Pay 1 Get 4 Free: Inclusive Healthcare

Last Monday I was at the Sankara Eye Hospital in Coimbatore, South India. My mission was to harvest their best practices for performance excellence.

I went to the campus with a totally open mind expecting to come back with a couple of great practices. That was not the case. I found several.

What made these practices exceptional was the fact that 80% of the patients were free patients from the rural and tribal areas.

Here are the practices that I harvested, and believe should be adapted and innovated by industry at large:

  • Every paying patient supports 4 free patients. This translates to 1000 – 1200 free patients per week.
  • Free patients are treated with similar dignity to that offered to paying patients.
  • Patients have rights. They also have responsibilities.
  • Commitment to processes is an unstated contract with patients.
  • Processes are demystified through pictorial posters.
  • Housekeeping processes address the challenges of dealing with a high volume of rural patients.
  • Spartan clean rooms.
  • High throughput: 200 operations per day.

Think about this. Cross-industry benchmarking is the best knowledge tool available to industry for leap-frogging into the global arena.

‘Made In India’ can be a global asset.


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