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Lab Services/ April 2018
April 3, 2018

Center Stage: Shafin Kalyan, Ancillary Services

Optimum’s Center Stage Series

Welcome back to Optimum Healthcare IT’s “Center Stage” series, where we turn the spotlight on Optimum’s executive leaders. In this installment, we talk with Shafin Kalyan, Executive Director, Ancillary Services.

Our service line leaders have track records of service excellence in Healthcare IT and are passionate about their work. Our goal is to improve healthcare through technology, and these leaders are how we’re getting there.

We brought these leaders to our “Center Stage” to get their take on the future of their service lines and Healthcare IT as an industry.


Shafin Kalyan has 10 years of healthcare experience ranging from clinical laboratory research to overseeing EHR implementation projects at healthcare organizations throughout the country. The last eight years of Mr. Kalyan’s career has focused on leading initiatives focused on supporting the integration of Enterprise EHR software with Laboratory Information Systems for healthcare organizations and private laboratories.

Question: What challenges present the greatest opportunities in Healthcare IT?
Kalyan: One of the biggest challenges in Healthcare IT is interoperability and data acquisition. Many organizations are determined to develop and implement their own data solutions. It is incredibly challenging to implement these types of solutions when typically, decision-makers and project team members are already at capacity supporting existing software and caregivers.

Rather than trying to develop their own software solutions, I would like to see more organizations begin to partner with established vendors with proven track records. I believe that this is a more cost-effective and efficient approach. It will allow organizations to focus on identifying specific use cases where the data can be actionable and integrated into existing workflows to improve efficiency and patient care rather than focus on the design and implementation of software.

Background at Optimum
In May of 2016, Shafin Kalyan joined Optimum Healthcare IT as Executive Director of Ancillary Services and Laboratory Services. This practice provides Advisory and Consulting services to organizations implementing or optimizing software solutions including, but not limited to, Data Conversion and Migration, Pre-Validation Testing, Interface Design and Testing, Blood Bank Validation, Project Management, Governance, Application Build and Design, Training and Activation.

Question: How has Clinical Laboratory Medicine impacted the Healthcare landscape?
Kalyan: 
Advancements in technology have certainly played a role in the advancements of laboratory testing making it more accessible to patients and clinicians and improving patient care.

One example of this is molecular and genetic testing. It is a growing field and has the potential to improve the quality of patient care. Molecular testing that once cost over $10,000 can now be done for less than $1,000. Genetic testing has the potential to improve patient outcomes, lower the occurrence of excessive treatments, and lower the cost of patient care. As demand grows, I see many healthcare organizations incorporating genetic testing into their labs. Including this type of testing into existing workflows and software is challenging. Much of the testing done today in hospital laboratories are via manual processes and spreadsheets. However, as demand and volume begin to increase there will be a need to implement a more robust and automated software solution.

Question: What’s next for Ancillary Services and Laboratory Services?
Kalyan
: As Electronic Medical Record (EMR) adoption continues to expand and hospital organizations strive for interoperability, many organizations are considering the move from best-of-breed Ancillary Solutions to an Enterprise solution. This is especially true for organizations that were early adopters of EMR technology.

The traditional best-of-breed model allows for stand-alone systems that provide the flexibility to choose products that provide the most features for each department. This domain-specific approach enables Ancillary departments to be adaptable while working with specialized vendors to utilize new technology while maintaining their flexibility.  This allows these departments to update and replace software components as needed while minimizing any potential risks to downstream applications or departments.

Moving away from the best-of-breed model supports the hospital’s vision of interoperability and standardization. Enterprise solutions provide a better fit for institutional systems while achieving a higher level of integration amongst hospital administrative, clinical and financial applications and workflows. They also aid in lowering the total cost of ownership, vendor contracts and dependencies on interfaces.

If your organization is interested in switching from best-of-breed to an integrated enterprise solution within any of your ancillary departments, reach out to Optimum to see how we can help provide structure around the pre-implementation and discovery process.

Optimum Healthcare IT has a dedicated Ancillary Services and Laboratory Services practice that leverages our knowledge, understanding, and experience with Implementation methodologies and tools to strategically align the goals and processes of our clients. The laboratory consultants at Optimum Healthcare IT work with healthcare organizations to become a more strategic laboratory operation by identifying with your team the areas of need and improvement. As partners, we provide knowledgeable resources to develop and execute strategic direction and priorities. Our goal is to help organizations improve the quality of testing, optimize operational efficiencies, and implement new technologies and software that will help our clients to solve their problems and achieve their goals.

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