Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘Hindutva is in a minority even among Hindus’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Parting shot

I take it that Sruthisagar Yamunan’s dignifying of Hindutva by describing it as “majoritarian” is accidental (“The Daily Fix: By attacking Hamid Ansari’s remarks on fears of Indian Muslims, BJP proves him right”). Hindutva is a minority even among us Hindus. And the Modi-Shah combine is just two individuals, even if they are in cahoots with some others. So, what we have, ruling our country today is a clique (and some henchmen). If there is clear and public recognition of that, there is some hope for our country. – Prabhu Guptara

Small victory

I would like to congratulate the author for his pragmatic and in-depth writing (“Congress’ Ahmed Patel euphoria will go the way of Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa”). I look forward to reading more articles from Rohan Venkataramakrishnan. – Nur Amin Haque

***

The Congress needs to wake up and organise a massive grassroots movement. How come they have MLAs and MPs who are willing to defect at the drop of a hat? Where is their ideological commitment, their loyalty to the party?

The Congress should not bother about the clout these leaders may have in the local community, it must identify the traitors and cleanse the party of them. It should then rebuild the party based on the ideologies of Nehru and Gandhi. This is imperative not only for the Congress but also for the country. – Deepa Rashmi

Taking on the powerful

Union Minister Babul Supriyo’s statements show that he has a soft corner for the son of his party colleague and is trying to make light of a very serious incident (“Why charge accused in Chandigarh stalking case with abduction, asks Union minister Babul Supriyo”). One may ask: Should no action be taken against the culprit, just because he is son of a state chief of the ruling party? Varnika Kundu, who represents the nation’s brave daughters fighting against harassment by men, must get justice without interference from the political dispensation. Otherwise, all the party’s slogans about women’s empowerment, such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, will ring hollow and prove to be meaningless. – Samiul Hassan Quadri

Saffron setback

The results to the Kerala municipal polls show that the Modi wave has not reached the grassroots (“Kerala: BJP fails to win any seats in Mattanur municipal poll, LDF claims 28 out of 35 wards”). The BJP should realise that the stand they are taking (or in recent cases, not taking) are not working. The party leadership should realise that the strategy that has worked for them in northern states will not work her. As geography changes, people’s palates also change.

Education reform

Exams put immense burden on students and all they need to get good marks is rote learning (“ICSE to hold board exams for Class 5 and Class 8 starting 2018-19”). This makes the system a waste of time that creates robots out of students who are loaded with information but have no creativity, thereby defying the very purpose of education.

The best way to judge learning is not through a theory exam but by seeing what they students do with their creativity. When a child is interested in a particular field, all they need is some encouragement and they can outshine anyone in this world. – Parag Kumar

Channel talks

Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s claim that he has no role in the content put out by Republic TV is a joke (“‘It’s all about market share’: Arnab Goswami’s funder Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Republic TV and more”). This is a toxic channel and Arnab Goswami is a rabble-rouser. They don’t report news, they air slanted opinions and go after individuals without evidence. And they only target the Opposition. – Murali Gopalan

Same coin

The analogies in this article fail and there isn’t much difference in economic policies of BJP and the Congress (“Opinion: The BJP’s ideology and its growth mirrors that of the Muslim League in the 1930s”). Both parties are growth-oriented capitalist economies like most of the countries in the world are striving to be. The left-liberal ideologues are aware of this and hence seem to believe in breaking the majority Hindu vote of the BJP by raising casteist issues or inciting class warfare. This is what irks centrist people like me.

The foremost issue facing India today is arguably corruption and if driving it out is considered important, it is the BJP that is perceived as more capable on this front. – Sowmyanarayanan C

Testing times

The idea of schools holding off-site classes to complete students’ syllabus as schools remain shut because of the Gorkhaland agitation is laudable but all measures should be taken to ensure the safety of students, which is of utmost importance (“With no sign of strike ending, Darjeeling schools begin off-site classes to tutor board examinees”). The protesters do not seem to care if students miss out on their studies. Also, since not all schools can afford such off-site arrangements, maybe schools should join hands and pool in funds, but that also seems unlikely. – Siddhant Garud

Travel travails

I am a flight crew member and I always keep my official documents with me when I leave the hotel, especially in countries such as China or Germany (“Air India pilot writes to MEA alleging human rights violation by Saudi officials in Jeddah”). It is the crew member’s responsibility to show original documents and has nothing to do with human rights. – Abdullah Alghamdi

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Putting the patient first - insights for hospitals to meet customer service expectations

These emerging solutions are a fine balance between technology and the human touch.

As customers become more vocal and assertive of their needs, their expectations are changing across industries. Consequently, customer service has gone from being a hygiene factor to actively influencing the customer’s choice of product or service. This trend is also being seen in the healthcare segment. Today good healthcare service is no longer defined by just qualified doctors and the quality of medical treatment offered. The overall ambience, convenience, hospitality and the warmth and friendliness of staff is becoming a crucial way for hospitals to differentiate themselves.

