Taking the IT Route to Better Healthcare

From dilapidated, dysfunctional health centres to delivery of advanced health care, Haryana has come a long way in very short time. Encouragement to the use of e-initiatives is giving real time benefit to the people at the grassroots level, changing the very landscape of healthcare services being offered by the Government, writes Priya Yadav of Elets News Network (ENN).

The State is being lauded for its innovative initiatives, being implemented effectively, that are setting an example for other states to follow. The most recent example is the States achievement to become the first State in the country to launch High Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal. Amneet P Kumar, Secretary, Health and Mission Director, National Health Mission says, Haryana is an innovative state and has launched several online applications in health including portals that were run by Government of India like Health Management Information System (HMIS) and Reproductive and Child Health (RCH).

An enormous amount of data is generated that is most useful at the Primary Health Centre level as it aids Medical Officer In-charge (MO-IC) for evidence-based decision making for better performance of his or her PHC area.

There are many state specific portals, which were devised as per the requirements of the State like Single reporting system, District Health Information System (DHIS), Human Resource Information System (HRIS), Maternal and Infant Death Reporting System (MIDRS), Anaemia Tracking Module (ATM) and Supportive Supervision Software for better monitoring of health delivery programmes.

The Secretary, Health said that from Census 2011 to now, the urban landscape has changed very fast. Villages have become towns, towns have turned cities and cities are becoming metropolitan. The cities are unprepared for the challenge to tackle all the population that is coming in. If you look at what the world is doing for health. Neighbouring China, which is building cities, is following an integrated model. From home to hospital there will be cloud integration and every person with a ehealth card, his or her health data will be online monitored by a core group of doctors sitting far away in facilities.

For us, in India, it means that the issues of mental health and adolescent health can be tackled with the aid of telemedicine and in Haryana we are doing that increasingly.

She said we have taken initiatives like advanced queue management system and are working towards opening a 24×7 call centres that will be providing tele advisory to patients and grievance redressal. The overall use of IT in health sector is helping us with huge data that we are using to monitor online the progress of health programmes, identify the gaps and fill them effectively.

The High Risk Pregnancy portal is helping in two ways — early identification of high-risk pregnant cases up to the grassroots level and ensuring their timely referral to the civil hospitals for further management and delivery by specialists.

Health Minister Anil Vij said, This initiative has been lauded by the NITI Aayog and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This will definitely increase the pace of decline in Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Still Birth Incidence as morbidity and mortality is quite high in high risk pregnant cases, if not managed timely.

Unprecedented improvement made in the health sector by the present government had led to the infant mortality rate (IMR) in Haryana getting reduced to 24, child mortality rate to 33, and maternal mortality rate to 127. Efforts are being made to reduce the IMR which was 42 in 2014, to zero, he said.

An attempt is being made to identify 100% name-based highrisk pregnancy cases, and ensure their delivery by specialists at civil hospitals.

Amneet P Kumar, said, The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and NITI Aayog have acknowledged the portal as a good practice to be implemented at the conference held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A birth companion strategy is being implemented in the State for respectful maternity care and improving the quality of care in labour rooms for better maternal and neo-natal outcome, she said, under which one female attendant would be allowed during delivery in the labour room.

The web application tracks every high risk pregnant woman till 42 days after delivery so that she receives adequate treatment during the antenatal period for healthy outcome of pregnancy.

The State government is set to roll out Auxiliary Nursing Midwife Online (ANMOL) tablet-based application, ANMOL, in seven districts on a pilot basis.

The idea is to try make healthcare paperless and effectively register, update and track the services being provided to pregnant women, mothers and newborns in the State.

Amneet P Kumar, Mission Director, National Health Mission, Haryana, said the application aimed at bringing awareness to the remotest population, underserved communities and urban slums through images and videos, and educating them about the initiatives on health, maintenance of good hygiene, basic health care and precautions.

For heart patients, a new cath lab has been set up at Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt, a facility that is being made available in a government hospital in the country on pilot basis for the first time. The facility will be provided in Faridabad, Palwal and Gurugram, in the first phase and then throughout the state.

Within one week of its being functional, 13 patients got stents implanted, 20 patients got angiography done and three patients were suggested open heart surgery. The centre has facilities such as echo, TMT, holter, angiography, angioplasty and pacemaker and the facility of ventilator has been made available in the ICU alongwith 11 beds.

It is offering procedures at one third price as compare to private hospitals. Stent is being implanted at only Rs 46,000 which costs about Rs 1.5 lakh in PGIMER, Chandigarh. Its free of cost for people belonging to Scheduled Castes and BPL families.

The focus on alternate medical care is also increasing with the state government is looking at every hospital in the state having a floor of Ayush system of medicines and healthcare so that patients coming to hospitals could also avail the facility of alternative system of medicines such as Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

The Haryana Government has launched daily regimen for tuberculosis (TB) patients under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) to achieve the goal of TB elimination by 2025. The State has moved ahead to shift to daily anti-TB treatment regimen from the current intermittent regimen for treatment of the disease. TB patients availing themselves of health services in the private sector would also be provided free diagnostics and drugs from RNTCP to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure by TB patients and better control of the disease.

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