Nagpur: As almost all departments are moving towards paperless working, at least 16 public hospitals in Maharashtra have switched from digital to manual working style from July 6.
The Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) is closed for the last six days cloud-based upgrade process. Doctors now manually record their notes and observations for each patient. Even pathologists and staff members manually fill out hundreds of blood test results or reports on their computers. As for the Government Medical College and Hospital, Nagpur, the severe shortage of x-ray films is also hitting the doctors as well as the patients here very hard.
The HMIS had been in place since 2009-10, and the radiology department at GMCH Nagpur uploaded patients’ X-rays to the HMIS, allowing doctors to access the reports on their computer screens. But, now there is no choice but to take copies of this x-ray on films. As printing needs increase, the hospital is now facing a shortage of x-ray film, confirmed a doctor working in the x-ray department.
“Besides X-rays, we used to upload CT-Scan and MRI reports to HMIS. The system shut down abruptly from July 5th. We didn’t have enough time to get the x-ray films for the physical reports,” a GMCH chief medical officer said.
Medical residents suffer greatly from this development. “The responsibility for taking notes, making manual reports and creating the patient’s history rests with the medical residents. We are already overloaded and now this extra workload falls on us,” said Dr. Avinash Dahiphale, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD). He also said resident doctors had not received their stipends for the past three months.
The secretary of the department of medical education, Dr Saurabh Vijay, said the problem of x-ray films would be solved. “The HMIS is being updated and we will soon be offering an improved version. This will ultimately benefit the patients. Meanwhile, permissions for local purchasing of X-ray films, stationery and CDs have already been granted to the respective medical schools,” he said.
Apart from GMCH Nagpur, the patients of GMCH Yavatmal and GMCH Akola are also facing a tough time due to the HMIS issues. It takes longer than usual for recording and OPD based tracks. Many elective surgeries are also being postponed for lack of preoperative pathology test reports in physical format.