BATTLING WITH the unprecedented rush of patients at the new out patient department (OPD), a senior doctor of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has come up with a solution to streamline the rush at north India’s premier medical hub. Professor Usha Dutta, from the Department of Gastroenterology, PGI, has introduced a pilot project to streamline the OPD rush.
The project comprises four components: slot system, keeping corridors free by using line separators, providing expedient service to sick patients, and a display system. As per the system, the process of streamlining rush begins from the registration of the patients at the OPD hall. “The person at the registration counter pastes colour-coded slips according to the registration of the patients. For instance, the first 100 registered patients in the morning are included in the green slot. Next 100 patients are marked in the blue slot, the third group of 100 patients in the orange slot and the rest of the registered patients into the red slot,” says Dr Dutta.
Of late, PGI has witnessed an increase in the number of patients at the OPD. As per PGI figures, over 20,000 people visit the OPD per day. There has been a growing demand from the doctors at the institute that there should be a cap on the number of patients. Dutta says her project of patient segregation is “successful” and is making the doctors and patients satisfactory. She says that the rooms too have been segregated on the basis of different patients.
“There are different rooms for new patients, revisit patients, senior citizens/pregnant women/disabled/PGI and one separate room for serious patients,” says Dr Dutta. “Each room has doctors present to see the patients.” She maintains that on a particular day, above 400 patients are seen in her OPD and this system is aimed to manage the rush. “In the department OPD area, we have also made patient groups as per colour coding. For example, the first group of 100 patients in green slot will be seen first followed by the other groups,” says Dr Dutta.
“Another feature of this system is that the security won’t allow the other slot of patients before one group is over.” Dr Dutta says she wants the system to be replicated in other OPDs. “This is a pilot project and at my OPD it is successfully working. I have already approached the PGI administration so that the same system could be started in the other OPDs of the institute,” she says.