Bombay Hospital Outlines Best Practices Model

by Julia Fernandes    Oct 12, 2004

Though quality health care eventually boils down to a mutual patient/provider relationship, if the role of technology is well defined in the scheme of things, it not only enhances the relationship, but also takes it to higher levels of efficient patient care.

Proving the above truism is Bombay Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in Mumbai that has moved one step ahead in enhancing the patient/provider relationship through the well-etched use and adoption of technology.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Manish Ved, general manager-systems, Bombay Hospital Trust, said, “One of the unique patient-centric initiatives adopted at our hospital is the SMS sending application that is being optimized to the maximum.”

Illustrating his viewpoint with an example, Ved stated, “When a nurse doing a night shift detects a technical snag in any equipment, she immediately logs in that complaint with all the details in the system. This message is then automatically sent via SMS to three contacts, namely the hardware bio-medical, the vendor, and the assistant controller. When the vendor receives the message, they spring into action and the issue is resolved saving considerable amount of valuable time.”

Continuing further, he stressed, “SMS also plays a key role in the admission process. When a request is received for a bed, an SMS is sent to the patient informing him of the allotment of the bed and the other details. All that the patient has to do is arrive on the due date and after complying with some statutory procedures, occupy the bed.”

However, technology is not restricted to indoor patients only. For OPD patients, the hospital offers the service of scanning all the documents and case papers. This saves the patient of the trouble of carrying all the papers each time they pay a consultation visit. “For e.g. in the gynecology department, an expectant patient need not carry her CT report, MR or Ultra Sound report. All these are scanned, and the patient is allotted a docket number, which includes all the relevant details guiding the patient to the concerned department, floor, detailing even the extension number,” stated Ved.

Sharing the details of the existing IT infrastructure, Ved stated, “We are using Softscript for our HMIS, which resides on Oracle 8i. At the server level, we run Unix operating system on Sun’s Solaris machines, while at the desktop its Windows.” For the Mumbai location, the hospital has 200+ nodes catering to an 825-bedded setup, while at Indore there are more than 100 nodes for a 625-bedded infrastructure.

Connectivity between the Mumbai and Indore location is done through leased lines with 256 Kbps.

Outlining the future roadmap, Ved said, “We would like to benchmark against the best technology management practices adopted in hospitals worldwide. Apart from that, we also plan to open satellite centers in the periphery of Mumbai and suburbs.”

In terms of solutions, the hospital also plans to shortly introduce (PACS) - picture archiving in the wards and nurse’s duty rooms for which the major vendors being considered are Siemens, GE and Philips.

The hospital is following the Six Sigma model — a disciplined, data-driven approach, and a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Implemented by Siemens it was authenticated by Ernst & Young last year. Says Ved, “With the adoption of Six Sigma the admission time has reduced to half an hour, while the discharge time has reduced to a mere 15 minutes.”

Describing the team functioning at the helm of affairs, Ved said, “There exists a dedicated and united team, which are termed as the five fingers of the hand that works together to form a fist symbolizing unity. The first is the honorary secretary who apart from being a senior of the Birla group also doubles up as legal advisor, followed by the HRD, which ably takes care of 3000 employees.”

“At the third level is the administration that services 28,000 indoor patients and 2,00,000 OPD patients p.a, followed by the IT function that acts as the facilitator of patient care. And finally, our chairperson, Bharat Kumar Taparia- a tech-savvy person, who is the motivational factor behind the team,” concluded Ved.