NH is the healthcare partner in this programme to implement, operate, and manage eHealth Centres (eHC). eHCs are rapidly deployable healthcare facilities powered by cloud-enabled solutions that connect residents in remote areas with quality and affordable preliminary healthcare services. They are pre-fitted to work with an existing clinic, depending on a community’s healthcare infrastructure. The centres are fully equipped with workstations, open electronic medical records (EMR) systems, biometric patient identification and integrated diagnostic devices. We have helped establish 9 eHCs across the country with centres in Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Focus on communitisation activities
Communitisation activities are carried out every week to increase awareness on common disease conditions and empowering them to own community health initiatives. To reach all sections of the community outreach camps are conducted with the support from panchayat members and community leaders.
Meetings are held with the community leaders and local healthcare workers to identify the health needs of the community. Specialist consultation camps were started to address the identified specialist healthcare needs through the community meetings.
Reach of eHealth centre
As of As of October 2017, over 30,000 patients had availed consultation at the eHCs. Around 11,000 patients have been screened at more than 175 multi-speciality camps that have been organized across sites. Over 140 community meetings have been held with various frontline health care workers to disseminate basic health tenets. 3,000 point-of-care diagnostic procedures were conducted which enabled quick results and effective treatment regimen. More than 100 free specialist camps have been conducted to address the specialist health care needs of the population. The need for speciality consultations were elicited through an understanding of predominant disease profile in patients availing tele-consultation.
Impact of the programme
Quantitative surveys were conducted across various eHCs across different geographies. This was done to understand the impact of ehealth centres on choice of service provider and impact on out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure incurred among different socio-economic groups in the community. The study was based in the radius of 5 to 10 km radius of e- health centres. All Respondents above 18 years of age . A total of 494 respondents were administered the survey.
Findings of the survey
- eHealth centre has been the choice of health service provider mostly for the middle (22%) and Lower middle (62.8%) income groups
- The impact assessment showed reduction in direct out of pocket expenditure on consultation (50%), medicines (25%) and investigations (33%) among those utilizing the e health centre.
- The impact assessment also showed reduction in indirect expenses including wage loss to receive health services (53%) and travel time (44%)
- There was a reduction in waiting time (60% of the respondents receiving consultation in less than 10 min of reaching the health facility) in those utilizing health services at e health centre.
- Overall, the e- Health Centre has been the choice of service provider for more than 47% of the population owing to its quality, proximity, friendly service and availability of drugs in the last 3 years.
The eHC program has been envisioned as playing a complementary role to existing healthcare infrastructure. In lieu of the eHC program, Narayana Health was awarded the “Public Health Champion for outstanding contribution to public health” by WHO on April 1st, 2015. It will be the continued endeavour of CSR at Narayana Health to build on our learnings from different contexts and create a contemporary model of Universal Health Coverage with a commitment to health equity.