Hospitals under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have installed a biometric system to digitise attendance of the staff. Set up in all civic hospitals, the system includes a fingerprint scanner for all doctors, nurses and staffers. “As per the directive of the administrative department, we have installed it at KEM,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean at KEM Hospital. “It helps in digitisation of the attendance of the records as well as makes things easier for the staff,” said Supe. The scanner became functional last week and he expects all technical glitches to be resolved in the next two-three months.
Until last year, the civic body received routine complaints against doctors who left early from hospitals for private consultation. Former additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh had conducted surprise checks only to find senior doctors at KEM Hospital absent from their duties and posted in either clinics or private hospitals. In addition to a digital monitoring system, a new app has been released for doctors to track and apply for leaves. “If a doctor is meeting someone or is busy with some other work, he can apply for leave through the app itself. The request goes to the head of department, who then approves the leave,” added Supe.
However, there are still some infrastructural challenges to complete the digitisation. In all peripheral hospitals, the systems have been installed but the lack of a stable WiFi network means that the entire system is not online. “The biometric machines that record our fingerprints are there but there are WiFi issues that don’t allow the machine to function properly,” said Dr Pradeep Jadhav, in-charge of the peripheral hospitals. The doctors, on the other hand, are concerned with the system interfering with their work.
Some doctors worry that the timings of operations will have to be altered to punch the in and out timings. “The patient is of utmost importance. I hope they take into consideration our work timings and allow some leeway if we punch late during entry,” said Dr. Shashikant Mhashal, head of the ENT department at Cooper Hospital.