The Delhi government has introduced web-based monitoring of doctors and health workers, where each government doctor in hospitals, dispensaries and district health offices will have to enter their daily “performance” on a mobile application.
The notice on the system was circulated to heads of all institutions. It states, “the detailed work profile and output of all workers is proposed to be monitored” by the application, that will help “rationalise human resources in various institutions in GNCTD”.
Senior officials said the project was rationalised after biometric systems put up in hospitals proved ineffective in managing duty hours.
“It was found that medical personnel were entering their attendance in the morning after working for the first half of the day, and returning in the evening just before duty hours to mark their attendance again. Through the app, they have to justify what they did during their duty hours with specifics of tasks undertaken,” said an official.
According to the app’s template, doctors and health workers have to first enter if they are on or off duty each working day. If they are working, they have to enter the nature of work they perform — OPD, ward and ICU rounds, major or minor surgeries. Doctors also have to enter academic work — whether they held lectures or bed-side classes. The app also has a template for entering administrative work.
In each of these categories, further details have to be entered such as number of patients seen in the OPD, number of patients admitted in a ward or ICU, and nature of surgeries performed.
For administrative duties, doctors have to specify whether they attended meetings, and if so how many, the number of files they “disposed” off and other tasks. Similarly, they have to specify the number, nature and duration of classes they took and the number of students who attended these lectures.
If employees are on leave, they have to choose the off-duty option. The app is available for download on Android and iOs.
According to officials, this will help provide “employee, activity and time-wise” data that will be generated and compiled by the software. Heads of all institutions and departments will be able to access this data, which has to be verified and sent to the Delhi State Health Mission on the first day of each month, states the notice signed by an additional secretary, monitoring, health department.
Sources added that during meetings with resident doctors, complaints were raised about senior doctors not being available on duty at all times. As a result, the burden of manning surgeries and OPDs falls largely on junior doctors. “It was felt that the app would generally help us address these complaints by quantifying the duty hours of every doctor,” added the official.
Meanwhile doctors in many hospitals have protested the move, alleging that they are being singled out by the new system. Though the system was supposed to be functional from January 20, few doctors have downloaded and started entering duty hours, said sources.
“It is discriminatory to enforce such a system only for doctors and the health department. The doctor-to-patient ratio in government hospitals can be seen by the crowd… We see hundreds of patients in OPDs alone,” said a senior doctor at Lok Nayak hospital.