Express Healthcare‘s interactive FAQ section titled – ‘Ask A Question’ addresses reader queries related to hospital planning and management. Industry expert Tarun Katiyar, Principal Consultant, Hospaccx India Systems, through his sound knowledge and experience, shares his insights and provide practical solutions to questions directed by Express Healthcare readers
Question: How has hospital design changed over the years?
– Dr Anoop, Indore
Answer: We have seen the three generations of hospitals: early 80s, 90s and 2000s.
In early 80s, the concept of a hospital was totally different from this era. Now, hospitals are vertically developed not horizontally. All minor-major/ critical-non critical/ medical-non medical etc., department or services were available on the same floor. Earlier, one of the main reasons behind the horizontal development was the availability of space and most hospitals were government-run.
In the 90s, the concept started changing; hospital architects started developing hospital vertically also. Big brands, trusts and private organisations started developing their hospitals in India in a more systematic manner, especially by separating each and every department according to their requirement. For example, earlier the OT was usually kept in the basement area, after some time they realised that there were chances of fungal infection and it was too much isolated in the basement, so they shifted OT to the top floor. But accessibility to the hospital staff and patients’ relatives become problematic so they planned to locate the OT in the centre of a hospital.
Now in the 2000s, the hospitals scenario has changed a lot, apart from the infrastructure and good medical and non medical staff, nowadays more importance is given to hospitality, patient safety and other value added services, like waiting area for patients’ relatives, parking facility, play area for kids, cafeteria, mobile charging points, internet café etc.
Question: What are the factors that play on a patient’s mind while opting a healthcare provider?
– Pooja, Ranchi
Answer: As I have mentioned earlier, apart from good infrastructure and availability of medical services, nowadays people give more importance to value added services in hospitals, like cleanliness, valley parking, kids’ area, retail shop, Wi-Fi facility, bed side spa, patients’ relatives facilities, neat linen etc.
Question: How important is it to facilitate comfort for the patients’ family members?
– Dolly Administrator, Delhi
Answer: Nowadays it is more important to provide comfort to the patients’ relative than to the patient, because generally they have more to complain than patients. This is because hospitals are charging high for their facilities and as people are paying so they want and expect everything to be perfect. Hence, hospitals today are designed to add value for patients and their relatives.
Question: What are the facilities or conveniences that a person accompanying a patient can avail while waiting at the hospital?
– Leena, Maheshwar
Answer: As per my experience and observations, apart from basic infrastructure, need and value added facilities; we can provide facilities to the patients like:
- In room registration facility
- Meals from the hospital
- Special attention
- Barber from the hospital
- Availability of medical staff, specially at the time of emergency
- Facilities to the patients’ relatives like:
- A la carte menu
- Laundry facility
- Kids play area (day care types)
- Internet facility
- TV in the waiting area
- Library for relatives and visitors
Question: How much of a differentiating factor are value-added benefits?
– Darshna, Ahmedabad
Answer: Hospitals are increasing day by day and there is huge competition in the field of healthcare. So it becomes necessary for every hospital to provide something extra in terms of value added services or facilities for patients and their relatives. These value added services differentiating hospitals from one another.
People have also become aware about these benefits. They are now more cautious about their health and ready to pay for good healthcare services. Hence they expect good quality of medical and non-medical services and hospitals are providing them as well.