Patient feedback is the most important factor that will take healthcare and hospitals to the next level: Dr. Rajendra Patankar, Jupiter Hospital
Jan 19, 2023
Jan 19, 2023
Infrastructural changes in hospitals : Emerging trends
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us how to adapt ourselves to the changing times from the perspective of hospitals and health care. A lot of changes have happened in the post-COVID times that we are facing now. While earlier, we never had any major infrastructural space as far as an isolation ICU in a hospital, now it has become the need of the hour. No longer can we have just one or two isolation rooms in a hospital, but we need to plan it while constructing a new hospital to have a clear isolation ICU, isolation wards where the entire ventilation systems are designed differently based upon the requirements of the infectious disease. So, infectious diseases, which earlier contributed to just a miniscule percentage of the infrastructural requirements, have now taken a certain substantial proportion.
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Hospital administration: Trends
Just like clinical care is growing in leaps and bounds across the world, managing these setups or hospitals has also increased. Earlier, courses in hospital administration or healthcare administration were hardly available in this country. But now, more and more such opportunities are available for youngsters to get into the field of hospital management or hospital administration. I personally feel that there's a huge demand-supply gap in this country for professional hospital administrators who understand the system from the inside and who are then involved in managing the place. I would recommend that young hospital administrators spend more of their time on the ground.
Hospital administration: Msg to new aspirants
When I say on the ground, it means on the patient's bedside, in the operating theatre, in the finance department, in the HR, or marketing-more in these areas across the hospital spectrum to improve their skill sets as a good hospital administrator. What I find lacking in the current generation is that they spend more time reading notes and books than being on the field. So, my advice to the youngsters is to be practical-oriented hospital administrators.
Hospitals are very complex and labor-intensive organisations where you have the most superior super specialists and the most complex of technologies down to the most basic and simple housekeeping staff at the hospital. Both have their own importance, which is very well documented and appreciated by patients. Similarly, hospitals are technologically intensive right from the very basic, simple equipment to the most complex robotic joint replacement machine, or a neurosurgery neuro-navigation system, or a cath lab, or a linear accelerator—you have the entire spectrum in a hospital setting. The hospital provides engineering services ranging from the most basic to the most complex.My take on this with hospital administrators is that they need to be good and knowledgeable in all these fields, not just a specific area of hospital administration.
This is something that will take them ahead. This is where I feel that there's a huge gap between what students who pass out hospital administration come out with because they lack a very clear, practical approach. That's where I thought I should write a book, and I'm glad to share that I'm writing a book called "The Practical Administrator for Students" for the new generation.
Managing Patient experience
If you look in the past, it was difficult to get a doctor’s appointment, to book an ambulance, to get to the hospital. If you called the hospital, nobody picked up your call. If you needed to ask your doctor a question, you had to wait a long time. Things have radically changed with respect to expectations of hospitals and patients as well. This is where we need to understand that patients' feedback is the single most important factor that will take healthcare and hospitals to the next level. Patient experience has become paramount.
Like I always said, it is very important to take care of the patient, who is the main central entity around which everything in the hospital or healthcare setting revolves. Typically, in Jupiter Hospital, the term patient experience or customer experience is where an individual experiences the patient when he comes into contact with the hospital, what we call patient touchpoints or customer touch points. Earlier, nobody really bothered about managing them, about understanding and acknowledging the expectations of these patients who wish to come to the hospital for their health care requirements.
Post COVID or even prior to that as well, hospitals have started to recognise the importance of this patient experience right from the time when the patient decides to come to a hospital and makes a phone call to the hospital to the time when he enters the outpatient department or enters the emergency department. The way he is handled, the way people approach him, the way information is shared with the patient—all these things are right until the time the patient meets the consultant or the operating team and in the process of the whole treatment and discharge. Nowadays, patients prefer to go to hospitals where their experience is good, not only where good treatment is given.
Earlier, doctors were never questioned by patients, whatever the doctor said was right. While that may still be true, as far as the clinical management of the patient is concerned, the patient also wants to be a part of the whole process. The patient wants to understand the whole concept of how his clinical condition will be taken care of and also be an active participant in the entire process.
Jupiter Hospital: Journey so far
Jupiter Hospital was founded in Thane in 2009 by one of the city's most senior citizens. That is where Dr. Ajay Thakar, our chairman of Jupiter Hospital, said, "The philosophy, or the cornerstone of our functioning, will be the patient." That's why our tagline says "patient first". This patient, for us, is the planet around which all of us revolve, whether it is the doctor or the nurse or the paramedical staff or the administrator. The main entity for us and for our existence is this patient.
It's been almost one and a half decades and we are celebrating the 15th year of our existence. We have three other hospitals, Jupiter Hospital in Pune and another in Indore, that range in size from 50 doctors to 400 employees. We are a nearly 50-person team in charge of nearly eleven hundred hospital beds in the tertiary and quaternary sectors. We have almost everything under one roof, right from the basic medical to super speciality services including robotic transplant, neuro-navigation, among many others. The best state-of-the-art oncocare is available with us. We do one of the largest numbers of transplants, organ transplants, and bone marrow transplant surgeries in Central and Western India.
Jupiter Hospital has definitive plans for expanding in the healthcare space beyond our existing three geographies. I'm glad to say that we are coming up with a tertiary care hospital at Dombivli in the suburbs of Thane. And going ahead, we plan to add a few more tertiary care setups in the western region.