NABH is in the works creating guidelines for new normal post COVID

Leading healthcare experts deliberate on pressing issues triggered by the epidemic

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New Delhi: NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) is creating pan India guidelines for doctors to make them able to tackle new normal obtained post COVID 19. This was stated by Dr Atul M Kochar, CEO, NABH in an online Media Advocacy Program conducted The Heart Care Foundation of India.

Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) also associated with the program organized on 22nd April 2020.The session focused on the present situation of COVID-19, attacks on healthcare professionals, and possible healthcare outcomes after the lockdown is lifted.

The session was chaired by Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President and CMAAO and the panelists included leading healthcare stakeholders. Medtalks, a leading healthcare Learning and Patient Education Platform, was the supporting partner.

The panelists included Dr NarottamPuri, Advisor Medical Operations and Chairman Fortis Medical Council, Delhi; Dr AK Agarwal, Ex Dean MAMC; Dr Mahesh Verma, VC IP University, Ex Director MAIDS Government of Delhi; DrSuneela Garg Dir Prof MAMC, National President Elect IAPSM; DrGirdharGyani, DG AHPI; DrAtul M Kochar, CEO NABH; Dr T S Jain, Consultant Pediatrician, Max Smart City Hospital, Ex MS; DrBejonMisra, Founder Patient safety and Access, Consumer online Foundation; Dr Anita Arora, Director Medical Operations, Fortis Healthcare; MsUpasana Arora, Director, Yashoda Super Specialty Hospital; Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director, Max Healthcare; Dr K KKalra, Ex CEO NABH, Director HCFI; Dr Arvind Lal, Managing Director of Dr Lal Path Labs; DrAlok Roy, Chairman Medica Group of Hospitals and Chairman FICCI Health Services.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI and CMAAO, said, “With so much information around Covid-19, there is a need to communicate the right things to both the media and the common public. This can go a long in dispelling myths around the condition and therefore, fear. This Advocacy Program was an initiative in that direction and addressed key concerns including the violence against the medical fraternity in these difficult times. Some other highlights were how tele consultations are likely to become the norm going forward and that self-regulation on the part of every individual will be key in fighting similar infections.”

Dr Aggarwal also added, “Medical workers have been attacked amidst the Corona crisis and the situation is particularly bad in India. Given this, government has brought in an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act making attacks on doctors, paramedic staff and ASHA workers a non-bailable offence under punishable up to seven years in prison and fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. This is an extremely encouraging move given how all these people are frontline warriors in the fight against this pandemic.”

Expressing his concern about the situation of the private healthcare sector, Dr NarottamPuri, Advisor Medical Operations and Chairman Fortis Medical Council, Delhi, said, “This is a very tough phase for the sector with inadequate and derogatory media coverage. There is a high degree of discrimination and violence against doctors which must be highlighted. We are also in a state of infodemic where some doctors themselves are confused with the huge influx of information. Many people are misquoting and giving wrong information in the media which adds to the confusion. Then there are also the Covidiots who misbehave in the public, without paying heed to advice from doctors and authorities. All these things must be addressed urgently.”

Talking about the future scenario, Dr Atul M Kochar, CEO, NABH, added, “After the extension of the lockdown, a new normal has come into play. We have resumed work but are also exploring new ways to initiate virtual assessment, keeping in mind the safety and protection of the patients as well as the doctors and hospital staff. We are now creating a comprehensive document with the help of IMA, public and other stakeholders. This will be a pan-India guideline which will boost the way the doctors are dealing with their work conditions. We are also following up with the National Building Board to get guidance for specific pandemic-oriented hospitals. Focusing on the interests of patients, attendants, health providers and staff, we are targeting to standardize processes in terms of quality and hygiene not just for current pandemic but all future scenarios.”

The session highlighted how there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with Covid-19. Every state must take from best practices and tailor them to suit their preferences accordingly. Giving his views, Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director, Max Healthcare, said, “We have observed that about 5% of all the Covid-19 cases are critical. Asymptomatic patients are a concern. The challenge is to decide when or whom to put on ventilator. The condition of patients deteriorates very quickly and there is often not enough time to transfer them to a ventilator. The rate of secondary infections is also high. While the focus so far has been on ventilator and respiration, it is gradually shifting to the heart and brain. The tight prognostication is very important. Sudden deaths may occur unexpectedly in some patients. The public should know this.”

The session also addressed aspects of Covid-19 including duration of the lockdown, precautionary measures to be taken once normal routine resumes, treatment for the condition, risk factors of getting the infection in various categories of people, etc.

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