Elizabeth G. Clark is a Hospital Analyst for KIMS where she leads numerous management projects including patient service improvements and is the head of development of training for emergency medicine services for hospitals in India.
Four years ago KIMS was entering a new phase of growth, and the chairman of he hospital knew he needed assistance from experts outside of India. Ms. Clark, a trained professional in public health, was recruited by the hospital’s Chairman, Dr. M.I. Sahadulla, to help KIMS develop systems that would better support patient care. There are a variety of services the hospital provides for patients on a daily basis that require extensive training. Her job was to figure out what services were not working, and how they could be improved or changed.
One project Ms. Clark is especially passionate about is the improvements to emergency medicine in India. In her first month at KIMS, Dr. Sahadulla assigned her the formidable task of improving emergency services at the hospital. She engaged in discussions with Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY to start a three-year residency program for emergency medicine in India, with the academic support from the University.
“I see emergency medicine as being integral to strengthening the Indian healthcare system in terms of its performance, accessibility, its cost effectiveness. It bodes well for everyone who comes to India for healthcare. This program will help strengthen healthcare across the board,” says Ms. Clark.
The international patients that KIMS regularly see come from two main areas: the Maldives and Gulf region of the Middle East. The hospital has a specific department for international patient relations with a help desk that provides services such as translators for foreign patients.
KIMS is the largest and closest tertiary care center to the Maldives. The Maldivian government provides citizens with small cash stipends for healthcare. Since its healthcare infrastructure is not well established, citizens often travel to India for services. KIMS has a help desk, chef, and guesthouses in the surrounding area that cater specifically to Maldivian patients to make them feel more comfortable.
The Gulf region and Kerala have shared cultural history and have been trading partners for centuries. KIMS has promoters for the hospital in the Middle East that make people aware of the services, especially the high-end oncology services, and often bring patients and their families to the hospital. The help desk for international patients at KIMS offers Arabic translators.
This past year KIMS installed a PET scan, as well as other specialized equipment not regularly found in the Middle East, India, or Southeast Asia. Non-resident Indians that work in other parts of the world often still come home to India for healthcare because of the high-end, specialized services and complex surgeries available at a low cost. “I would argue that India has a good track record of delivering high quality care that meets clinical needs to patients that are presented to the hospital system,” says Ms. Clark.