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Elets Exclusive! Public hospitals must have strong HIS system, says Dr Ashok Mehta

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Dr Ashok Mehta

Public private partnership (PPP) model could be leveraged to create an accessible and affordable healthcare delivery model, said Dr Ashok Mehta, Medical Director, Brahma Kumaris Global Hospitals & Research Centre.

While delivering speech at Urban Healthcare Summit, Mumbai, he underscored importance of Healthcare Information System which plays an important role to curtail cost and improve overall efficiency.

Accessible healthcare

Accessibility is very important issues especially in cities like Mumbai. To travel in a bus, train and any other public transport is a big challenge for a sick person. This makes neighborhood health facility extremely vital.

I deal with cancer patient. As a surgical oncologist, we ask patients to come repeatedly for follow up examinations. One can understand agony of a patient who has to visit doctor repeatedly for follow ups. This makes accessibility one of the biggest areas of concern, especially in Mumbai where commuting takes a lot of time.

 Affordability

Healthcare is becoming expensive due to many reasons including medico legal swing. People want to protect themselves and therefore they keep on ordering investigations which may have been avoided. In my entire career of medical profession, I never bothered about being sued and therefore I never asked for investigations which are not essential for my surgery. I continue to practice in same way even today. But when I see my residents, they order every possible investigation. Every patient has to have whole kidney profile, cardiological check ups, MRI, and CT scan. Therefore affordability sometimes suffers because of other parameters of profession. It is very important that treatment should be affordable.

PPP

I worked at one of the municipal hospital for last sixteen years. It’s PPP project, which is an excellent way to improve infrastructure. We got the hospital building free for thirty years, and raised the funds through NGOs. We are able to do first class service at an affordable cost. We provide almost 33 percent patients free services. This partnership is very important aspect which has not been considered very seriously by both the State and Central government.

Public hospital rigmarole can be avoided

We must have a system by which a patient who is waiting for a longer period is shifted to another hospital with all the investigation where it is possible for him or her to be treated as early as possible. Patients must be transferred from one hospital to another.

HIS improves work efficiency

I have noticed that lot of things are not in control in the hospital. HIS plays an important role on this front. We ran our hospital with various softwares but it didn’t work out. Finally we have Hospital Information System which can keep a tab on everything which is happening especially economic part.

The cost can come down by disciplined way of staff. Most of the staff don’t care about their timings at the hospital. In addition, lots of things are happening which are repetitive. Those things can be controlled with HIS.

It also helps to access reports from laboratory and radiology in quick manner. It takes lot of time to write histo-pathology reports. Illegibility of hand-written report is another challenge. In this light, it is important and all public hospitals must have a strong HIS system.

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