Whenever we feel sick, ill, or unhealthy, we immediately rush to the nearest clinics, hospitals, or healthcare centres. When we are healthy and in the mood to explore, we easily travel to places, most times exotic and remotest areas that are less explored, away from the fast world in search of peace of mind, serenity, and a novel experience.
But do we ever think about how these places’ indigenous inhabitants or the local populace survive without even basic necessities, including affordable healthcare systems available and accessible? And if emergencies arise, how do they manage to get medical help?
While many hospitals are busy establishing themselves in the primary parts of urban India and serving privileged people, some exceptional ones are working fingers to the bone to serve the underserved and vulnerable communities in the country. The Mission of Mercy Hospital & Research Center is becoming a distinguished hospital that provides quality services while improving access to healthcare in far-off places in West Bengal with its motto ‘Compassion with Excellence.’
In an exclusive interview with CIOLOOK India, Mr Sanjay Prasad, President and CEO, shared the journey of the hospital’s establishment, challenges, success achievement and future roadmap.
Please brief us about the establishment of the hospital. Also, kindly share how the hospital excelled.
With a commitment to providing affordable healthcare to its patients, Mercy Hospital offers a ‘marked to market’ priced treatment model for sustainability through a multi-speciality hospital. We have also successfully sustained a healthcare delivery model through a network of ten community and rural clinics. Established in 1979, Mercy Hospital is NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) accredited and operating the School of Nursing since its inception.
In 2008, we collaborated with Christian Medical College, Vellore, and since then, we started offering Post Graduate Diploma in Family Medicine (PGDFM) for doctors from across the eastern region. Currently, we serve as a 150-seater institution affiliated with the West Bengal Nursing Council and under The Indian Nursing Council.
Tell us more about your hospital’s offerings and what makes it stand out in the cutthroat competition.
The 46-year-old institution provides a range of clinical services, including emergency and critical care, surgical services and all general services reaching out to the general population. Some of the services are as follows:
- General Services: We make available basic care and services that include pharmacy, blood bank, parking, ambulance, dietary services, grievance call, cafeteria, etc.
- Clinical Services: We also provide services related to clinical emergencies such as medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, obstetrics and Gynaecology, paediatrics, endocrinology, nephrology, ENT, urology, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, neuro medicine, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, respiratory medicine, etc.
- Speciality Services: We also specialize in offering services like knee and hip replacement, laparoscopy, non-invasive cardiology, medical and surgical oncology, day-care chemotherapy, etc.
- Support Services: Apart from the services mentioned earlier, we care for emergency services, critical care units, operation theatre, pathology, imaging, city scan, etc.
The West Bengal Government has certified Mercy Hospital as a Class – Medical Service Provider for our outstanding services.
How does adopting modern technologies like AI and ML impact today’s healthcare sector, and how is Mercy Hospital adapting to the change?
Digital transformation is a continuous, complex and multidimensional process linked to social, economic and technological factors beyond the hospital walls. It is not just about making everything computerized, including hospital and related processes. The concept includes:
- Making applications and online appointment processes easier.
- Letting the clinical and administrative staff use their smartphones or tablets.
- Opening a Facebook or Twitter account for the hospital.
Though these elements are transformational, they are not the only source of change, and the transformation cannot be reduced to using a specific technology.
Digital transformation impacts every process of the hospital. “The real first step a hospital administrator should take is to fully understand that we are not talking about a fad or “something that needs to be installed”; we are talking about a change of mindset about hospital processes, and to start thinking in digital terms.” Putting the patient at the centre of this transformation would be the best decision to start with the change.
Tell us about the immersive benefits your hospital offers to the healthcare sector.
Mercy Hospital aims to impact and change lives and communities at large. It takes the social responsibility to serve and help people through its CSR initiatives.
- Cleft lip and palate Program: We support corrective surgeries of underprivileged children. To date, 1500 children have undergone this corrective surgery by changing their circumstances and providing an opportunity to live fuller lives. Speech therapy and dental treatment, which are an integral part of the process, are provided as post-surgery treatment.
- Blood Transfusion Program: Children with Thalassemia (a genetically transmitted disorder of the blood that causes anaemia) need a transfusion of blood and blood products once or twice a month. Our hospital provides this service free of cost for children who cannot afford medical treatment. We do approximately 700 blood transfusions per year.
- The Nursing Aid Program: We aim to educate girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in nursing. We provide them with an opportunity to live independent lives with dignity. This holistic module includes life skills training to develop individuals.
