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Dr Sumit PrasadDr Sumit Prasad, General Manager, Columbia Asia, Gaziabad talks to Shally Makin, ENN, on various developments in this unit since its inception

About the hospital

Columbia Asia is an
international healthcare group operating a chain of modern hospitals across Asia. Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt Ltd is one of the first healthcare companies to enter India through 100 percent foreigndirect investment (FDI) route. The Group is owned by more than 150 private equity companies, fund management organisations and individual investors.

Columbia Asia hospitals
are clean, efficient, affordable and accessible. The innovative design of the hospitals, from their manageable size to their advanced technology, is focused on creating positive experience for patients.

The first hospital in
India commenced operations in 2005 in Hebbal – Bangalore. Currently Columbia Asia operates nine multi-specialty hospitals, one referral hospital and a clinic.

Give us a snapshot on how Columbia Asia started its journey in India.

Columbia Asia ventured In India in 2005, primarily based in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia and the investors are based out of Seattle. Bangalore was stationed as headquarters for India.

The hospital is looking at peripheries where the city is growing. The advent of NABH accreditation in 2006 was perceived as an ideal opportunity to further streamline and strengthen the documentation and operating pro-cedures; thus began the journey of association with NABH. All Columbia Asia hospitals have now been mandated to undergo this accreditation.

Recently Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore, Columbia Asia Hospital Palam Vihar, Gurgaon and Columbia Asia Hospital – Mysore have also been NABH accredited and Columbia Asia Hospital – Patiala and Gaziabad is in the advanced stages of getting accredited. Columbia Asia Hospital – Ghaziabad is a multispecialty hospital located in an important
area of the National Capital Region. The 100 bed hospital has been operational since September 2010 and is designed to cater to the daily needs of patients, from childbirth and internal medicine to minimally invasive surgeries and orthopedics.

Columbia Asia Hospital – Ghaziabad has highly qualified medical personnel, technicians and support staff to ensure the highest quality of care. It has full time specialists in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Urology, Gastroenterology, Orthopedics, Dermatology, Dental and Plastic Surgery. Standardisation has happened and achieved in larger extent with 11-15 beds in critical care, dialysis and endoscopy with similar infrastructure throughout the units

We stand on four pillars – Quality is paramount, people at Columbia Asia, transparency in clinical and non clinical services, infrastructure in particular is maintained’

What are the IT investments your hospital has made over the years?

The hospital follows globally benchmarked standards of medical, nursing and operating protocols. Electronic Medical Records Management and Customer Care management considerably reduces waiting time at the hospital and enhances the quality and efficiency of managing patient records. The facility is already recognised as one of the best hospitals in Ghaziabad.

Technology friendly doctors and truly paperless environment is managed in the hospital. In house ERP solution across all centres integrated with supply chain, HR, scheduling and patient reminders, RIS, pharmacy, clinical applications and EMR. Nothing is hand written, we have digital records, digital prescriptions and other such technologies which time and again is constantly upgraded. Every year the financial plan for technology lay to enhanced modules and IT department. We will be soon introducing CRM perspective automated sms engine to send sms alerts to patients and upgrade OT management system with a back up from ICU.

Risk management in this organisation, medical or non medical or any drug reaction is raised and evaluated and constantly looked on structuring data. Business intelligence is mapped during financial planning to plan the coming year both in terms of revenue and cost perspective. Rules are followed at the minutest level. We are judicious in procuring medical technology as new hospitals come up we start with minus MRI and then keep on upgrading it. Since we have a large base and large requirement from user perspective, we get the best of all technologies to cater the masses.

We normally don’t outsource our specialties and departments including café and kitchen which are run by the in house team. According to geography, we venture in specialties of various surgeries and transplants as needed.

What are the challenges you face in the hospital operation and execution and how do you sail through the challenges?

Challenges vary from unit to unit and from phase to phase. Since the core team is same that launched the first hospital, it gives an experience group of professionals to go through the life cycle again but overcoming the mistakes done previously. Every new hospital and every new location brings in a bunch of new challenges to maintain the level of standards that we look upto.

What are your strengths?

Technically sound physicians and brand that we bring in large practices believes to steal the show with slow and steady work. The hospital is audited twice a year internally which then allows to file an application to NABH for certification. I feel optimistic about the growth of hospitals, city is growing nearby and Gaziabad needed a facility like us to serve them with better healthcare facility. We are offering a number of services with good back up of emergency services; most of the doctors are post graduate, IT management specialists round the clock manpower.

Affordability is the best litmus test a hospital undergoes. It is our customers who will choose us for being reasonably priced and pick diagnostics facilities if we are better than the peers around. With a backbone of IT infrastructure and aggressive Infection control, we take measures to serve the best in healthcare. Brands of medicine are taken care while prescribing, clinical services and charges are same for all rooms with slight changes in overhead facilities USP.

How do you aim to achieve the best in the coming years?

Technically sound physicians and brand that we bring in large practices believes to steal the show with slow and steady work. The hospital is audited twice a year internally which then allows to file an application to NABH for certification. I feel optimistic about the growth of hospitals, city is growing nearby and Gaziabad needed a facility like us to serve them with better healthcare facility. We are offering a number of services with good back up of emergency services; most of the doctors are post graduate, IT management specialists round the clock manpower.

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