This article was originially published in the e-Health magazine in its March issue. It featured a story on the implementation of a Hospital Management and Information System by Thoughtworks at Jan Swasthya Sahyog Hospital in Chattisgarh, India.
“When we started to work with clients in the social sector, our strategy was that we are a global technology company, and this is the value we bring to the sector. Today, after a few years of working with clients in this space, even how we approach the problem is different. Although technology is still the largest part of what we do, we also look at the other aspects that need to be in place to make that technology successful.” - Pradipta Kundu, Client Principal, Thoughtworks
Supporting a truly ambitious mission
Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS) is a voluntary, non-profit, registered society of health professionals running a low-cost health program in the rural areas of Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. For 14 plus years, they have been providing healthcare services through a community health programme in a rural health centre, which includes a 55-bed hospital. They operate village outreach centres in three other villages that are not easily accessible. The team at JSS researches ways to minimise the cost of healthcare and influence policy makers. They also advocate for the poor in various areas of public health.
Patients at JSS typically wait one full week to see a doctor – in spite of the outpatient department accommodating 300 patient visits per day, including emergency cases. Many of these patients live on siteduring this time. They sleep in corridors and cook on makeshift wood-burning stoves, while waiting patiently in 47°C temperature. The cost of transportation and the opportunity cost of lost wages for patients and their families are not insignificant. And yet, they choose to make the long journey to JSS because they have the utmost faith that they will be cured there.