A study by the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions in fact indicates that good patient experience is also excellent from a profitability point of view. The study, conducted in the US, analyzed the impact of hospital ratings by patients on overall margins and return on assets. It revealed that hospitals with high patient-reported experience scores have higher profitability. For instance, hospitals with ‘excellent’ consumer assessment scores between 2008 and 2014 had a net margin of 4.7 percent, on average, as compared to just 1.8 percent for hospitals with ‘low’ scores.

This clearly indicates that good customer service in hospitals boosts loyalty and goodwill as well as financial performance. Many healthcare service providers are thus putting their efforts behind: understanding constantly evolving customer expectations, solving long-standing problems in hospital management (such as long check-out times) and proactively offering a better experience by leveraging technology and human interface.

The evolving patient

Healthcare service customers, who comprise both the patient and his or her family and friends, are more exposed today to high standards of service across industries. As a result, hospitals are putting patient care right on top of their priorities. An example of this in action can be seen in the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. In July 2015, the hospital launched a ‘Smart OPD’ system — an integrated mobile health system under which the entire medical ecosystem of the hospital was brought together on a digital app. Patients could use the app to book/reschedule doctor’s appointments and doctors could use it to access a patient’s medical history, write prescriptions and schedule appointments. To further aid the process, IT assistants were provided to help those uncomfortable with technology.

The need for such initiatives and the evolving nature of patient care were among the central themes of the recently concluded Abbott Hospital Leadership Summit. The speakers included pundits from marketing and customer relations along with leaders in the healthcare space.

Among them was the illustrious speaker Larry Hochman, a globally recognised name in customer service. According to Mr. Hochman, who has worked with British Airways and Air Miles, patients are rapidly evolving from passive recipients of treatment to active consumers who are evaluating their overall experience with a hospital on social media and creating a ‘word-of-mouth’ economy. He talks about this in the video below.

Play

As the video says, with social media and other public platforms being available today to share experiences, hospitals need to ensure that every customer walks away with a good experience.

The promise gap

In his address, Mr. Hochman also spoke at length about the ‘promise gap’ — the difference between what a company promises to deliver and what it actually delivers. In the video given below, he explains the concept in detail. As the gap grows wider, the potential for customer dissatisfaction increases.

Play

So how do hospitals differentiate themselves with this evolved set of customers? How do they ensure that the promise gap remains small? “You can create a unique value only through relationships, because that is something that is not manufactured. It is about people, it’s a human thing,” says Mr. Hochman in the video below.

Play

As Mr. Hochman and others in the discussion panel point out, the key to delivering a good customer experience is to instil a culture of empathy and hospitality across the organisation. Whether it is small things like smiling at patients, educating them at every step about their illness or listening to them to understand their fears, every action needs to be geared towards making the customer feel that they made the correct decision by getting treated at that hospital. This is also why, Dr. Nandkumar Jairam, Chairman and Group Medical Director, Columbia Asia, talked about the need for hospitals to train and hire people with soft skills and qualities such as empathy and the ability to listen.

Striking the balance

Bridging the promise gap also involves a balance between technology and the human touch. Dr. Robert Pearl, Executive Director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, who also spoke at the event, wrote about the example of Dr. Devi Shetty’s Narayana Health Hospitals. He writes that their team of surgeons typically performs about 900 procedures a month which is equivalent to what most U.S. university hospitals do in a year. The hospitals employ cutting edge technology and other simple innovations to improve efficiency and patient care.

The insights gained from Narayana’s model show that while technology increases efficiency of processes, what really makes a difference to customers are the human touch-points. As Mr. Hochman says, “Human touch points matter more because there are less and less of them today and are therefore crucial to the whole customer experience.”

Play

By putting customers at the core of their thinking, many hospitals have been able to apply innovative solutions to solve age old problems. For example, Max Healthcare, introduced paramedics on motorcycles to circumvent heavy traffic and respond faster to critical emergencies. While ambulances reach 30 minutes after a call, the motorcycles reach in just 17 minutes. In the first three months, two lives were saved because of this customer-centric innovation.

Hospitals are also looking at data and consumer research to identify consumer pain points. Rajit Mehta, the MD and CEO of Max Healthcare Institute, who was a panelist at the summit, spoke of the importance of data to understand patient needs. His organisation used consumer research to identify three critical areas that needed work - discharge and admission processes for IPD patients and wait-time for OPD patients. To improve wait-time, they incentivised people to book appointments online. They also installed digital kiosks where customers could punch in their details to get an appointment quickly.

These were just some of the insights on healthcare management gleaned from the Hospital Leadership Summit hosted by Abbott. In over 150 countries, Abbott is working with hospitals and healthcare professionals to improve the quality of health services.

To read more content on best practices for hospital leaders, visit Abbott’s Bringing Health to Life portal here.

This article was produced on behalf of Abbott by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.