The Chief Medical Officer Dr Ravindra Kumar, the head of health services in the district, launched the project with the traditional lighting of lamp on Feb 1, 2018. The Assistant Chief Medical Officer Dr Nand Kumar and various officials of the Health Department of the district took part in the function.
WHP launched an innovative public-private model in Uttar Pradesh on Feb 1, 2018 in which the management systems and digital solutions developed for private entrepreneurs’ network was re-purposed to extract better value from resources deployed in the public sector. The project is implemented in Gorakhpur district which is one of the largest districts of the country with 4.5 million population (81% rural).
The Gorakhpur proof-of-concept project is being implemented at a Primary Health Centre (PHC) located in Chargawa and four of its sub-centres. While the sub-centres together cover a population of 40,000, the PHC has a catchment population of 250,000 served by a total of 26 sub-centres.
The project is focused on creating a workable model which provides tools to the front-end personnel consisting of doctors, nurses (ANM or Auxiliary Nurse Midwife in government parlance) and village volunteers (ASHAs or Accredited Social Health Activists) that would bring about rapid improvements in healthcare outputs and outcomes. The tools help the personnel execute their work methodically and more efficiently with digitization helping in automating many routine tasks and using the time saved to enable them address many unmet needs. The digital system processes the inputs at the back-end, establishes a process continuum among different constituents to improve efficiencies, and provides trackable task lists for each individual on an ongoing basis. This has also enabled the supervisory levels to have continued access to performance metrics in real time so quick corrective actions can be initiated when needed. At the end of the demonstration project, the state government, it is hoped, will be able to scale the model to other districts on the basis of lessons learnt.
LESSONS AND RESULTS:
Within six months of the launch of the project, doctors at the PHC conducted over 4,500 online consultations with an average time per consultation of less than 2 minutes. Despite partial deployment of digital devices within the facility, over 41 percent of OPD consultations were completed online, which has led to the creation of a comprehensive medical database of patients which is stored in centrally accessible server in the cloud. The results indicate that the adoption of digital tools by the ANMs is quick and enthusiastic. The to-do list generated by the system on the day of service provision is a great enabler for them. ANMs have found the tools easy to use and a great time saver. The main takeaway is that willing adoption that is crucial to establishing a digital system needs to be anchored on the convenience and comfort levels of the users from which the rest of the needs, such as reliable real-time metrics, data reporting and placement of indent supplies should automatically flow.