The PGI is not effectively utilising its beds. This came to the fore during a recent meeting of the top brass of the institute.
The institute has quite a high average length of stay (ALS) of patients, which is considered an important hospital indicator to gauge the quality of healthcare. A higher ALS indicates that the beds are not being effectively utilised. Experts say it also indicates that patients are not being attended to and provided treatment in time, as a result of which their discharge is also delayed.
According to PGI sources, the ALS of patients at the PGI was 8.2 days in 2011, which was quite higher as compared to other premier hospitals like AIIMS where it was around six days.
The ALS in the PGI in 2010 was 8.4 days. Taking a serious note of the situation, the PGI administration is working on ways to bring the ALS down. The issue came up for discussion during a meeting of the PGI committee called to find out ways to decongest and streamline emergency services.
The committee said the perusal of the available data in various departments revealed that ALS in the PGI was higher than that in AIIMS.
Sources said the PGI administration had also suggested that to ascertain the reasons for higher ALS, the institute should conduct morbidity and mortality audits.
A senior PGI professor, who did not want to be named, said this had been a serious problem in the institute for the past several years. "The issue was raised a few years ago, but not much headway was made," he said.
PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said, "It takes several decades to improve upon the ALS indicator. In the past one decade, our ALS indicator has improved significantly and it is better than most hospitals in the region. With computerisation and further use of technology, we will further improve on this indicator."
Patients overstaying in emergency
While discussing the emergency services, the PGI committee found that the patients were overstaying in the emergency beyond a defined time limit, which is 48 hours. The committee said the respective departments must be asked to explain the reasons for it.