Srinagar: Appointment with a doctor at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) will just be a phone call away while patients can have access to their medical reports online as the institute will go fully digital.
This was disclosed by Director of SKIMS, Dr Omar Shah, who said a fully digital hospital can improve efficiency and patient service.
Rejecting the concept of generic medicines, Dr. Shah, who was appointed Director of SKIMS after government attached former director Dr. AG Ahangar, said if you get a drug at the low price, but there is no efficiency and efficacy what is the point of prescribing such medicines.
”I have moved a proposal with one of the leading universities of Japan in this context. We are also in contact with Kashmiris who are in good positions in the best American and European universities. We can have a mutual transfer of academics and learning skills with these universities,” Dr. Shah told UNI in an exclusive interview.
”Thousands of patients from different parts of the Valley come to this premier hospital every day. Some come to get their medical reports and follow up with a doctor while some come to seek an appointment with a doctor. But, how good will it be if they can exceed their medical reports online and seek an appointment from any doctor over the phone,” he said.
The SKIMS Director said he has already asked the Information Technology Department of the hospital to work on this project.
“I have given full freedom to the IT department and assured additional funds if required for the project because it will be very beneficial for the patients who come here from far-flung and remote areas. Instead of coming here to get their report, they can simply go their district headquarters or any place where they can access the internet and check the reports online,” he said.
Similarly, he said people who come here to seek doctor appointments from distant places will be able to do so over the phone instead of spending full day in traveling. “It will be very beneficial for them and will also improve the quality of the service the hospital delivers,” he said, adding it will also decrease the waiting time for patients in long queues.
Dr Shah added that hospital staff, including nursing staff and doctors, will be counseled on patient contact. “It is a big challenge. Doctors and nursing and other supporting staff of the hospital do not have optimal training on how to interact with a patient or attendants.
We are planning to do it in a phased manner at all levels. We will engage counselors who will train our nursing and nursing aid staff for about half-an-hour every day for a month about how to interact with a patient. Then we can make it a weekly event… this will improve the relationship between hospital staff and patients,” he added.
Talking about measures to improve patient service at the premier hospital in the state, he said social workers will be engaged to help patients. “At times patients have no clue about from where to get appointments or get medical tests done. So these social workers will not only accompany these patients but will also help them get things done faster. It will improve patient satisfaction,” he said.
He said counselors will also be engaged to help people deal with the loss of their loved ones. “This is a hospital and there are only two end results for a patient… he or she either get better and leaves or dies. If a patient dies, his relatives are in a state of shock. So these counselors will help them in dealing with the pain. It will not only help the relatives of the deceased but will also avoid instigation of violence,” he said.
Such steps, he said will improve the image of the premier hospital and will also enhance patient care. “Once all these measures are in place, patients will have a good feeling about the hospital while leaving,” he said.