Health Department in action to minimize queue time in hospitals

Health Department in action to minimize queue time in hospitals

Amidst low utilisation of digital registration facilities at hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir, the Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department today issued orders to Medical Superintendents to ensure effective implementation of Scan and Share facility in their respective institutions and ensure ‘queue-less’ OPD registration.

After highlighted the plight of patients seeking OPD registration at SMHS Hospital, J&K’s largest General Specialty Hospital, the H&ME Department issued an order for implementation of a Scan and Pull facility for generation of OPD tokens. The Medical Superintendents of these hospitals have been directed to procure Handheld Laser Barcode/QR Scanner Gun reader through GeM platforms. The facility, as per the order, will augment the implementation of the Scan and Share facility that was started in five hospitals of J&K in mid-April this year. The Scan and Share facility allows users to feed their details into the ABHA Application from their homes and then scan a QR code at any hospital that has the facility to get an instant OPD registration card.

As per the records of Scan and Share facility of the H&ME Department, till 1.1 lakh patients have registered on Scan and Share facility in J&K till date, since 15 April when the service was started. However, this is the cumulative data of 33 health institutions, including district hospitals. At SMHS Hospital, in the past one month and a half, 8484 tokens were issued using the scan and Share facility. On 31 May, 205 patients registered using the digital facility, while the daily registering patients is more than 3000 as per the hospital administration.

For a better implementation of Scan and Share facility, it has been ordered that the patients and the patient caretakers must have internet connectivity through wifi access points. The order has also stressed on awareness among hospital staff and training of ground staff regarding the facility. The hospitals have been ordered to facilitate the generation of OPD Cards. Bio-authentication machines for Scan and Share have also been ordered to be procured. These will allow finger scan. In addition, QR Code Scan will be deployed.

However, many stakeholders have argued that the measures would not be of much use unless there are mass awareness campaigns regarding the Scan and Share facility. “People do not even know that there is something like this, where they can register from home. How can we expect them to warm up to the idea?” a senior doctor at SMHS Hospital said.

Additional Mission Director Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, Dr Shafqat Khan said that the facility was a new one and would take some time to be fully effective. “We are working on multiple fronts to make healthcare access smoother with technology,” he said.

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