|February 19, 2021||IANS - Hyderabad|
earning lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic, leading private healthcare providers have started introducing changes in their treatment protocols.
Drawing on the experience of tackling the pandemic during last one year, the hospitals are pre-screening patients not just for Covid-19 but also other potential infectious diseases. For this, some of the hospitals have allocated separate infrastructure and manpower within the premises.
They say this will help them in providing right treatment and ensuring that other patients in the hospital and the staff are not put to risk of infection.
From creating isolation wards to providing emergency services, making intensive care units available and beds for treatment of Covid-19, the managements of hospitals learnt to deal with the pandemic and the whole experience helped them to improve the service delivery.
It was a big learning for doctors, nurses and support staff of the healthcare institutions who contributed to tackling the situation, though the initial stage saw problems leading to intervention by the government authorities to streamline the process.
"All hospitals are now geared up to admitting patients with other infectious diseases. The experience gained while tackling Covid-19 menace, the staff has had immense learning through various in-house trainings in infection prevention and control practices," Dr Riyaz Khan, CEO, Continental Hospitals, told IANS.
He believes that all hospitals in future will be require to have pre-triaging area to be able to identify any potential infectious patients. He pointed out that Continental Hospitals, with its JCI accreditation, follows the best practice to universally screen all patients for any suspected infectious diseases.
Dr Mervin Leo, Cluster COO, Gleneagle Global Hospitals, said: "Hospitals will have to create dedicated and differentiated pathways for normal patients and those with infectious diseases. Adequate isolation rooms with negative pressure areas will become a norm in most of the modern hospitals.
"Adaptation of all patient care areas like operating rooms, diagnostic and radiology services to effectively segregate infectious patients while providing seamless services to other patients will have to be ensured."
He is of the view that going ahead, the role of infectious disease experts will become pivotal in steering the entire emergency response mechanism, developing treatment protocols and training of nurses and support staff to handle emerging situations.
"Video consultations and Out of the Hospital (OOH) care has seen wider acceptability during the Covid-19 lockdown and in the subsequent times; and this shall continue to have even more patients' subscriptions in the times ahead," he said.
Dr Pradeep Panigrahi, Medical Director, SLG Hospitals, said they learnt how to handle a pandemic, and develop protocols to prevent its spread into the community. "Covid-19 taught us how to prepare ourselves for any emergency at short notice, and to deliver the best. Our doctors, nurses, and support staff worked as a unit and were ready for sacrifices to be made or professional demands."
He said although the numbers of testing in India might not be high, the Indian healthcare machinery optimised resources by being able to undertake a targeted testing approach that helped to effectively isolate the hotspots in a scientific manner.
He noted that the government also made sure early availability of all the research molecules in the country at par with any other nation in the World. Scientific rationale and timely updated clinical management guidelines helped to control the mortality and keep Covid-19 linked deaths rate as one of the lowest.
Effective mobilisation of the frontline healthcare workers at the primary healthcare level through a network of well-established dispensary system provided local regional support to the overall strategy.
Governments of the various states in the country intervened to ensure cost-effective and equitable care across the strata of society by implementing price-ceiling on hospital charges and all Covid-19 related drugs.
Now with Covid-19 cases in Telangana coming down gradually, hospitals have started reverting beds back into the normal pool. However, certain beds including those in ICU facilities continue to be dedicated for Covid-19 care.
The latest bed status in 216 private hospitals treating Covid in Telangana shows that out of 7,623 beds, 6,961 beds were vacant.
From a peak in bed occupancy during April-October, these hospitals reported fewer occupancy in the last 2-3 weeks. Private hospitals in Hyderabad have reverted at least two-thirds of the beds allocated for Covid-19 care towards other regular treatments.
"We have reverted two-thirds of the beds allocated for Covid-19 to normal pool, and the remaining are likely to continue until the situation comes under absolute control," said Dr Riyaz Khan.