A professional service like Hospital Companion, which handholds the patient and his family members throughout the treatment journey in an alien city and country is the need of the hour, says Dr Tarun Sahni, Advisor, India Virtual Hospital and Senior Consultant, Internal and Hyperbaric Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals-New Delhi, in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).
Q. With tertiary care treatment limited to metro cities such as Delhi, what are the challenges faced by domestic and international patients?
One aspect lacking in Indian healthcare system is the challenges faced due to multiple issues faced by patients and their family members during the treatment journey.
Unfortunately, almost no one has acted upon to comprehensively mitigate these challenges as they are not directly related to medical services, but is a huge challenge for patients and their attendants.
Right from the time when a patient is advised for operation or procedure in a metro city, there are numerous questions that he faces, who is the right doctor, hospital, treatment, cost, early appointment coupled with queries of stay, commuting and insurance. Add to this, the whole process of admission to the hospital, attending the patient, discharge and recovery process takes a huge toll on the patients family members financially and mentally.
You may have come across untoward incidents between hospitals and family members. Most of these are due to lack of communication and misunderstanding, which spoils the whole patient journey despite medical services being of the top quality.
Q. What are the ways to mitigate the challenges faced by patients?
According to me, a specialised service to address these hurdles is the need of the hour.
An experienced professional agency / service is required who handholds the patient and his family members throughout the treatment journey in an alien city or country. They should be well versed with hospital procedures and can become an efficient communicator between the hospital and the patients. They should act like a patient guide and help the patient in selecting the right doctor, hospital, treatment and cost. I am pleased to share that India Virtual Hospital has come up with such a model named Hospital Companion.
The Hospital Companion will provide end-to-end services to patients and their family members in three stages: diagnosis stage, hospitalisation stage and recovery stage. While the patients can contact the hospital and doctors for their medical needs, they can contact the IVH Hospital Companion for all other need and support.
Q. What are the other benefits of Hospital Companion especially from hospitals perspective?
A trained Hospital Companion can smoothen external hurdles for the patients with personalised attention thereby complementing the services of doctors and hospitals. This is useful in effective communication; during admission and discharge processes and other support services like insurance claim, and coordinating with multiple stakeholders on behalf of the patients.