Troubled with the frequent loss of out-patient department (OPD) cards that contain vital information about the nature of injuries, line of treatment and overall progress of patients, the AIIMS Trauma Centre has begun using tablets to store information.
Instead of issuing handwritten cards, the doctors have started typing details on a tablet. The patient is given a printout of the information. That way, even if the patient loses the OPD card, the hospital has the information that is stored in its database.
Nearly 400 people visit the OPDs of the hospital on any given day. Of them, about 25% turn up without their OPD cards, hindering the treatment process as the doctor has no clue about the case.
“Earlier, we would not have much information with us as everything was mentioned on the card. If the card was lost, then the entire case history of the patient would be gone. It had become a huge problem,” said Dr Deepak Agrawal, associate professor, department of neurosurgery at the hospital, who is in-charge of the computer facility.
The move has also helped in medical research at the hospital.
“The volume of patients that we get is very high and valuable for research purposes; but we would hardly get to document the case studies. Now we can click a picture or make a video for research work,” added Dr Agrawal.
Three tablets are being used as a pilot project to gauge the response.
“Younger people are always more enthusiastic about the use of technology and it takes time for some to get accustomed to such changes. We will hold training sessions for the staff to get used to operating the device,” said Dr MC Misra, chief, AIIMS Trauma Centre.
It has been a few months since a number of OPD cards have been issued using tablets and the hospital hopes to make a complete shift.
“Most of the staff have given a positive response as everything is available at the click of a button and anyone can access it,” added Dr Agrawal.