by November 5, 2002 0 comments

Promoted by Ranbaxy, Fortis Healthcare envisages specialty mother hospitals (heart, ortho, cancer, etc) linked by high-speed leased lines among themselves and to a chain of medical centers. 

The Doc is an SMS away

At Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, Delhi, the minute a patient is admitted, his details are entered into a database (Oracle 8i running on Win NT 4.0 with SP6). From here, M-pulse, a three-tier app developed by CellNext Solutions, takes over. It assigns a specialist from the available doctors and sends him an SMS about the details (name, bed and ward number) of the patient. 

The condition of the patient is monitored 24×7 by nurses who update the database. Should the patient’s condition worsen, M-pulse alerts the doctor through another SMS. M-Pulse can also SMS other mobile numbers, say those of relatives of the patient, but only if the doctor enables this functionality.

Another feature is the availability of medical records at  Patients are given two unique id numbers at the time of registration. One is the patient specific id that remains the same for all subsequent visits, too. The other is unique to the incidence of stay at the hospital and changes each time the patient visits the hospital. The patient can use these ids to log into and retrieve his medical records.

Using PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) doctors at the mother hospital will be able to diagnose and treat patients who come to the medical centers. The doctor can see in real-time parameters like ECG and Echo tests on special monitors from Agilent. He can then diagnose and treat the patient, without asking him to come to the mother hospital, which might be a few hundred km away.

As of now, the first hospital has been started at Mohali in Chandigarh (in 2001) and the first few medical centers will be up in Delhi and in Punjab by the end of this year. IT elements at Mohali include a 1 Gb/sec high-speed network, 750 data points and more than 20 Compaq servers and 200 desktops running Microsoft software. It also features a single-window registration process thanks to integrated hospital-, lab- and inventory-management systems. This means that a patient can get his appointment, make payments for consultations, tests and medicines without being sent to different counters. 

Benoy George Thomas

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