Bihar: IGIMS to begin telemedicine facility at ₹60 for 10 minutes
Aimed to reduce patient footfall during the pandemic, the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), an autonomous institution, on the pattern of AIIMS, is poised to offer online telemedicine consultation to patients at a small additional cost soon.
The telemedicine facility, which will allow patients to have video consultations with doctors, will come at a small price of ₹6 per minute for a 10-minute slot. This will be in addition to the registration cost of ₹50. While the patient will decide the day of teleconsultation, depending on slots available, the doctor will decide its time, said officials.
The doctor’s prescription will be generated online through the IGIMS Android mobile application, downloaded from the Google Playstore. Laboratory test reports will also now be available through the mobile app or by e-mail. Doctors can access them through the app itself.
The online prescription, thus generated, will be stored on the patient’s mobile app and on the IGIMS server hosted on the Cloud for at least two years.
The patients can either print the prescription or export it to PDF and share it on WhatsApp or other social media platforms.
It will, however, take some time to begin with an online telemedicine service.
“We will begin with telemedicine consultation in a week or so after we settle down with the online OPD registration system,” added Dr Mandal.
Patients opting for telemedicine consultation will have to pay ₹60 in addition to the registration charge of ₹50, valid for a month.
“A patient can even upload on the app laboratory report of tests done outside IGIMS. A proper record will be maintained on the app of all online telemedicine consultation. In case the consultation ends in less than six minutes, the balance amount will remain in the patient’s mobile app wallet. It can be utilised anytime in future,” said Ram Pravesh Mehta, proprietor of Mehta Datamatics, the local firm providing IT support to the IGIMS.
OPD REGISTRATION GOES ONLINE
Outdoor patient department (OPD) registration has become fully online since June 19, when the institute re-opened its OPD doors for non-Covid patients. It has to be done through the IGIMS mobile application.
Registration can be done through a mobile link generated on the patient’s e-mail and re-authenticated by an OTP on the mobile phone.
The IGIMS has three helpdesks and a helpline number 7461937625 of the medical superintendent office for those who face difficulty in online registration.
“Our staff at the Ayushman Bharat registration counter number 17 will assist those who face difficulties in online registration. OTP-based registration can be done on any mobile phone; having an Android phone is not necessary,” said Dr Mandal.
“The steps taken are to reduce OPD patient load during the Covid-19 pandemic, and also avoid crowding at the registration counters,” said Dr Manish Mandal, medical superintendent, IGIMS.
The IGIMS has presently restricted the number of patients to 30 a day per surgical department and 50 each in medicine departments.
The online OPD registration comes as a blow to touts, who used to fleece gullible patients from rural areas, in the name of facilitating quick consultation.
The IGIMS would have an average daily patient footfall of 4,000 at its OPD during pre-Covid-19 times. It was declared a dedicated Covid-19 hospital on April 15. Emergency services are still restricted to patients suffering from coronavirus disease or mucormycosis