In this way, we have reached and served people who cannot access health services. Apart from that, the team at the hospital has introduced several noteworthy ventures. They foster the development of the community holistically, especially for their healthcare needs.
Looking back at the journey, how would you describe the well-expanded hospital and services?
It is amazing to look back at the start of a health journey and see it as a flourished destination! Mercy Hospital’s journey started with a small clinic and now evolved into a 173-bed facility. It has been sustained through a unique healthcare delivery model of ten community and six urban clinics. Visionaries set up the hospital, and since then, it has followed the philosophy of caring for the underserved in Kolkata.
Moreover, the hospital serves people through the ‘Compassion with Excellence’ approach, and being a NABH-accredited hospital, it strives to maintain excellency. With a strong legacy foundation, it caters to not only the city’s population but also patients from neighbouring states such as Odisha and Jharkhand, as well as neighbouring country Bangladesh.
How do you envision scaling Mercy Hospital’s operations and offerings in the future?
Anticipating plans and strategies is very important for the success of the organization. The futuristic approach always starts by resolving the challenges and issues the organization is facing. The challenges in front of Mercy Hospital are great and call for a strategically different approach. Though many internal challenges have been overcome, as the external environment has changed drastically, the situation calls for a paradigm shift.
Moreover, costs have risen dramatically, and competition with Health Care systems driven by large amounts of Investment Capital has entrenched itself in the country. A good future will depend on how the hospital sets a clear vision and path. We also think of an immediate and urgent need for a Revitalization strategy.
Also, we wish to keep our heart-winning spree in the future. Here is a glimpse of our record.
Mercy Hospital’s Heart Winning Accomplishments
Along with accreditations, we have also won the following awards –
- ‘Award For The Best CSR Practise In Healthcare’ presented by ‘GLOBAL CSR LEADERSHIP AWARDS,’ Mumbai.
- ‘100 Most Impactful Healthcare Leaders – Global Listing’ conferred to Mr Sanjay Prasad by World Health & Wellness Congress and Awards, Mumbai.
- ‘Best Patient Safety Practices’ in the category of “Operational Excellence” at Express Healthcare Excellence Awards at Healthcare Senate 2018, Delhi.
- ‘Best CSR Practice in Healthcare’ at National CSR Excellence & Leadership Awards 2018, Bangalore.
- ‘Best CSR Practice in Healthcare’ in The Middle East Healthcare Leadership Awards 2017 organized by Africa Leadership Excellence, Dubai.
- ‘Best Patient Safety Initiative Award’ in the Healthcare Achievers and Leaders Awards 2017, Bangalore.
- ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Award’ presented by Express Healthcare at Healthcare Senate 2017, The National Private Healthcare Business Summit, Hyderabad.
- ‘Outstanding Achievement Award in Healthcare – Social Cause’ in the Asia Healthcare Excellence Awards 2017 organized by CMO Asia, Singapore.
- ‘Best Patient Safety’ in the National Awards for Excellence in Healthcare 2017 organized by CMO Asia and presented by Times Network, Mumbai.
- Best Healthcare Unit Public Private Partnership’ for Excellence & Leadership in Healthcare by CMO Asia at the Golden Globe Tigers 2017, Bangladesh Edition, Bangladesh.
- ‘Emerging Medical Tourism Company of the Year’ in the Indonesia Healthcare Leadership Awards 2017, Jakarta, Indonesia.
- “Best Quality Initiative In Healthcare” in Kolkata Healthcare Leadership Awards 2017, Kolkata.
- “Best Worksite Wellness Award” in ABP News Presents Healthcare Leadership Awards, Mumbai.
- “Indywood Medical Excellence Awards: National Chapter – Mr Sanjay Prasad” at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad.
- “Indywood CSR Excellence Award” at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad.
- “Best Public Health Initiative of the Year” in the Africa Healthcare Leadership Awards, Mauritius.
- “Social Entrepreneur of the Year – Mr Sanjay Prasad” in the Six Sigma Healthcare Excellence Awards 2017, Delhi.
- “Best Patient care Provider of the Year” in the Six Sigma Healthcare Excellence Awards 2017, Delhi.
- “Rural Healthcare Initiative of the Year” in the Six Sigma Healthcare Excellence Awards 2017, Delhi.
- “Public Health Initiative of the Year” in the Nepal Healthcare Leadership Awards, Kathmandu.