KK Singh, Head IT and CIO, Nayati Healthcare and Research Pvt Ltd, discusses the advantages and challenges faced in setting up a hospital outside a metro. By Pooja Paryani
Nayati Healthcare’s vision is to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for people in tier II and tier III cities. This commenced with its first (flagship) tertiary care hospital in Mathura, a tier III city, earlier this year. KK Singh is part of the brigade that dreamt of creating something unheard of—a multi, super-speciality hospital in a smaller city. The expertise he gained in his 18 years in the IT industry were crucial in making it a success.
Providing quality healthcare outside metros
“In the next five years Nayati will have more than 5,000 beds across tier II and III cities,” says KK Singh. “The organisation is based on ethos that healthcare no longer lives in metros and people in tier II and tier III cities have an equal right to quality healthcare. In providing quality healthcare, technology is the key. Out of all the industries that technology plays a crucial role in, healthcare is one of the key ones. Our hospital utilises technology optimally for better patient care—from being paperless to improving the patients’ experience by providing real-time diagnosis. Our clinicians have access to the patient-related information they would need for better patient care—patient history, diagnosis, drug information, research and studies, and that too at just the click of a button.
“Technology has been used in such a way that less paper is used, except for some medical reports. The hospital is focused on and encourages the use of modern technology. We can confidently say that we are technologically at par with hospitals in metros. My team is responsible for the implementation of modern technology and educating employees, clinicians, caregivers, etc on how to use the technology for better patient care. We provide training on all technology aspects not just to our doctors and caregivers but also patients. For example, on launching a new app, we assist patients in downloading it on their phones and impart training on its usage.
“It is imperative that we take treatments to the patient rather than expecting the patient to come to a big metro for treatment. The real transformation will happen when we move close to the much neglected cities of India. Good healthcare is the right of every individual and it is imperative that this widening gap between metros and other centres be minimised by making good healthcare accessible at an affordable cost. More than 150 doctors, over 300 nurses and close to 200 other officials have moved to Mathura to ensure the best of healthcare is delivered to the patients’ doorstep. However, not everything is perfect and we have our own challenges too that need to be addressed.”
Cloud is not a solution
“You can’t go to cloud from Day 1 like you’d do in a metro. There is no reliable Internet bandwidth available in tier II and tier III cities. So it becomes very difficult to think of storing large amounts of data in one place.”
SLA development is hard
“Developing SLA is difficult. There is no proper vendor infrastructure in smaller cities; therefore support is only available through their offices in metros. So you can’t quickly get their services. That makes our work harder as we have to develop more redundant systems for maximum uptime.”
Lack of skilled IT manpower
“When we started putting together our team we faced difficulty getting employees from metros who were excited about moving to a smaller city. Hiring from the smaller city has its own challenges as the people you find might not be the perfect fit or skilled enough for the job. Understanding the need of hour, we have a dedicated training team working closely with the HR team to build a mix team consisting of local and metro employees, and this formula is working quite well.”
Mobile technology revolution hasn’t caught up here
“Mobile technology, especially smartphone and app usage, is still revolutionising the tier II and III cities. Hence we are investing time in installing and educating our patients on use of mobile apps.”