Open House: What measures should the PGI take to address increasing patient footfall ? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What measures should the PGI take to address increasing patient footfall ?

Need to hire more medical staff at PGI

Open House: What measures should the PGI take to address increasing patient footfall ?

A huge crowd of patients awaiting their turn at an OPD of the PGI in Chandigarh. File

To deal with the workload at the PGI, Chandigarh, the hospital would need new state-of-the-art infrastructure. This would address the burdened state of doctors and make sure the hospital does not lag behind in terms of infrastructural growth. This will boost the efficiency, accuracy, and credibility of the premier healthcare hospital. All in all, new technologies can surely pave the way for growth in the hospital and a reduction in the burden on its doctors.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh

Go for online booking of slots

Encourage adherence to time slots given online. Doctors must follow their routine strictly. A token system should be introduced, and an announcement with the display of the token number should be adopted. The influx of patients can be reduced by having more satellite dispensaries and only accepting patients referred by them. Rush can be reduced by staggering the time of different departments of OPDs. The seating arrangement should be increased to reduce the number of people that need to stand, as this makes the crowd restless.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma

Appointment-based system needed

The PGI can implement several measures to address the overcrowding and long wait times at OPDs. The management should provide the patients with token numbers to avoid the long queues. More staff can be appointed at the OPDs, particularly doctors and nurses, so they can handle the huge crowd of patients effectively. They can also put into action the appointment-based computerised system to avoid such traffic. Timely action, proper management, and course correction can curb the problem.

Siddharth Nagpal, Chandigarh

Poor service hits patient care

The PGI is considered to be one of the best hospitals across North India because of its free and high quality treatment. The best way to deal with the rise in the number of patients is to hire more doctors and other medical staff. This would reduce the waiting time for patients. There is no doubt the PGI has the best sort of treatment; however, poor service quality may cause more harm than benefit to patients.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh

Referral system need of the hour

The healthcare system at the PGI needs to be streamlined, as a lot of patients are deprived of treatment every day. Because of the rush at the facility, a referral system is the need of the hour. Patients who need primary and secondary care should be referred to GMCH-32 and GMCH-16. The ones in need of specialised surgical intervention and tertiary care should be treated at the PGI. All the hospitals must be equipped in order to provide immediate treatment to the accident victims. There should be an adequate number of beds and adequate staff to attend to emergency patients. Those belonging to economically weaker sections cannot afford treatment at private hospitals, so more government hospitals should be set up.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Enhance operational efficiency of services

Waiting a long time to see the doctor is a frustrating experience. No matter how good the healthcare facility is, patients suffer if there is a long waiting time. There should be an online appointment service at the PGI to reduce the rush at the hospital. There should be separate OPDs for government officials or rich people so that hospitals could enhance service operational efficiency for the underprivileged.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali

Telemedicine needed to be strengthened

PGI needs to join hands with the other government hospitals and dispensaries in Chandigarh to handle patient overload. PGI should encourage telemedicine for patients admitted to other government hospitals. The UT administration should provide adequate medical infrastructure to all the government hospitals to handle serious patients. Referral to the PGI should be the last resort. Treatment should be completed at government hospitals rather than sending patients to PGI.

Dr Sandeep Singh Kang, Chandigarh

Admn needs to address chaos

Of late PGI's OPD has seen huge footfalls and there is a chaos there. The hospital administration has failed to manage the patients' rush. Long queues can be seen with people jostling around looking for staff and doctors. More hospitals should be established for treatment of minor ailments so that people do not have to rush to the PGI. Queue management with strict cordoning is also needed to be taken care of. The health infrastructure in PGI is also crumbling without sufficient beds, chairs, stretchers and wash areas among others.

Dr Anil Kumar Yadav, New Chandigarh

Conduct regular surprise checks

The doctors and other medical staff at the PGI needs to be devoted to their duties. Health is something that cannot be overlooked among the public. Therefore, to bring whole the system at the PGI on right track, the Chandigarh Administration needs to conduct surprise checks on a regular basis. On the other hand general public is also advised to visit other health institutions for non-serious health issues to reduce unnecessary chaos at the PGI.

