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Ideas to ensure the long-term success of the healthcare system



Young handsome physician in a medical robe with stethoscope

Well-being is something that has come to be greatly prioritised in recent years, both from a physical and mental perspective.

But what of our doctors? How can we create a more caring healthcare ecosystem, one that better supports the guardians of our health in maintaining their work-life balance and preventing burnout? On the occasion of Doctors Day, I spoke with Gautam Khanna, CEO, P.D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC Mumbai, India, in an effort to better how we can make this vision a reality. Below is his take on it.

Gautam Khanna, CEO, P.D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC Mumbai, India

“Doctors work day-in and day-out ensuring the health of the patients, and it is imperative that their wellbeing is maintained and burn-out prevented.

One way is using digital healthcare solutions effectively. Doctors can offer video consultation remotely, reducing overcrowding at clinics, so that only cases requiring physical examination are seen at the clinic.

Digital technologies can also be used to monitor inpatients remotely, from another location in hospital or from home, so that the doctor does not have to physically run around from one patient to another.

Electronic health records can make diagnosis more convenient, and mobile apps for post-operative care help doctors to get real-time information about his patients remotely. These digital tools enhance accessibility, convenience for patients while providing the healthcare professionals with sophisticated tools and data for better management of their workload, allowing for continuous care beyond hospital walls, reducing strain on existing systems.

It is essential to establish a robust support structure at hospitals that distributes workloads, preventing overburdening and promoting collaborative care. Ensuring predictable scheduling is crucial. Protocols for non-emergency cases reduce unplanned overtime, enabling doctors to effectively manage more critical cases. At the same time, encouraging doctors to take scheduled time off is paramount for enabling work-life balance.

Consultants in hospitals must have the support of resident doctors. We can also think of having physician assistant, a system widely prevalent in US and Europe. This will help reduce the burden on doctors.

We do understand the patient and their relative’s anxiety in times of illness. However, patients must also be made aware to understand the pressures of the doctors and in critical cases, limitations of the doctors. Patients have their rights, which are sacrosanct, but they should have a cooperative, calm and gentle attitude towards the doctors, which would be a win-win situation.

By implementing these strategies, healthcare systems can create a balanced approach. A healthier work environment fosters happier, more engaged doctors, ultimately mitigating burnout and improving the overall quality of care delivered. Investing in these supportive measures not only strengthens the workforce but also ensures the long-term success of the healthcare system itself.”