When gynecologist Aparna Hegde was a resident doctor at Sion Hospital, she remembers seeing a baby in urgent need for intensive care unit at a time when no beds were available in the hospital. The baby’s father had visited five hospitals in vain for an ICU bed wasting precious time for the newborn.
“I realised the concept of golden hour is wasted in search of beds,” she says. In an attempt to now save time for a patient and begin treatment immediately, her NGO Armman is attempting to collaborate with the civic bodies, hospitals and emergency ambulance services to create an online platform where patients can get real-time updates on number of ICUs and ventilators available at a hospital.
The application named ‘HERO’, which stands for Helpline for Emergency Response Operation, will be a web-based platform along with a mobile application that will use a software installed in registered hospitals to display the availability of beds, ventilators, ICUs, and blood units. A data entry operator will have to update whenever a bed is occupied to allow the real-time interface.
“We are halfway in computerising the admission procedure at Sion Hospital. Now, whenever a patient is admitted, the entry is made digital. This also reduces paperwork,” Hegde says.
Until now, 10 private hospitals, such as Seven Hills and Sushrut Hospital, have come on board. Attempts to now rope in BMC-run hospitals are underway.
“We have already started digitising every record in hospital. The process to start connecting a hospital with this app will take time but it is underway,” says Sion Hospital Dean Dr Suleman Merchant.
With BMC hospitals majorly depending on a physical record system, conversion into paperless records will take time. Additionally, training will be required for clerics to use computers. In peripheral hospitals, reports and patients’ details continue to remain on paper with no computerised central database storing it.
According to BMC’s Medical Education Director Dr Avinash Supe, tenders have already been called for upgrading the computer system in the BMC-run hospitals across the city. “The tender will be closed by next month end. We will first start the entire digitisation of records and patient admission procedure online at Sion Hospital. It will be implemented everywhere later,” says Supe. The HERO application will not only allow a patient to find beds available in nearest hospital, but also provide a route to the hospital through maps synced through GPS.
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