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  • How to improve the experience of patients waiting for check-ups in government hospitals?

    Wondering how to make waiting time of patients in hospitals worthwhile? Searching for innovative ideas which will help even patients from rural areas who visit government hospitals in urban areas? Scroll through the suggestions from our ISC experts.

    In India, most of the government hospitals (even the private ones) do not care about patients valuable time and in big government hospitals like AIMS and PGI, people have to sometimes wait for even a day or more to get a small check-up. Village and poor people come from far off places to urban cities for the check-up in government hospitals. Hospital authorities issue them cards but they do not care for patient's time or comfort. I am working on a project in which our team will make a software to make the waiting experience of patients hassle-free and enjoyable. It will also inform them about the approximate time after which their turns will come so that they can manage their schedule accordingly.

    Can you suggest me some more innovative and creative ideas to make the waiting time and experience of patients in government hospitals good and hassle-free?

    Note please do consider the fact that corruption and carelessness from hospital authorities are inevitable and the idea should be based on what an outsider can do or develop to do the above mentioned.
  • Answers

    6 Answers found.
  • In Hyderabad, there are some doctors who will give a time slot of one hour and they will complete the job within that one hour. They need not wait for hours together. But some doctors call all the patients whom he can see that and see first come first serve basis. But they waiting here will be more. We may have to wait sometime 3 to 4 hours also.

    In your software, if you can include a feature in which you can tell the timeslot in which his turn may come and the patient can go in that time slot. But the problem is first to come first serve process on that day how many people can come before him and how many people will be there before is not known. So in your software, there should be a mechanism to contact the hospital and know how many people are there before him and what will be this timeslot, the same can be known to the patient and accordingly the patient can make his planning.

    always confident

  • The patients should be familiar with the working condition of the hospital and accordingly, they should be prepared. There are a lot of flaws in the hospital administration. Of course, recently Software has been developed to stream line the process and each patient following the que .would be given a number indicating his possibility to get the consultation of the Doctor.
    If the number exceeds more than 200, there is a remote possibility of getting the chances of consultation, if only a single doctor is attending but trace out how many doctors are on the duty to look after the patient. If the attending doctor is three, 600 patients can be entertained on that particular day.
    Moreover, the pattern of such follow up of the doctors should be investigated with the attending staffs.
    If the patient has any previous pathological, X- Ray reports connecting to the disease from any previous consultation, they should carry it to show the same to the attending doctor.

  • In the Govt hospitals there is no streamlined system to give a serial or time slot to the patients and it is true that they have to wait for more time for their turn. You are interested in developing a software to help them in finding out the time slot or approximate time when they are supposed to be called by the doctor.

    Certain basic things will be needed to attain this task as it will encompass a large range of hospitals and on daily basis the list of patients will change. You have to convince the hospitals that the software will help the patients in making their presence to the doctor's cabin in time and the place outside the doctor's room will not be unnecessarily crowded. Next thing will be to get the appointment lists pertaining to different doctors and specialists from the concerned hospitals on daily basis and link it to the software. The individual patient will also be having this software in his mobile so that he can track his name and the serial there. Here you will be required to put some approximation as time per patient either from the hospital concerned or from the real time data set of a few days by observing the actual average time being taken in the doctor's room for the patients. So different hospitals will provide you different sets of data which are to be averaged out to use in the predictive software model you will be devising for this project.

    I think it is to be done for one hospital as a pilot project before going to a number of hospitals in an area. Later it can be extended to other places also.

    I will suggest you to take help from some android app developer who can give good tips for making a robust model for this project.

    Knowledge is power.

  • I think more than software it is the betterment of infrastructure facilities like waiting space, more number of doctors and staff, pharmacy, extension of time or working in shifts etc that will solve the waiting problems..
    The check up in hospitals is depending on many factors. It is not working on a uniform principle. So making a software needs a close working with the hospital personnel and also the general behaviour pattern of the patients.

    Established hospitals have their system worked out from their experience. So they give appointments for a fixed number of patients and may give time slot like moaning, or afternoon. But even there they cannot exactly predict when a certain patient will be called. In certain hospitals the checking doctor may be called for some emergency case, or a new patient may be brought needing an urgent and priority attention. That will disturb the till then expectations of probability and turn.

    Similarly some patients express the symptoms and background very clearly and specifically that makes the doctor to diagnose very easily and the check up time is reduced. Not all can or may do so. There may be interruptions for clarification and enquiry etc. Sometimes an appointed patient may not turn up. All these disturb the ideal expectations. Some patients waiting may be just for a follow up visit or they may be disposed off easily as they would have recovered fully.

