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Elets Exclusive! NCDs can be controlled with IT-enabled solutions, says Sunil Kumar Bhushan, NIC

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Sunil Kumar Bhushan

Technology has been playing a crucial role in fostering healthcare delivery system, enabling accessible, affordable and quality patient care services to people at large. It proves to be an instrumental in enhancing efficiency of different deliverables, providing overall enriched healthcare experience to patients, said Sunil Kumar Bhushan, DDG & Head Health Sector, National Informatics Centre, while delivering speech at the 3rd Healthcare Innovation Summit, Bengaluru. 

“TB, diabetes and other non communicable diseases can be controlled with help of IT solutions. Unless we have robust IT solutions in place, it is very difficult to monitor such patients. Some of the solutions which have been implemented across country include Online Registration System, Reproductive and Child Health, National Portal for TB Surveillance called Nikshay and Beneficiary Identification System (BIS) for Ayushman Bharat,” he said.

Highlighting role of IT-enabled solutions, Bhushan said, “You can control diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis only when you have IT solutions implemented in the hospitals. So until and unless IT solutions are prevalent, controlling, monitoring of such patients is not possible.”

For the past 15 years, NIC is contributing on IT solutions in the health sector with 10-15 solutions taking place in last 7-8 years.

Talking about various parameters of healthcare solutions Bhushan said,” E-hospitals, online registration system, reproductive and child healthcare and central government health scheme are some of the areas where the IT solutions should be heavily implied upon.”

Underlying the importance of E-hospitals, Bhushan said,” It is primarily the computerization of internal processes and workflow of the hospital. Still it is clearly evident that patients are not able to access these E-hospitals as this falls under the internal consumption of the hospital. Even if a patient wants to access these E-hospitals, a part of it is available in the hospitals through online registration system.”

At NIC, they have 13-14 modules which are already implemented in various hospitals. It consists of patient registration in terms of OPD, causalities and appointment through ORS. These components have been implemented in different hospitals at different stages.

Stressing further on the E-hospital solutions, Bhushan said, “It is basically based on international standards which are notified by the government of India. These e-Hospital solutions have been implemented in 321 hospitals in different states across India.”

Nowadays, an OPD appointment, lab reports and blood availability in any government hospital has become easy and online due to Online Registration System (ORS).

“The patient interface of e-Hospital is also implemented through the online registration system,” said Bhushan.

Talking about the second component and keeping a complete focus on E-blood banks, Bhushan said,” It is the internal workflow system of any blood bank whether it is an independent blood bank or a hospital attached blood bank.”

Moving forward with the third component, Bhushan stressed upon the Mother and Child Tracking System. He said, “It helps in monitoring of immunization of services to children, monitoring ANC, delivery and PNC services provided to pregnant women, monitoring family planning services provided to eligible couples and monitoring of health services provided to eligible couples, pregnant women and children.”

Underlying another important component, Beneficiary Identification System, Bhushan said, “We have identified 50 crore beneficiaries from socio-economic census 2011 and the identification is done through ‘aadhaar card’ or through any government identification and after they are identified, their EMG card is issued.”

Concluding on the final component, NIKSHAY, Sunil Bhushan said,” This system was implemented since 2012 and every patient is identified based on the parameters such as case-based online patient monitoring, DBT to eligible patients and supervisors, focused supervision tools and real time program management. More than one crore tuberculosis patients are registered and kept into account.”

“These are the points which we need to address before we think of achieving a personal health record at a national level. So, firstly we should have a unique identification for each patient that will require a centralized database like ‘aadhar card’ which should be integrated with each of the system, be it from the private sector or the public sector,” said Bhushan.

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