Mumbai: Beat hospital queues with barcoded tags

BMC to begin computerisation of patients’ records by year-end at Sion Hospital; all new records can be accessed by patients and doctors

A hospitalisation in a civic facility is no less than an ordeal. Running around to collect test reports, chasing on-duty doctors and queuing up to collect hospital records can wear out even the best of us. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has struck upon one solution for all of these: barcoded wrist bands.

The civic body will begin digitisation of all records through such tags on patients with a pilot project at Sion Hospital by the end of this year. The project will be later replicated at Nair Hospital and KEM Hospital. Once the project takes off, even patients can log onto the system to access their records.

Dr Avinash Supe, director of medical education and major hospitals in the BMC, explains that vital information of every patient such as name, age, gender, date of birth, phone number will be registered against an ID code and fed into the system. “So, the next time when s/he comes to the hospital, his/her records can be accessed easily. Similarly, the tests s/he undergoes will be available on the system so that s/he can directly meet the doctor, instead of waiting to collect the records.”

He says the digitisation plan aims at easing the patient load on municipal hospitals. “Sometimes, patients or their relatives have to run around to collect test reports and then show it to the doctor concerned. The project will do away with all that.”

Doctors will be able to make entries on remarks and drug prescriptions against a patient’s ID code. All pathological test reports will also be uploaded on the system.

“We will start this project on a trial basis at Sion Hospital. The objective is to make things easier for patients. They need not worry about carrying reports and files every time. Even doctors will find it easier to work with this system,” says Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner in charge of healthcare.

Past records, however, will not be available on the system. Sion, Nair and KEM hospitals are the largest municipal facilities in the city.

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