The KEM hospital has become the first government hospital in Mumbai to digitise the medical records of all its Covid-19 patients that can be accessed by doctors through an in-house mobile application. While the app was launched in May, its web portal was inaugurated on Tuesday, doing away with physical handling of patient records.
A major hiccup that KEM hospital had faced at the onset of the pandemic was how to handle case papers of patients without risking contracting the infection.
Through the app, created free of cost by programmers of K J Somaiya college, all requisite information of a patient – medical history and progress – can be viewed at the click of a button. As soon as a patient is tested, an identification number is created and fed into the app. A doctor can access the app on his phone and just click on the patient’s name to check for details.
Details of the treating doctor, medication being administered and line of treatment is also updated real time. It shows live data on suspected Covid-19 patients, those who have tested positive and those scheduled for discharge. It also shows who are stable and critical, based on which, the hospital passes on the information to the relatives.
Once a patient has been admitted, he or she can only communicate through the phone. Often, if a patient is moved to the ICU, his phone is handed over to the family. Entry of relatives barred in isolation wards, many wait outside and keep approaching doctors to know about the condition of patients.
The hospital’s psychiatry department, which has 10 phone lines dedicated to call the kin to update them about the patients, can also access the app to check on each patient and inform their families. The hospital at present is treating 380 positive patients and 100 who have symptoms of Covid-19. “In the initial days of the pandemic, we noticed there was a delay in paperwork. If a patient died, staffers were scared to take documents from the isolation ward to the morgue,” said Dean Dr Hemant Deshmukh on what led to the creation of the app.
Dr Amit Bhondve, from the community medicine department, said that earlier, the hospital staff had to manually punch in the details of a patient, delaying updation of records due to the huge case load. “The idea to create an app also came about due to the tedious process of data entry,” he added.
A team of five doctors – Bhondve, Yogesh Pawade, Abhijeet Dhende, Parvez Chawki, and Nikhil Rao – were involved in data monitoring of Covid-19 patients. Pawade’s wife Dipti Pawade, a professor in KJ Somaiya College who specialises in information technology, helped develop the app along with her colleagues.
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