The Right Care

This year has been rather tough on my circle of friends. We’ve all been in and out of hospitals all the time. No sooner has one family overcome a health crisis than the next family faces one. So there’s been a virtual procession of us into Manipal Hospital, battling one thing or another.

Now, I’ve been to Manipal Hospital earlier and my impression was that it was a pretty good place. I liked that they followed processes but didn’t forego the human touch completely. They were always willing to listen to your point of view and adjust accordingly. I had been to other hospitals such as Fortis and Columbia Asia, and while they looked all swanky and cool, their staff was not exactly empowered to make decisions in the best interests of their patients/attendants. The blind insistence on following rules to the T and filling up mountains of paperwork served more as annoyances than anything else.

With Manipal Hospital, however, I always found that they were a little more patient-centric and I liked that about them.

But with the current high traffic to Manipal Hospital from our side, I was just blown away by the kind of patient-centric care they extended. I have been hearing consistent reports on how sensitive and thoughtful and helpful the staff has been.

I myself recall two episodes when my dad was admitted suddenly this July. The emergency response was fantastic, and the way the attender came in, cleaned up my dad and loaded him into the ambulance was swift and efficient. My mom stayed with my dad as his attendant. However, she suddenly got a severe case of the chills and high fever and had to come home. So before we left, I thought it would be better to consult a doctor right there.

As we came towards the Inquiry desk, the lady sitting at the desk noticed my mom swaying and immediately jumped up. She rushed to get a chair for her, made her comfortable, then called for a wheel-chair and gave me directions to see the doctor. The attender with the wheel-chair asked her – is this your relative? The lady promptly replied with a smile – no, should i be doing this only for my relatives?

I was completely impressed by this. I have seen front desk staff who are normally very reluctant to get out of their chairs or do anything pro-active. That this lady went out of her way to ensure that my mom was made comfortable and taken to the doctor immediately spoke volumes about the hospital. (I had visions of everyone being lectured to about the mission statement! :D)

The other episode happened when we were waiting outside my dad’s room for his discharge. We were waiting for one of the doctors to sign on his discharge summary, which he was in the process of reviewing. As we stood there, a nurse passing by stopped. Why are you looking so worried, she asked us. Is there anything I can do to help? DH and I looked at each other, quite stunned. Given the experiences we have had with hospital staff at other places, never in my life would I have imagined that a nurse would show such thoughtfulness and extend a helping hand. We thanked her and let her carry on.

Whatever or whoever has brought about this marvellous improvement in Manipal Hospital deserves kudos. During difficult times, they make our lives just a little bit easier with the all-important human touch. Three cheers to that!

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