Interview

Nanavati Hospital Ensuring Quality Care with Integrity & Ethics

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Dr Rajendra P Patankar

In healthcare ecosystem, Nanavati Hospital is a name to reckoned with. We believe in achieving professional excellence in delivering quality care, pushing frontiers of care through research and education, says Dr Rajendra P Patankar, Chief Operating Officer, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, in an interview with Mukul Kumar Mishra of Elets News Network (ENN).

Q Nanavati Hospital is known for serving patient with finest care through a team of experts and state-of-the-art technologies. How would you summarise the 69-year journey.

Inaugurated in 1950, Nanavati Hospital, now rebranded as Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, is an iconic institution which has over the years treated lakhs of patients.

Apart from the yeoman services the hospital has offered to patients and their families, many celebrities have been associated with the hospital at different stages of its life-cycle.

When it commenced operations in the mid-twentieth century, Nanavati Hospital was a contemporary stateof-the-art hospital at par with the best private hospitals in the city. The hospital has been one of the leading healthcare destinations for many decades, especially for people residing in north Mumbai. It can boast of best skill sets among doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff.

Unfortunately, the hospital didn’t match up to the huge expectations of people in the last few years and especially with respect to upgradation of infrastructure, technology and overall delivery of quality services.

This was the time when reins of the operations and management were handed over to Radiant Life Care to turnaround things and it helped Nanavati Hospital to reposition as one of the most well regarded tertiary care hospital in western India.

We believe treatment facilities should be best in class comparing to any internationally bench marked hospital and service delivery like a professional hospital experience.

The focus has to be LFST (look, feel, smell, touch), and CARE (customer, approach, respectful and engaging) from the service excellence point of view.

Q With more than 200 resident doctors, 500 nursing staff, and 1500 employees, the hospital has created niche in healthcare sector. Tell us about your mission and vision.

The hospital’s vision is to create a patient-centric tertiary healthcare organisation with focus on non intrusive quality care. We ensure finest services through cutting-edge technologies and compassion.

Our mission includes achieving professional excellence in delivering quality care, pushing frontiers of care through research and education and adherence to national and global standards. In addition, we ensure care with integrity and ethics.

Q Quality and affordability are two biggest components which determine deliverables in healthcare. How difficult is it to achieve a balance between these two factors?

Healthcare is in the throes of great change. And history is full of examples which proves that large-scale disruption incubates innovation.

Quality healthcare is essential as it is a critical element in enhancing health of the population. Other priorities include value (getting the best); and the affordability(not spending too much).

There is a need to build a stronger healthcare delivery system rightfully led by primary care that seeks to remain cost conscious, efficient in its delivery, and fairly compensated for helping people to attain a healthy life.

Healthcare is in the midst of transformational change. Rising healthcare costs-the new approach of cost containment is dangerous omen where high income group of people will be able to afford a wider range of healthcare services than lower income group. Today, consumers’ expectations have sky rocketed with respect to the level of quality care. Service industries have moved towards “data-driven” methods in which they closely monitor their processes for anomalies; the response has to be more efficient systems with fewer errors.

New drugs and devices have led people to live longer and healthier lives than ever before. But overall healthcare experience has become complex. Hospitals and health systems will face even more pressure in next few years to establish the core skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing healthcare market. Healthcare leaders continue to put infrastructure and governance practices in place to support value-based models.

Health organisations that are shifting to value-based models must contend with the realities and limits of their local economies; the strategies of large employers for reducing their healthcare costs; concentration of the payer market and physician practice alignment. Health systems with cash reserves and strong margins are better positioned to make investments. The building block is operational efficiency, such as optimising staffing and managing the supply chain efficiently.

Changing the way care is delivered with the right providers at the right place at the right time, reducing unnecessary services and focusing on value is essential for survival in the competitive market of healthcare.

Q How do you analyse evolving market of healthcare and role of latest technologies including artificial intelligence and telemedicine in bolstering medical facilities?

The world around us is changing at a fast pace— thanks to the latest technologies and innovations which have played a key role to bring a paradigm shift in every sector including healthcare. With growing awareness about health among people, there is a strong demand for quality healthcare facilities.

Innovations to boost healthcare delivery

Leveraging disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, internet of things, healthcare aggregators are delivering top-class affordable medical facilities to people in terms of diagnostic equipment, imaging, and telemedicine.

Innovations in the areas of new drugs, vaccines, diagnostic tests, telemedicine have also enhanced patient care and contributed towards enhanced quality of overall delivery of healthcare services.

New technologies in telemonitoring and diagnostics are enriching telemedicine experience, where people residing in rural areas get better medical facilities through virtual support of experts. Artificial intelligence is poised to play a major role in the global healthcare industry.

With modern medicine facing a significant challenge of acquiring, analysing and applying structured and unstructured data to treat or manage diseases, AI systems with their data-mining and pattern recognition capabilities come in handy.

Medical AI is mainly concerned with the development of AI programmes that help with the prediction, diagnosis and treatment or management of diseases. In contrast to non-AI medical software application, which relies on pure statistical analysis and probabilistic approaches, medical AI applications utilise symbolic models of diseases and analyse their relationship to patient signs and symptoms.

As more AI research is undertaken and AI systems become more trained and consequently intelligent, it is foreseeable that these agents replace some of, if not all, the human elements of clinical care.

While leaving the communication of serious matters and final decision making to human clinicians, AI systems can take responsibility for routine and less risky diagnostic and treatment processes.

Q Though technology and innovations have improved patient care in unparalleled manner, how do you access role of human touch in patient care?

A core element of physical examination is human touch, a dominant form of nonverbal communication used in clinical care. Although nonverbal communication is addressed in many medical school curriculums, the focus tends to be on body language and use of gestures rather than the intimacy of touch. Yet physical examination is a dynamic process of engagement. For example, when we examine a patient, we perceive on multiple levels—not just the presence or absence of physical signs, but also the patient’s comfort and emotional state. In turn, the patient responds to us—reading our facial expressions, interpreting the pressure of our fingertips, and responding to the gentleness to inform how he or she will proceed within the consultation.

This exchange often happens at an unconscious level, yet awareness and attentiveness to these subtleties can, we suggest, make an important contribution to the doctor–patient relationship.

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