Surinder Paul Wadhwa, Mohali

Improve hospitals in other states

The PGI, Chandigarh being a premier medical research institute, has to be left for treating the patients with critical ailments and not for primary treatments. To make it a reality, all private and government hospitals in UT and neighbouring states of Punjab, Himachal and Haryana should be made self-sufficient to cater to the patients with primary medical issues. Patients with serious issues or the ones that require critical surgeries should be referred to the PGI.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Hire efficient medical staff

The footfall of patients at the PGI, Chandigarh has been on a rise. The administration at the PGI should adapt an electronic queue system so that the waiting time for the patients is reduced. It is very important that the doctors as well as the other staff at the PGI are competent and efficient to reduce the waiting time of patients that come at the facility.

MR Bhateja, Naya Gaon

Increase number of counters at facility

The number of registration counters at the PGI should be increased as the people gather near the main OPD door as early as 6.00 am and they run towards their respective OPDs and start lining up as soon as the doors open. Increasing the number of counters will save a lot of time for patients. Even after getting the online registration done one has to again stand in a queue to get the card stamped which is a wastage of time.

Savita Kuthiala

Facility needs digital dashboard

A digital dashboard can helps the hospital to reduce the waiting of patients and helps in accessing real-time information and reporting. Appointment scheduling apps for healthcare are essential to reduce waiting time. It helps patients to schedule or book an appointment. It also helps the hospital to track patients’ records. It helps in delivering fixed schedule time to the patients so that no one must wait in the waiting room.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

Start integrated MBBS+MD, MS courses

The PGI authorities and Health Ministry must come up with strong, sustainable proposals immediately to deal with the influx of patients at the facility. They could start integrated MBBS + MD, and MS courses for a sustainable solution to the problem of a shortage of qualified medical officers. Special OPDs for normal diseases at the initial stage can be operated in shifts at Sector 16, Sector 32, or other civil dispensaries in the Tricity.

Vijay Shukla, Chandigarh

Online portal for appointments

An online portal to book appointments and allot time slots needs to be set up. There should be a restriction on the number of people that can accompany a patient to reduce the crowd at the facility. There should be a ban on the use of phones by doctors and medical staff to improve efficiency.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Ensure better management

Despite various steps taken by PGI, the patients have to struggle and wait for long in OPD's of various departments for consultation and treatment due to an influx of patients from the neighbouring states. Another major reason for it is the shortage of staff. In order to reduce the waiting time for patients, the administration should introduce a token system for patients. The number of patients who get registered online should also be limited on the basis of the average flow in each department. These steps, if enforced strictly, may help in better management at the premier institute.

Dinesh Verma, Panchkula

Need to improve infrastructure

The PGI should consider implementing measures such as increasing the number of medical staff and infrastructure, optimising appointment scheduling systems, enhancing triage procedures to prioritise urgent cases and leveraging telemedicine services for non-emergency consultations. Streamlining administrative processes and improving patient flow within the facility can contribute to a more efficient and responsive healthcare delivery system.

Aarti Rana Chauhan, Panchkula

Vacant seats must be filled quickly

Many patients who are on regular medication just visit PGI for a prescription of medicines. Since they need prescriptions for reimbursement of medicines. Such patients must be given online appointments and prescriptions. They do not need to visit PGI personally. Secondly, some lab services can be outsourced. It will reduce the waiting time for a lab facility. Vacant seats, if any, must be filled on a priority basis.

Anju Behl, Chandigarh

Need to hire more doctors at PGI

The PGI is considered number one for surgical procedures. This results in an increase in the number of patients at the institute. As such, in order to decrease and control the rush of patients, the number of doctors needs to be increased proportionally. Since the doctors seem to be already overloaded, increasing the work hours is not an option.

NPS Sohal

Streamline appointments

PGI can effectively address patient influx and reduce OPD waiting times by streamlining appointments, enhancing triage systems, increasing staff, extending hours, improving communication, and optimising clinic layouts.

