Hemamala K., Faculty Associate of the Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore Campus, recently consulted with a major hospital in Coimbatore, studying their imaging department.
Hemamala completed the consultancy assignment with support from two other faculty members, and then wrote up about the problem and the offered solution as a case study.
“About 40 % to 50 % of the scan requests that the department receives are from outside the hospital. Patients even travel from nearby smaller towns to this hospital’s imaging facility on recommendation of their local physicians. Over the years, the hospital has built such a network with physicians, who prefer a detailed quality diagnosis for treating their patients.”
“Healthcare costs in the country have arisen mainly because of the introduction of the latest in sophisticated technology and equipment. The cost of diagnosis contributes a large portion of the total cost of treatment. The cost of a CT scan depends on the amount of details required and the organ to be scanned. The hospital is aware that the scan costs, if raised any further, can negatively impact the volume of requests.”
“The Chairman has built the reputation of the hospital brick-by-brick and was personally involved in developing the talent to handle medical challenges in multiple disciplines. His 400-bed hospital has earned the confidence of the public over its 30+ years of existence in the city, and has an impressive annual outpatient count of 130,000, with 10,000 inpatients. In spite of the size and reputation of the hospital, the Chairman feels there is something not right with the imaging department. He cannot help but wonder, if he made a wise decision in investing a fortune for getting the imaging machines for his hospital.”
The case study went on to discuss the Chairman’s concern about the slow returns from the facility even after the completion of four years since the hospital first commissioned the imaging machines with an investment of two million US dollars.
To-date, the hospital remains as the only one in the city with such a state-of-the-art radiology and imaging unit.
Medical imaging is widely used to reveal, diagnose or examine diseases. Imaging techniques such as Computer Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) traditionally create two-dimensional images of a thin slice of the organ. Btu some modern MRI instruments are capable of producing images in the form of 3D blocks also.
“We redesigned the imaging workflow,” stated Hemamala, briefing about the solution that was offered.
The case study won an award from the Education Panel of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – Coimbatore Zone.
Hemamala’s case study competed with 30 others, submitted by faculty from the engineering, arts, sciences and management disciplines.
“It was a proud moment for me, standing on the dais on behalf of Amrita, receiving the prize,” she shared.
October 11, 2012
School of Business, Coimbatore