Fourth edition of HEAL held in Kerala


Discussions were held on the future of healthcare and how it can be transformed from good to great

The fourth edition of Healthcare Excellence  through Administration and Leadership (HEAL) was recently held at Baby Memorial Hospital (BMH), Kozhikode, Kerala. Research Foundation of Hospital & Healthcare Administration (RFHHA) was the Knowledge Partner and Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI) was the Associate Partner. The event witnessed students, healthcare professionals and dignitaries participate in large numbers and industry best practices, areas that required focus and the future of healthcare were discussed at large benefiting the enthusiastic audience in an effort to transform healthcare from good to great.

Dr Vineeth Abraham, Director, BMH proposed the welcome address and Dr Soman Jacob, CEO, BMH, gave the presidential address. He highlighted the commitment of BMH and the journey of the institution from a 52-bed hospital to a 800-bed hospital. The event was inaugurated by Dr Shakti Kumar Gupta, Medical Superintendent (Dr RPC), AIIMS, New Delhi. While he started his address showering praises on BMH for their commitment and care and the leadership of Dr KG Alexander, Chairman, BMH, Dr Gupta also set the programme to a roaring start with questions to ponder which were deliberated in the subsequent sessions. Prof Mohammad Masood Ahmed, Director, Indo US Hospital, Hyderabad and Col (Dr) Saroj K Patnaik, O/o DGAFMS, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi were Guests of Honour. Dr C Vinoth Kumar, Conference Director, proposed the Vote of Thanks for the inaugural session.

Prof Ahmed started the academic session with his talk on ‘Strategic Management in Healthcare Organizations’ in which he discussed the importance and need for strategic management in hospitals and also enthralled the audience with case studies and insightful thoughts.

Dr Vijay Tadia, Senior Resident Administrator, AIIMS, New Delhi addressed the gathering on ‘Application of Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare’ in which he detailed about the application of the principles of Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare. He emphasised on the fact that defects in processes as well as variation in processes lead to sub-optimal use of the resources in any healthcare organisation. In a resource constrained country like India it becomes all the more important to use time tested principles of Lean Six Sigma which have given good dividends in healthcare across the globe. He cited few examples of the application of these principles as well as demonstrated their applicability in healthcare during his speech.


Day 1 ended up with a ‘Special Comedy Show in Healthcare’ by Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi, a medical device innovator and a renowned stand up comedian on ‘Inventing Medical Devices.’ As a doctor who has evolved into becoming an innovator of affordable medical devices designed for our Indian setting, he shared his experiences and learnings with the medical community which includes doctors, paramedical and hospital administrators. He said, “I believe our healthcare professionals understand our healthcare needs very well and they must drive and lead new innovations to improve healthcare in our country. By giving talks on my journey and sharing lessons from my failures in the form of book – Inventing medical devices: a perspective from India, I hope to help more healthcare professionals to take up this task and improve healthcare in our country.”

Day 2, started with Lt Col (Retd). Sunny Thomas, CAO, BMH on ‘Hospitals – A Tryst with Environment’ which provided figures from energy saving initiatives and measures adopted at BMH. This was followed by Dr Shakti Kumar Gupta who talked about innovation and entrepreneurship and intelligent hospitals. He said that healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship are the cornerstone for success of any organisation. He pointed out that healthcare has traditionally lagged behind other industries in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. He stressed that healthcare organisation that successfully foster the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship along with other management strategies will not only increase their chances of survival in a changing and challenging environment but will also be better equipped to provide cost-effective high-quality services and products.


Dr Sadik Kodakat, Chairman, Starcare Hospitals Group addressed the gathering on ‘Disruptors in Healthcare : Managers & Entrepreneurs Perspective.’ He explained in details the various disruptors in healthcare with thought provoking insights and examples. This was followed by the Col (Dr) Saroj K Patnaik who addressed the gathering on ‘Role of Level Five Healthcare Leadership in India.’ He gave a blueprint for healthcare leadership in organisations, more so in the organisational setting thus enabling high standards and impactful governance.

The session in the afternoon started with Sri Harsha Govardhana, MD, Sarvagnya Solutions, Hyderabad on ‘Medical Leadership: Competencies for Clinicians.’ In his address, he said, “I have interviewed and observed over 90 plus doctors who have built their practice by following highest standards of care, getting outstanding medical outcomes. I checked the validity and application of these competencies over a period of last 17 years. These doctors whom I call ‘Super Star Doctors’ rigorously demonstrate nine medical competencies that provide excellent clinical outcomes in Indian healthcare setting.”

Sri Harsha went to explain the competencies in detail. These competencies are clinical excellence, team building and collaboration, doctor-patient relations, management skills, learning and development, health and well being promotion, professional behaviour, governance and compliance and technology adoption for personalised care using precision medicine.

This was followed by Saji Mathew, Chief, IT & HR, BMH on ‘The Employee Experience is the Future of Workplace.’

In his talk, he said, “Healthcare is considered the most ‘human’ of all endeavours. The performance of healthcare professionals such as physicians and nurses directly affects the physical and mental well-being of patients. Research has clearly identified links between healthcare work attitudes and patient  outcomes. In the digital age, employee experience is an important concept worthy of attention to drive positive customer experience.”

The last session of the day saw Prof (Dr) Anand Gurumurthy, IIM, Kozhikode who  delivered a talk titled ‘Can car making methods be applied to hospitals?’ His talk dealt with how the concepts of Toyota Production System (TPS) can be applied within the healthcare setting such as hospitals to improve the efficiency of the various processes and thereby reduce the overall cost, which would enable healthcare services to be more affordable and accessible. He highlighted the similarity in terms of the objectives for TPS and healthcare institution such as hospital. For example, the car maker would consider the ‘safety of the customer using the car’ as the foremost priority, while in the case of a hospital, the safety of patients matters most. Similarly, for both the car maker and hospital, the factors such as quality and cost are also important. Apart from this, he also highlighted about the increasing labour cost and shortage of skilled people in the healthcare setting, which also warrants the need for car making methods. Then, he explained how there are seven  wastes identified by Taiichi Ohno, Chief Architect, TPS is also prevalent in healthcare with a funny video and noted that these wastes has to be reduced. To accomplish the same, he also suggested some of the tools and techniques of TPS such as ‘Value Stream Mapping,’ 5S, Sphagetti Diagram, Kaizen, Changeover time reduction, etc., which can be used to reduce these seven wastes. Lastly, he demonstrated the application of the same using a case of Viriginia Mason Medical Centre, a multi-speciality hospital in the US, which has pioneered the implementation of TPS in healthcare setting. He also advocated the use of these concepts in Indian hospitals and healthcare setting to reap various benefits such as reduced cost, reduced patient stay, increased utilisation of hospital equipment, reduced waiting time, increased customer satisfaction. The vote of thanks was proposed by Rohith G, Joint Organizing Secretary, HEAL 2017.

The two-day session gave new directions and ideas that can be incorporated in healthcare practice to the healthcare professionals and a ringside view to the students community. The audience participation was appreciable with various queries to the speakers after each session and aptly addressed by the speakers. The thoughtful session made the audience crave for more and has provided the drive and direction for the organisers in making HEAL 2018 even bigger. For now, it is a long wait and time to chew on the learnings, interpret and realign healthcare practice for greater good and organisational excellence.