Chandigarh: Diagnostics show the way in using technology to meet future needs

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2015 11:46 IST

At a time when the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is trying hard to come out of its five-decade-old vintage style of functioning, the diagnostic facilities as a field give hope as the institute is taking desired steps to meet the future needs by using ultra-modern equipment and information technology for quick transmission of information.

The diagnostic facilities that conducts more than 1-crore examinations every year mainly pertains to five branches — biochemistry, which does all kind of tests related to bio chemicals; pathology, which analyses human tissues; haematology, mainly blood related tests, microbiology and related laboratories; and radio diagnosis and imaging which conducts all kind of X-rays and scans of human body. Apart from that some departments, including endocrinology, nephrology, neurology run their own laboratories.

When it comes to making the sample collection and delivery of reports easy, 2014 was a remarkable year for the PGIMER.
The institute launched lab investigation module in all major labs, including those of biochemistry, haematology (coagulation), medical microbiology, endocrinology and parasitology departments.

The reports are now instantly made available on all computers in the institute and to all doctors in all OPDs and special clinics. Initially, it was started with biochemistry, which handles the largest load of samples with 41 lakh samples annually. The service is being extended to other specialities also. Now, the patients don’t have to run here and there to collect laboratory reports.

Earlier, in the Emergency and the Advanced Trauma Centre, patients were handed over the samples by the doctors for submitting them to different laboratories. Attendants of the patients then had to collect the reports physically and instances of reports getting jumbled and going missing were high.

Even the biochemistry department provides online access to all the samples collected in the OPDs. The patients can access those reports by generating one-time password (OTP) for the registered mobile number of the patient and same can be accessed by entering the central registration number (CR No.) and receipt number of the payment made for the test. Now, a similar system is being planned for haematology and microbiology examinations.

The delivery of reports through SMS to patients is another project in the pipeline. Biochemistry and IT departments are working together on the project. “We are at an advance stage of introducing the facility,” said Dr Rajinder Prasad, head, department of biochemistry.

Even when it comes to diagnostic technology, the institute has made remarkable advances in the past couple of years. It became the first institute in the country to introduce several tests in the field of nuclear medicine and neurology.

Though there are long waiting lists of patients for certain tests when it comes to routine investigation in radio-diagnosis, the institute recently said that it intended to connect all radio-diagnosis machines to give doctors access to the MRI and CT scan images in OPDs. It will also allow doctors to access these radio-diagnostic images on smart phones and PDAs.

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