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Real Time Online Data Analysis Will Help Improve Patient Safety

With on an average 10,000-plus OPD patients visiting the prestigious PGI Chandigarh daily, and more than 200 surgeries being performed in its 50-odd operation theatres every day, the behemoth has so far been maintaining the astronomical amount of vital data of patients manually, leaving little scope of its retrieval for long term follow up care of patients, medico legal purposes and medical studies and research. On Tuesday, PGI, after more than two years of painstaking work, began a process of rolling out a first of its kind information management system (IMS) among all government hospitals of its scale in the country, which will generate second to second online data real time to be stored in the premier institution’s own servers.

As PGI Director Prof. Jagat Ram formally launched the highly advanced IMS, initially to be available to the Anaesthesia Department in four operation theatres in the Advanced Cardiac Centre, it heralded the opening of a new chapter of public-private partnership in the history of the medical institute. For the entire intricate software part of the system, the PGI owes its thanks to the benevolence of Indian IT giant Infosys Ltd., which custom built the open source software (not requiring any licenses) for the PGI free of cost, deploying a full time team of four to five professionals for a good 18 months for the purpose.      

Real Time Online Data Analysis Will Help Improve Patient Safety, Lifeinchd

The PGI Director informed that the facility of IMS will gradually be extended to all 50 OTs, ICUs, other advanced centres and to the main Nehru Hospital as and when funds are released for purchasing more hardware to run the system. It will also be integrated with the Hospital Information System (HIS), which is already operational but so far is being put to limited use, he added.

A brainchild of Prof. GD Puri, Head, Department of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, the first phase of the IMS developed by Infosys Ltd. has the capability to interface and aggregate data from all equipments linked to a patient in an operation theatre like anaesthesia machine, infusion pumps, vital sign monitor and ventilator, etc. and to access a patient’s data real time from distant locations.

Prof. Puri told media persons that besides making the data collection paperless, IMS will lead to increased accuracy and completeness of clinical documentation, robust real time second to second data recording and increased operational efficiency of the clinicians / anaesthesiologists. From the research perspective, it offers opportunities for big data analysis and predicting critical events in advance so that necessary pre-emptive actions can be taken for patient safety, he added.

Describing the development as a big step towards PGI forging a fruitful partnership with private industry for the good of society, PGI Dean Academics Prof Rajesh Kumar however said the ultimate test of the system will be to demonstrate that its deployment has lead to improvement in patient outcomes. Acknowledging that IMS will infuse transparency in the functioning of the institute, he also advocated deployment of IT in other critical areas like teaching and research.

Speaking on the occasion, Sunil Jose, Associate VP and Delivery Head, Engineering Services, Infosys Ltd., said “We have developed this open source customised software for PGI free of cost to build a relationship with the premier health institute of the country.” Giving an overview of Infosys Medical Devices Practice worldwide, he said Infosys is looking forward to exploring more opportunities for further collaboration with PGI on a case to case basis.

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