The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, executing assignments for firms located abroad, is now roping in nurses in a big way.
The BPO is easily one of the biggest success stories of the emergent India is now spreading its wings. It has started providing end-to-end services to health insurance, pharma, medical devices and healthcare industries in the West.
Nurses can be of immense use in that segment. They are involved in reviewing medical records, assessing risks, ensuring if medical check-ups are done on time. They also assist in timely administration of drugs, counselling and setting up physician appointments.
Says Sanjiv Kapur of Patni BPO, "'Nurses in the US visit elderly patients to analyse their lifestyle and based on this they do a medical assessment. The assessment sheets are then sent to teams in India. Nurses here analyse and transcribe the details as per guidelines of the insurance company. The report is then sent back. Future diagnosis is done based on the assessment."
At Wipro BPO, nurses and pharma graduates are being hired to handle adverse event reporting for various drugs. ''We handle adverse event reporting of drugs, product complains and questions, etc, for a leading USbased healthcare player servicing nearly 70 million customers,'' says Ashutosh Vaidya, Head, Wipro BPO.
Wipro BPO is also in advanced discussions with a leading global pharma organization to support adverse event reporting, and handle enquiries regarding medical information of drugs.
What is more nurses play a pivotal role in clinical process outsourcing space too. They are involved in 3D image reconstruction, collaborative radiology reporting and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Treatment Planning. Wipro says it plans to hire more nurses and para medics in its healthcare business.
Besides Wipro and Patni other top IT companies too are now chalking out plans to recruit nurses. And what's making them optimistic about future growth is that the number of old people above 65 years in the US is projected to grow to 55 million by 2020, while the population above 85 years is projected to increase four times to over 13 million. What's more in 2006, US had spent close to Rs 16 lakh crore on healthcare and it's growing by 18.5% every year, reports Sujata Dutta Sachdeva in Times of India.
According to some estimates, the total healthcare outsourcing services market is close to $30 billion today and is expected to grow at 10% over the next two-three years.