession’s standing in the community; Young practitioner’s recognition; and Achievement by colleagues in non-medical fields.
According to Dr Unben Pillay, CEO of ASAIPA, the first of its kind awards were extremely successful in recognising and supporting independent practitioners and the work they do. “We are not in the business of putting individuals and practices up for scrutiny for what they are lacking, but rather for what they offer. This grants every individual the opportunity to be awarded as a “Top Professional” in their respective areas of expertise,” said Dr Pillay.