Eye on IT

DQI Bureau
New Update

Sankara Nethralaya is one of the first ophthalmic hospitals in Asia to secure

an ISO 2002 certification. Over the years it has evolved as one of the leading

eye specialty institutions in the country as well as in Asia. The organization

also happens to be a heavy user of IT across its functions. One of the key areas

it has applied IT is the implementation of its state-of-the-art electronic

medical records (EMR) system that facilitates seamless delivery of ophthalmic

services. The EMR enables the hospital to capture data, right from registration

to discharge. All data and clinical images are captured and stored in electronic

form, thus making access of data easy and quick for ophthalmologists at the

touch of a button.


Automation Benefits

One of the key benefits of deploying EMR is reduction of time taken by

doctors on research activities. Moreover, medical records can be shared with

other research institutes and pharmaceuticals for research activities. With EMR

adoption, the time taken on retrieval of medical records has come down to zero,

as doctors need not wait for medical records to reach their consultation area;

they can see the medical records of patients in a case summary format on their

system itself.

Says Sampath Kumar, CITO, Sankara Nethralaya, "Implementing the EMR and HMS

has also meant that the quality of service is followed in clinical processes by

an optometrist or consultant, alerting him at appropriate places on drug

interactions, allergy, critical care patients, etc. EMR has also led to an

increase in the overall institutes productivity, allowing more patients per OPD

day, and providing effective time management on diagnostic procedures."

We have a separate annual budget plan for

Sampath Kumar, CITO and MK Manavalan, DGM, technology at

Sankara Nethralaya

The hospitals deployments of EMR have created a robust technology backbone

as maintenance of records is a key to any healthcare institution. The EMR

backbone has enabled Sankara Nethralaya to have a clear track record of medical

recordsfrom the first day of its operations, from the first medical record

number being generated. Interestingly, Indian Medical Council advises a

patients medical record to be tracked only for the last three years, but

Sankara Nethralaya maintains the medical records continuously for other vital

requirements, like research, including patient care. The EMR now has 2 mn

records. "The EMR is life critical," says MK Manavalan, DGM, technology at

Sankara Nethralaya. "This is a major initiative in the Indian healthcare

industry, where automating the medical records has helped us tremendously in

addressing the challenges that we faced as we expanded our services."


Sankara Nethralaya has also implemented an e-learning website
for technology driven training. This addresses a variety of people involved in

the delivery of eye care. Programs have been custom-made for each specialty

concerned. For example: ophthalmology, optometry, ophthalmic nursing, etc, where

once in a fortnight a new case will be posted on the web along with a

discussion. The course content is written by experts in each field and contains

practical information that is not present in standard text books.

Shrikanth G