A messiah for heart, Dr Ramakanta Panda, VC & MD, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, in conversation with Rachita Jha, ENN, talks about his future plans and shares his pearls of wisdom for the next government.
What is the next exciting phase for the Asian Heart Hospital in 2014 -15?
The Asian Heart Hospital is recognized as one of the best heart care hospitals in the country. Our target is to upgrade our benchmarks. We have tied up with one of the leading consulting companies and have revamped our practices in order to bring it at par with the best practices in the world. As a result, our patients’ satisfaction has significantly improved. Almost 80 percent of the patients have rated us excellent this year. We are the first cardiac hospital in the country to have implemented American Heart Association’s guidelines. We have also adopted Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Programme. It is a five-step program designed to change a unit’s workplace culture—and in doing so— bring about significant safety improvements—by empowering staff to assume responsibility for safety in their environment. Today, we don’t have a single Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), which is a bacterium responsible for several difficult- to-treat infections in humans. It is a major problem in Indian hospitals. This has all happened, because of the safety programme we adopted.
Tell us about technology platforms that can benefit a hospital?
Digital technology revolution is changing the way hospitals are run and is playing a major role in streamlining operations and bringing down costs. Technology is now the backbone of hospitals and helping them connect with their patients and giving a personalised information and care. We hope to make major investments in IT as our next year targets are streamlined to bring in efficiencies in all that we do. We are 100 percent on Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) and have Electronic Medical Records (EMR) in place. Cloud technology is an exciting platform that we are also looking to explore this year. Mobile applications, on the other hand, have made all information readily available in the hands of people and their convenience. We hope to explore this platform for doctorpetient interactions. The doctors can have patient data access even before the patient walks into his room.
How much will Robotic surgery cost?
The cost of surgery will be marginally more than a laparoscopic surgery, but this cost is offset by the reduced cost of a shorter hospital stay and an early return to work. Apart from this, robotic surgery has minimal or no blood transfusion, the advantage of lesser pain compared to a normal surgery, superior results and better cosmetic results.
What would be your key recommendations to the next government?
In India, the healthcare industry is at par with international counterparts. While the only point is that there is lack of trained people. There is huge gap in terms of the percentage at which the healthcare industry and the trained population is growing. Also, to make healthcare an investment friendly industry, I recommend the Government to announce attractive tax benefits or incentives similar to hospitality and IT sector.