T-Systems: Leading the Race to Healthcare Digital Transformation for SAP in South Africa

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With a footprint in more than 20 countries, 37,500 employees, and external revenue of 6.8 billion euros (2019), T-Systems International (TSI) part of ICT giant Deutsche Telekom, is one of the world’s leading vendor-independent providers of digital services headquartered in Germany (Europe).

T-Systems South Africa (TSSA) has a proud 23-year history in South Africa having first invested in the country in 1997.  As a Level 1 B-BBEE Contributor, our competitive advantage is through delivering world-class services and standards while adapting to the unique needs, priorities and expectations of our clients and partners in South Africa.

Since 2010, T-Systems South Africa has deployed innovative end-to-end solutions that manage every aspect of healthcare business whilst meeting local and international regulations, standards and best practice. T-Systems Healthcare Digital Solutions Footprint is underpinned by the company’s four key focus areas to deliver customer value namely: Connectivity; Digital; Cloud & Infrastructure and Security.

Through a combination of technology expertise, experience, know-how and industry knowledge, T-Systems is propelling the healthcare industry into a new digital era that introduces unprecedented innovations and ground-breaking efficiencies. Take just three examples: a patient monitoring their own vital signs using a smartphone; a physician having access to medical records via a tablet on their ‘rounds’ and the exchange of information and insights between medical experts during a videoconference. IT systems can be employed to digitally model medical, nursing, and administrative processes – not just as an end in itself but to also cut costs, accelerate workflows and improve patient care.


T-Systems’ Global healthcare experience

T-Systems International has implemented many successful instances of healthcare-specific solutions in countries across the world. For decades, the company has been successfully running healthcare facility functions, end-to-end, using robust, fully integrated solutions. While we can all appreciate that healthcare is a critically important industry sector, T-Systems is committed to facilitating modernisation and innovation through the rollout of comprehensive Hospital Information Systems (HIS) and has a number of case studies and testimonials to support its success in this sector. 

T-Systems South Africa leading SAP Healthcare Solution Implementation

In South Africa, T-Systems is a leader in rolling out solutions addressing the need for digital health transformation in both the public and private sector. By the end of 2019, T-Systems reached a milestone of successfully launching SAP healthcare solutions at over thirty-three hospitals across South Africa. 15 out of the top 20 hospitals in South Africa run its SAP healthcare suite and more than 55 healthcare companies run SAP in Africa. These solutions cover every aspect from financials, logistics, clinical information systems, to human capital management and ancillary solutions that complete automation of every business process in healthcare operations.

Using the i.s.h.med  template approach (a clinical information system that is fully integrated with SAP healthcare software), T-Systems has rolled out SAP ERP; SAP HCM; SAP ISH (Industry Specific for HealthCare Patient Management and Patient Accounting) as well as Cerner i.s.h.Med to thirty-three hospitals in South Africa as well as one hospital in Botswana. These hospitals belong to different hospital groups. 

T-Systems’ healthcare solution has streamlined processes and enhanced the efficiency of fundamental hospital operations. These include patient admission and scheduling; ordering of medical products and pharmaceuticals; staffing; financial and cost accounting; as well as data recording and sharing. The solution helps providers integrate end-to-end processes across the entire organisation, simplifying and coordinating everything from admission planning to analytics.

An overview of T-Systems Healthcare Management System (HMS) offering.

SAP ERP – proficiently handles functions in finance, material management and plant maintenance. This solution addresses the challenge of revenue leakage and ensures accurate and reliable billing and monitoring of debtors age analysis. SAP ERP interfaces with association price files to provide correct and accurate billing of materials used, and importantly, it also supports the submission of high-quality medical aid claims. SAP ERP also enables the effective management of stock to lower warehousing and procurement costs with support and integration of replenishment processes. With increased transparency into requirements and consumption, it also has the potential to reduce process costs.

SAP HCM helps hospitals with “Human Capital Management” covering HR and payroll functions. SAP HCM accurately manages employee data and identification. It also helps to track employee benefits and payroll costs with a single, comprehensive view of all employee records. SAP HCM also utilises enhanced resource optimisation through intelligent shift planning, which supports resource decisions for daily and long-term planning and budgeting.

Cerner i.s.h.med – handles the increasingly large amount of clinical documentation. I.s.h.med, as it’s known, not only maps the patient’s entire clinical experience but also leads seamlessly into administrative and business transactions. It does this securely, directly and efficiently as it is fully integrated with SAP ERP and IS-H whilst provided a robust electronic health record at its core.

I.s.h.Med – assists practitioners through its rapid comprehensibility, practice-oriented presentation of information, and is an attractive interface to other medical systems such as Radiology. These benefits allow for quick access to user-friendly patient information dashboards that assist with faster decision making for quality patient care. Tablets and smartphones have made it possible to react immediately, from almost everywhere, adding an ever-increasing level of mobility to the daily routines within the hospital.

SAP IS-H – is the industry-specific software built for the healthcare industry which involves day-to-day aspects such as patient management and accounting. Since 2008, the IS-H approach was implemented as a high-performance IT solution that accelerates and simplifies administrative tasks throughout the healthcare industry. In South Africa alone, there are over twenty hospitals across multiple hospital groups that have digitised their operations with T-Systems and SAP IS-H.

The coordination of patient appointments, handling of waiting lists, and the allocation of beds is all handled within the resource planning and scheduling function of SAP IS-H. Through it, we’re able to optimise the utilisation of outpatient clinics and inpatient areas effectively. SAP IS-H also allows for more efficient and accurate entry of diagnoses, activities, and services rendered to ensure a reliable basis for all internal costing, thus improving the accuracy of invoices and related revenues. 

Similarly, improved quality and accuracy of coding verification control and price calculations for basic medical service data ensure regulatory compliance. Invoicing and payment handling enable improved accounting processes, decreased communication expenses, and reduced service and transaction costs. The integrated contract management, billing, and automated claims processing ensure accurate billing between private and medical aid submissions.

Healthcare-as-a-Service

Over recent years, against the backdrop of rapid advances in Cloud computing, efforts were made to migrate these same functions to the T-Systems Dynamic Computing hosted environment, creating a ‘Healthcare-as-a-Service’ solution. Now, with minimal infrastructure upgrades, hosting, support, project services, software and maintenance, functions can be rapidly implemented. Healthcare-as-a-Service incorporates the end-to-end healthcare value chain, including the three critical domains of a hospital – the patient, the enterprise and the employee.

This dedication to innovation speaks to how T-Systems continues to offer patient-centric solutions explicitly designed to meet the challenges of hospitals and healthcare providers in the modern era. These supporting collaborative activities empower clinicians to quickly and reliably share information which results in accurate, rapid decision-making. In an administrative capacity, they’ve allowed hospital administrators to work cooperatively with payers, suppliers, other healthcare providers, and public authorities. 

Evidenced by having contributed to the successful administration of approximately a third of all private hospitals in South Africa today, T-Systems South Africa continues to deliver healthcare solutions that create world-class healthcare facilities. By integrating end-to-end processes across the entire organisation, simplifying and coordinating all aspects from admission planning to analytics, healthcare facilities are able to significantly improve patient care; drive efficiencies; attract and retain medical professionals whilst improving profitability. 

Staff writer