    Many large hospitals also divert the patients to different doctors seeing the waiting numbers. But even this may not work as some patients may insist on specific doctors.
    So the only way is to make the waiting experience pleasurable or less difficult is to have proper infra structural facilities in the hospital like good and comfortable seating ,reading or viewing materials . Many hospitals have TV screens , newspapers and magazines, children play area, canteen etc. Many hospitals show the current status by displaying the token numbers being called.

    More than a software by an external party, it will work only with the service minded support of experienced hospital staff.
    Many paints nowadays are watching,working or playing with their smartphones and properly use the waiting time even in hospitals.

    The hospitals may in future have their own free WiFi and broadcasting also.You may develop some software for giving cheer up messages and awareness about various health matters. That can be linked with a QR code printed on the tokens or tickets of the hospital.

  • There is this service called NSS. This is still around in all colleges. One needs to enlist the support of students to act as volunteers in Government hospitals. It is also gratifying to note that you are working on software in this respect. Now, incorporate features that will involve people of the wider society as well. For example, have a provision to include prominent social workers in the area and get them to support your initiative. They should not belong to any political party. Once you do this, on the strength of their moral character, they will be able to contribute in their own way. For example, arm the local people to access this software from any internet center, within a radius of ten kilometers from the hospital. In their own MOTHER TONGUE. Not necessarily, only in English. Once you do this, please do make provisions for them to access the facilities in the particular hospital, through customer service representatives, whose photo and cell number should appear on the website as well.

    Now, who will pay these Customer Service Representatives? Since I guess you are an IT professional, please do approach the likes of HCL, whose Chairman, Shiv Nadar, has recently donated fifteen crores to uplift the Government school in which he had studied in Madurai. Ask the company to employ these representatives. They could be MSW degree holders with a specialization in Community Development. Even during their internship, they could act as Volunteers. Get some local traders or big shots to fund their lunch and other small expenses. They could perhaps be given some small stipend. For your information, the MSW degree means the Master's Degree in Social Work. Please refer to the internet and you will get a big list of so many schools of Social Work. First, have a dialogue with each one of these Schools of Social work. This course makes it compulsory for the students, to spend two full days in the field and they need to understand what are called methods of Social Work. They will happily respond. Once you get their cooperation, you can get as many as one hundred such volunteers. On the basis of merit, HCL or any such company can take these graduates on regular rolls and pay them a decent salary as perks.

    Please do note that under the present laws of the land, it is mandatory for every major Corporate to spend two percent of their profits on what is now called Corporate Social Responsibility. (CSR). Tap these funds. Even if it takes a while, enlist the support of the wider community. It is NOT the hospital staff who should do the work. It is these volunteers who should do it. Go to town, all guns blazing and get the media involved in a big way., Once you get community support, rest assured, the Government machinery will need to support you. The first thing that I have mentioned pertains to social workers. They could be famous Senior Citizens who might be doing some good social work, without any publicity,

    If you need any further clarification, please do write in here and I will respond.

  • The instant idea that many of us would suggest would be to improve the infrastructure facilities in the premises. In addition the corruption and carelessness would also mean a good deal in order to improve the overall experience of the patients waiting for their turns. But instead of all these and as you have come up with an idea or a project of developing software than this could also play a vital role in developing and maintenance of the available resources at any particular point of time. Let's study few of the below valuable points,

    1. The Turnaround time or the TAT.

    This could also be briefed as the time interval from the time of submission of a process to the time of the completion of the process. Through an example, when a patient makes an entry into the premises of a hospital then he or she tend to go through with the numbers of steps such,
    a. The first communication site would be the "reception" wherein the patient would be suggested of the concerned person or the department and of the registration process including the expected amount along with the other information which may require on the patient's end.
    b. Attending to the concerned person or the department and get the symptoms clarified along with receiving the remedies note.
    c. After this and if the matter is resolved or is being transferred to some other departments for X-rays or blood testing etc.
    d. Final prescription of the medication and fixing of next appointment for review.

    Let's suppose that the above are the Standard Operating Procedure or the SOP than try to fix this up with some specific duration of time. The overall practice should be to reduce the TAT and in case of this being increase then we can highlight the same with the reasonable reason like due to unavailability of certain staff or even of the doctor.

    The software can be developed that this will be having with the option of completion of one step and in that case the up-coming steps would automatically be shown in the computer screen as "pending" and in this way the whole cycle would be done/completed when the process would have no pending left.

    For the information of the readers, the ERP work just like the above and that's why these are the priority for almost all of them to get those implemented.

    This is important to note that developing and customizing the complete process is a very complicated task because of the variations in the SOP in the different organizations and opting these carries with the huge cost as well.

    The author can go through with the other submissions as well. Best luck.

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