Now you can tell exactly how long it will take to get an X-ray, CT-scan, dressing and suturing done at the emergency department of the Aiims Trauma Centre.
The endless wait is a thing of past as the hospital has gone online with information on waiting period for the various procedures, number of patients seen, admissions and discharges made in a day, etc, that will get automatically updated every minute. The initiative aims at fixing accountability and maintaining transparency — a first for any hospital in the country.
Dr Deepak Agrawal, associate professor, neurosurgery, who is also in-charge of IT matters at the hospital, was the brain behind this idea. His inspiration: lots of complaints about long waiting hours in emergency. He thought, if the waiting period was documented, it would deter the staff from wasting time, which will reduce the wait period.
“People had started regularly complaining about not knowing how long they were to wait to get a test done. I wanted a mechanism in place to see where things were going wrong and how we could inform people about the exact waiting time,” said Dr Agrawal. Hospital authorities should be intimated, in case waiting period exceeds the mentioned time.
Last year, the hospital had launched a medical call centre to maintain a database of all its patients. The company — Noida-based SM Telesys Ltd — given the contract to run the call centre has created the website. A dedicated section from the hospital’s IT department keeps feeding in real time data.
The second objective of the initiative is to internally audit the clinical performance of each department. Making this performance available online would mean it can be compared to other hospitals in India and abroad.
“For a layman to have an idea of a surgeon’s success and failure rate is beneficial. This way they can make an informed choice. It’s high time people woke up to the fact that they are entitled to this kind of information,” said Dr Agrawal.