Sir Ganga Ram Hospitals mobility solutions
The Out Patient Department (OPD) is an important and one of the busiest wings of every hospital. The care and attention provided to patients here, goes a long way in building up the reputation and confidence of people in the hospital. However, a common sight outside the OPD is of patients and their family members running around for information, long queues and hours of waiting for the patients to consult with the doctors.
For Sir Ganga Ram Hospital it wasn’t any different. The hospital caters to a daily average of around 2000 patients visiting its OPD, both general and private combined. Out of this, around 40 percent of patients visit the hospital for the first time, and providing quality service to them was of utmost importance.
“It was becoming a stressful experience of managing OPD for all stakeholders viz. the patient, doctors and the hospital. We wanted to create a unique and uniform platform to ensure better management and patient experience,” says Dr. D.S. Rana, Chairman, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The hospital wanted a solution to provide its patients, doctors and clinical administration and other supporting staff that would cater to effective time management and improved quality patient care. “A solution that would help patients to go online, access a doctor’s details, their availability, schedule, book or modify an appointment, etc was needed. We also wanted to provide doctors a platform to reach out to their patients for any communication or treatment,” says Niranjan K Ramakrishnan, CIO, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The hospital rolled out an integrated mobile health platform called Smart OPD to streamline the end-to-end patient lifecycle.
“We brought together the entire ecosystem i.e. doctors, lab, pharmacy, front office, etc. together and connected it with the patient,” says Dr. Rana. A patient can now book a doctor’s appointment at the hospital through a mobile app and in return gets a queue token number. Once an appointment is booked it also reflects in the mobile app of the concerned doctor. The app also has a provision for cancelling/re-scheduling an appointment that can be done by both the patient and the doctor.
Once a patient arrives at the hospital, a near-field communication or a NFC card is issued, which is a unique feature of this solution. Mobiles tabs are made available at every counter and each consulting rooms. It is here that the patient’s queue management happens.
“There are dedicated staff members inside the consulting rooms who capture all information about the patient, consultation, diagnosis, prescription, subsequent orders and billing details etc. from the NFC into a mobile tab,” explains Ramakrishnan.
This ensures that the doctors are allowed to continue treating the patient without technology acting as barrier between patients and doctors. The diagnosis entry is made into the tablet along with prescribed tests and medicine, if any. In case of tests involved, the diagnostic lab gets information in advance, and is ready when the patient arrives. The lab tests, including diagnostic images, are available on the mobile app and can be viewed by both the doctor and the patient.
A printout of the prescription can be taken directly (through Wi-Fi) from the tablet at the end of the session. Integration with the pharmacy department ensures auto delivery of order to the pharmacy once the doctor submits the prescription.
The system helps to maintain the patient records digitally, including past history, vital signs, clinical parameters, previous medical advice and diagnosis entry, lab reports and diagnostic images, etc. This allows the doctor to easily refer a patient’s information in the future.
“We have been able to bring a better experience to the patient, without added costs and made our doctors more productive in term of the number of patients that they can treat now. The solution has saved around 30 to 40 percent of time for both the doctors and the patients. It has also helped in avoiding long queues and waiting hours,” says Ramakrishnan.