India Now - page 55

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APRIL-MAY 2015
Sterling
Services
Glocal
hospital chain
has technology
as its backbone
and frugal
innovation as its
nerve centre. It
actively engages
with academia
in research and
has instituted
a hospital
management
course with
IIM-Kolkata to
groom healthcare
professionals—a
supply chain that
is in dire need
of sustenance.
To cut down
costs, it has a
highly evolved
telemedicine
model.
in rural areas and 85 per cent of
the people suffered from only 17
diseases. From there on, the math
was easy. It meant that 95 per cent
of the rural population could be
treated with secondary level hos-
pitalisation care. The team then
went about whittling down the
hospital infrastructure to basic
requirements for this secondary
care—with emphasis on green
and energy efficiency. The archi-
tecture would be built to suit the
local environs and a no frills, but
aesthetic and functional approach
that was both scalable, efficient,
durable was adopted. It paid off
by bringing down costs and scal-
ing up efficiency. Equipment
selection for each hospital was
done with the disease burden in
mind and not as a way of showing
off its state of the art credentials.
Another way that Glocal brought
down costs was by not opting for
high end medical devices off the
shelf. Rather, it had them assem-
bled from original equipment
manufacturers down the supply
chain. All the hospitals are multi-
specialty, yet they do not boast of
expensive equipment like MRI
and CT scans. The hospital has a
tele-radiology system with their
radiologist based in Lucknow.
Technology, in fact, is the back-
bone of the rural hospital chain
that relies on tele-consultation,
tele-pathology, tele-sonology and
tele-endoscopy in order to keep
experts and doctors in the same
loop. All the hospitals are WiFi
enabled, paperless and digitised.
Glocal has developed and
adopted a standardised Medical
Diagnosis & Management System
(MDMS) that is connected to the
Hospital Management Informa-
tion System (HMIS). An interac-
tive and learning system, it has
been improving continuously on
the basis of feedback. The system
that was initially developed as a
protocol for diagnosis has now
evolved into a set of standardised
processes for disease manage-
ment. There is a formatted online
form that the doctor feeds with
the symptoms and clinical find-
ings of the patient. The system
acts promptly and suggests the
course of investigations needed
for diagnosis and in case there is
no need for further clinical inves-
tigations, the system will prompt
the doctor. This helps cut down
the cost of unnecessary diagnosis.
However, a doctor is always free to
carry on with investigations if he
disagrees with the system prompt
and he feeds in the findings if the
system is wrong. This updates the
system automatically. In case, the
doctor was wrong, the learning
happens the other way. Since, the
entire process is documented, it
ensures transparency.
Glocal has not just set a para-
digm in low-cost rural healthcare,
but as Dr Azim hopes, “it will also
serve as an incentive for other pri-
vate players to step into the rural
healthcare space when they see
that serving RSBY beneficiaries,
who can pay for their treatment,
is a profitable enterprise.” No
frills, low-cost, locally contextual
hospitals that are high on technol-
ogy can be the prescription for
Health for All in India.
RURAL
UPDAT E
G L O C A L H E A L T H C A R E S Y S T E M S P V T L T D
“...We sat with
Damodaran and created
Glocal Healthcare. It
would work to bring down
the cost of treatment...
To make rural healthcare
sustainable we are
opening hospitals so that
rural people get treatment
in nearby areas.”
—Dr Syed Sabahat Azim
CEO, Glocal Healthcare Systems Pvt Ltd
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