Owned by Artemis Health Sciences (AHS), the multi specialty, 260 bedded Artemis Health Institute (AHI) is operational since 2007. The initial seeds of Artemis were sown by Dr Kushagra Katariya, CEO - Artemis Health Institute and Onkar Kanwar, Chairman-Artemis Health Institute.
Only one year has passed since its inception however AHI is developing at a rapid pace. The Hospital recently opened a 24 hour blood bank within its premises, which adheres to European Council guidelines for blood component preparation in line with quality and standards of international level. This blood bank has the facility to conduct 'Individual Donor NAT' (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) to detect transfusion of transmitted infections which routine ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay) can not detect and a 'Bio-repository' in which test samples of all donors can be stored for years and maintained for future reference or use. "Our 'Pediatric ICU' (PICU) which is started along with the Hospital's inception and the 'Neonatal ICU' (NICU) which was set up in January, 2008 has also become operational and is among the few in this part of the country," informs Dr Kushagra Katariya, CEO. The Hospital has tied-up with Resident Welfare Association (RWA) in Gurgaon where the Artemis doctors visit regularly for the general health check-up. It has set up five clinics in the residential areas and five clinics in the corporate areas of the RWA. Moreover with the motive of delivering end to end healthcare the Hospital has initiated a 'Heart Club' for the heart patients and the 'Senior Citizen's Club' for patients above the age of 65 years. According to Dr Katariya these clubs have received an encouraging response from the Gurgaon residents.
"We work with an objective that, every patient who walks in our Hospital should be sent back with a positive experience. Apart from the latest in technology, we have internationally trained highly qualified medical professionals to administer the best-available medical services across all major disciplines of medicine and surgery," shares Dr Katariya.
Adopting New Technologies
The Hospital has tied up with Philips Medical Systems for metabolic imaging like 'CT-PET' fusion technology, functional MRI scanning using non-contrast imaging for cancers using diffusion imaging, dynamic road mapping for reconstructive imaging, intelligent critical patient monitoring system with Clinical Decision Support (CDS) application and portal imaging technology.
The Hospital had imported Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) system from Sweden, this year in January. "We have the first comprehensive endovascular operating suite in India that allows for endovascular therapy of the major blood vessels in the body. This applies especially to the thoracic aorta," says Dr Katariya. Knowing that IT is the key to gain optimum operational efficiency, Artemis has implemented Hospital Information System (HIS) from July, 2007. This is to create a paperless environment in which medical and nursing staff can work online in more cost effective and accurate manner. The aim of this implementation is to enhance patient safety with generation of instant alerts and reducing medication errors. This system has eliminated the need for large medical record charts as everything has been posted online with due care for data security. Doctors as well as other medical staff can easily follow-up a patient's medical history. Images of radiology, endoscopy, and echocardiography can also be accessed by doctors anytime within few clicks.
At any point in time, real time data is available from the ICU bedside to monitors anywhere in the Hospital and can be accessed via the internet. Data collection using keywords is made very easy thus allowing progress on the research front as well. The Hospital claims to have one of the best IT infrastructure and have invested Rs 10 crore on the same.
The Hospital is proceeding towards full accreditation by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) for which the process has already begun.
The ICU at Artemis is in the process of being accredited by the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine towards awarding the Indian Diploma of Critical Care Medicine which means the students can now be enrolled at AHI for this. This expands the scope of Artemis from just providing medical care to becoming a teaching institution as well.
Bringing Foreign Patients
To facilitate medical tourism the Hospital runs an international services programme. The services offered in this programme include medical facilities like initial screening and diagnosis, telemedicine evaluation and recommendation and international insurance cover. Diagnostics and treatment at the Hospital also include making visa arrangements, ticketing, pick-up at the airport, money transfer and exchange, ATM withdrawals, interpretation services, exclusive help desk and a dedicated relationship manager to ensure smooth services, stay arrangements for return journey and all requirements for food, local travel and stay for families.
"Most of our doctors are also of international repute with few of them having received their training/diploma/fellowship from most sought after international universities. Our patient-friendly interactive website also helps us in attracting foreign patients," reveals Onkar Kanwar, Chairman. Currently streams of patients are flocking from US, UK to Australia and Middle-East not only for high tech and difficult surgeries but also for consultation and diagnostics. Foreign patients especially come to take treatments in the areas of orthopaedics, bariatric, cardiac care and cosmetic surgery departments which get patients from across the world. The cancer department gets most of its foreign patients from African and other Asian countries.
Some of the challenges faced by Artemis would be maintaining quality in every area of service, having a team of best doctors, managers to run the hospital and customer relations staff that interacts with the patients. "For this we need to train the staff to ensure service standards which are comparable with the best in the world or even a notch ahead," says Kanwar. He feels that keeping themselves updated with the latest medical technology to meet the needs of the patients is yet another challenging factor.
The Hospital is also looking forward to take the Artemis model to tier II and tier III cities. "There is a tremendous need and available potential for quality health providers in these cities," informs Kanwar. Artemis plans to attain a fine mixture of business models to expand its wings in the Indian healthcare market. "Depending upon the needs of the particular city and the standards of the healthcare services provided in that city we will either go for Greenfield expansions or adopt an acquisition route. As far as plans for tapping overseas market we are always open to opportunities which may exist but as of now we don't have any such plans," says Kanwar. The expansions would be funded by mix of debt and internal accruals.
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