Devanjana, Chandigarh

Create awareness on clinic visits

To curtail the influx of patients in PGI, people should be made aware of approaching small clinics before facing trivial cough or cold symptoms, which would reduce waiting time in the OPDs, and people with serious health conditions would be treated in time.

Parisha Khatri, Chandigarh

Implement QR-based registration

Simplification of the OPD registration process is the key. Measures should be undertaken to encourage online registration via QR codes to drastically reduce the footfall of walk-in patients. This will reduce the mean waiting time at the OPD windows, as verified by the previous study. The online registration will reduce the waiting time and improve the user experience for all OPD visitors. The QR code-based OPD registration, which will allow the patients to scan the PGI’s unique QR code with their mobile phones, should be encouraged.

Brigadier Advitya Madan, Chandigarh

Facility Needs to have 24X7 OPD

At present, OPD infrastructures remain vacant and unutilized from 4 pm to 8 am. The PGI should hire more staff and have shifts for different staff to have the OPD open throughout the day. This would reduce the overall rush at the facility during peak hours.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula.

Only Emergency cases to be referred to PGI

To reduce the influx of patients at PGI, patients requiring primary and secondary treatment should be referred to another hospital. Patients who require special treatment or surgeries should be referred to the PGI.

Col TBS Bedi, Mohali

Improve local health facilities

A large number of patients from Punjab, Haryana, and HP, among other states, visit the PGI. The state governments need to improve the local health facilities in their states so that patients do not need to go to the PGI for treatment. Patients who are in need of critical care should be referred to the PGI.

Surinder Pal, New Chandigarh

Need for tiered appointment system

To effectively manage the patient influx, PGI could implement a tiered appointment system to prioritise urgent cases, expand telemedicine services for remote consultations, and introduce AI-driven predictive analytics to forecast peak times and staff accordingly.

Sahibpreet Singh, Mohali

Prioritise urgent medical cases

Implement a tiered appointment system, prioritising urgent cases while offering flexible scheduling for non-critical consultations. Explore telemedicine for follow-up appointments to free up in-person slots. Consider a virtual queue system with real-time wait time updates and SMS alerts.

Gurpreet Kaur, Mohali

Telemedicine for follow-ups

The PGI could implement a tiered appointment system. Urgent cases see doctors immediately, while non-critical patients can schedule online consultations for initial triage. This reduces in-person wait times and allows doctors to prioritise effectively. Additionally, PGI can explore telemedicine for follow-up appointments, further streamlining the OPD process.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Employ assistants for assessment

Implement a tiered appointment system that prioritises urgent cases while offering flexible scheduling for non-critical consultations. Explore telemedicine for follow-up appointments to free up OPD slots. Increase OPD efficiency by streamlining patient intake, deploying medical assistants for initial assessments, and leveraging technology for quicker prescriptions and referrals.

Amanjot Kaur, Mohali

Deploy mobile medical units

To tackle the surge in patients and minimise OPD wait times, PGI could implement a streamlined appointment system leveraging technology, offer virtual consultations for non-urgent cases, deploy mobile medical units to remote areas, and establish satellite clinics for routine check-ups. Additionally, empowering nurses and physician assistants to handle minor cases, enhancing staff training, and optimising facility layout for smoother patient flow can significantly improve efficiency and patient satisfaction.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

Facility needs more doctors

There is a need to have more doctors at the OPDs, along with an improvement in the waiting areas for patients. This would result in a reduction in waiting time for patients. More buildings, facilities, and staff as per specialties would go a long way in solving the rush at PGI.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Shortage of staff leads to rush

More people need to be deployed to register the OPD cards at counters, and the process should be made easy to save time. CCTV cameras should be in each and every OPD and can be checked by the committee to see whether doctors are doing their duty regularly or passing the time. More doctors will be deployed for OPDs to reduce the huge rush and timings may be increased in three shifts to reduce the load on the doctors.

Kirpal Singh, Chandigarh

Question for next week

As the Lok Sabha elections in city draw near, what are your expectations from the candidates in the fray?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to [email protected]

#PGI Chandigarh

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