News Editor, Takmaa News, Kolkata, 19th Sept 2023 : Orbis, an international non-profit working for the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness, inaugurated a Regional Training Center for patient communication at its partner hospital – Vivekananda Mission Asram Netra Niramay Niketan, Kolkata. This strategic initiative aims to fortify the patient counseling infrastructure, ultimately elevating the quality of care being provided. This launchalso serves as a pivotal hub for patient communication and education, offering regular courses and consultancy support to other eye hospitals. This one-of-a-kind intervention is supported by the Foundation for Health and Mind Development.
The inauguration was graced by Kenneth Youngstein, Founder of Foundation for Health and Mind Development, as the Chief Guest and Rosemarie Barthelot, Regional HR Partner-Asia at Orbis as the Guest of Honor. The event was also attended by distinguished dignitaries including Mr. Dilip Mondal, Honorable Minister of State Transportation, Govt. of West Bengal; Dr. Atreyi Chakrabarty, Deputy CMOH II and DPM of NPCBVI, South 24 Parganas and Dr. Rahul Mishra, Superintendent, Amtala Rural Hospital, South 24 Parganas.
The counseling and waiting room areas of Vivekananda Mission Asram Netra Niramay Niketan have been refurbished to provide a conducive environment to facilitate discussion among the patients, their families and counselors. This includes placing informative and engaging resources, such as Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and Behavior Change Communication (BCC) materials in the waiting area to enhance patients’ comprehension of health conditions and enable meaningful discussions with healthcare professionals.
Addressing the significance of patient communication, Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director – India, Orbis said, “People grappling with serious eye conditions, such as cataract or glaucoma, contend not only with the physical ailment itself but also with a myriad of psychological, social and economic challenges. Recognizing the patient’s perspective on their condition becomes paramount when delivering comprehensive care. Patient communication serves as the cornerstone in achieving this objective. Its significance extends to both the patient and the attending ophthalmologist, as it encompasses the vital exchange of knowledge within a reciprocal framework. Educating patients and their families on essential aspects of the disease, its treatment and its management assumes critical importance. Effective patient communication has the potential to disseminate vital information widely, transcending the treated patient and their families, ultimately impacting their communities through word-of-mouth communication.”
Kenneth Youngstein, Founder, Foundation for Health and Mind Development, said, “Providing education to hospital management can facilitate the integration of patient communication practices within the system, leading to a strengthened approach that reduces patient dropouts. The implementation of effective patient communication serves as a means to sensitize practicing medical professionals, including doctors, nurses and para-medical staff, to the significance of vital clinical communication skills. These skills are pivotal in enhancing the quality of patient care, guaranteeing patient safety and fostering patient satisfaction. The establishment of a group of proficient trainers is imperative to ensure the sustainability of this intervention.”
Rosemarie Barthelot, Regional HR Partner – Asia, Orbis said, “Such training centers can cater to the needs of both already practicing counselors to improve their skills and those who want to choose counseling as a career option.These trainings will help strengthen the counseling departments at the hospital in terms of infrastructure and human resources. Such initiatives also align to Orbis’ global strategic vision. These regional training centers will be able to address the regional need in terms of patient counseling and communications considering the culture, beliefs and thought process.”
Dr. Asim Sil, Medical Director, Vivekananda Mission Asram Netra Niramay Niketan said, “We continually anticipate the privilege of tending to patients, valuing their satisfaction as a paramount concern. Kudos to this initiative, as it assures us that every patient can now readily engage in discussions regarding their concerns and receive appropriate guidance from counselors both prior to and following any medical or surgical procedure. The establishment of the regional center for patient communication serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to the doctrine of patient-centered care within our healthcare facility.”
Mr. Dilip Mondal, Honorable Minister of State Transportation, Govt. of West Bengal said, “We embrace this initiative and expect it to make way for a paradigm shift in the operational dynamics of ophthalmology hospitals in our state. This move guarantees that patient satisfaction is now a customary part of the treatment process.”
Dr. Atreyi Chakrabarty, Deputy CMOH II and DPM of NPCBVI, South 24 Parganas said, “This pioneering initiative will pave way for a more patient-centric approach in the ophthalmology space in India.”
Earlier this month, within the framework of the same Orbis initiative, a regional center specializing in patient communication was established in Pune. These pioneering initiatives underscore Orbis’ commitment to providing accessible, high-quality eye care to all.