New app helps patients navigate AIIMS campus, avail of facilities
A new app with GPS-guided routing will come in handy for patients and their kin who find it difficult to negotiate the nearly 50 clinical departments and centres spread across the 107.6-acre main campus of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at East Ansari Nagar.
The app, developed by Dr Narinder Kumar, a resident doctor from the department of hospital administration, is named ‘AIIMS Information’, and can be downloaded from the Google Playstore.
It provides the entire layout of the hospital and the out patient department, and has an option of GPS-guided route planning from one department to the other.
Registered patients can also check if they are eligible for the insurance scheme under the Prime Minister’s Jan Arogya Yojna using their phone numbers. It provides maps to nearby government hospitals along with an emergency contact number for patients who need to be shifted because of unavailability of beds or services.
“I thought of this app when a friend came to AIIMS for the treatment of his month-old daughter with congenital heart condition. He would spend the entire day just looking for departments. I thought if an educated person who could read signs and directions was having so much trouble negotiating the campus, the thousands who come here would be facing similar problems, ” said Kumar.
There are signboards across the hospital but they are not enough.
“The signages are not enough to help patients navigate from one area of the hospital to the other. For example, there are no directions to guide a patient from the OPD to the dental block. They have to step out of the building and ask someone where the dental block is. The signages appear only when they are approaching the department,” said Dr DK Sharma, medical superintendent, AIIMS.
“People these days are tech-savvy and can follow GPS directions, so it was felt an app like this can help them navigate the hospital,” Sharma said.
The app allows patients to get online appointments and view their laboratory reports using the unique hospital ID, websites for which already existed and have now been integrated into the application.
Apart from clinical services, the app provides directions to the pharmacy and medicine store on-campus, canteens and washrooms open to patients, and the car park within the hospital. A map directs people to the night-stay facility available for relatives of patients along with details of documents required, charges, and a contact number.
“There is a night-stay facility that AIIMS has developed in association POWERGRID as part of their corporate social responsibility. But patients do not know about it. It provides stay and breakfast for just R 50 and yet many sleep on pavements outside. Hopefully, this app will help some of these patients,” said Kumar.
The idea of a static map was dropped as it cannot be updated as and when the hospital gets renovated.
“Currently the app mentions how to get a new appointment but in future, I plan to include other processes such as what formalities need to be completed if a patient has died, etc,” said Kumar.