In a move to ease out long queues for registration at its OPDs, PGIMER is planning to offer the facility at the 50 e-Sampark centres across Chandigarh.
Availability of OPD cards at e-Sampark centres will allow patients to skip the serpentine queues at PGIMER and directly visit the doctors at the respective departments.
But to roll out the facility, PGIMER first needs to upgrade its hospital information system (HIS) with the latest version, which will entail a ₹27-crore cost.
Version 2 of HIS, which was first installed in 2007, will help improve patient and health services and queue management system, and provide easy integration of the Union government’s digital missions.
Many of the institute’s patient-friendly projects, including SMS facility for laboratory tests, online payments for treatment, online registration for OPDs, are completely dependent on HIS. But its old version has been affecting their implementation.
Over 10,000 people visit the hospital’s OPDs daily that translates into heavy rush of patients during registration hours. Though registration starts at 8 am, people start queuing up as early as 5 am to beat the crowd, as several patients are turned away if the registrations are not wrapped up before 10 am.
PGIMER director Dr Vivek Lal said, “Once the HIS-2 project is implemented, we will amplify online OPD registrations, which will generate a QR code that can be presented at e-Sampark centres to get the PGIMER OPD registration card. This will not only benefit the citizens of Chandigarh, but also help patients from other states, as the waiting time will be significantly reduced.”
PGIMER deputy director (administration) Kumar Gaurav Dhawan said, “The project will be presented before the Standing Finance Committee and following its approval, it will take around six months for implementation.”
Will support PGIMER’s plan: UT
Hailing the citizen-friendly initiative, UT adviser Dharampal said, “It will make the process of getting OPD cards more accessible and efficient. Smooth online registration is the need of the hour at PGIMER that is burdened with heavy OPD rush daily. So far, PGIMER has not consulted the UT administration with the proposal, but we will support their plans.”
The UT health department had launched a similar facility at 10 e-Sampark centres for OPDs at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, in September 2021. But the project has not evoked much response, forcing the administration to delay its provision for Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.
Initially, the facility for GMSH-16 was started at the e-Sampark centre in Sector 15 as a pilot project. Later, it was extended to the centres at Sectors 10, 15, 40, 43, Industrial Area in Phase 1, Dhanas, Mauli Jagran, Bapu Dham, Manimajra and Maloya.
While at the hospital, the OPD cards are made without any charge, at the e-Sampark centres, patients need to pay ₹10.