In December 2019, while we were welcoming 2020, we never realised that the coming year would be a game-changer in all our lives. Let us now welcome the New Normal 2021. Early 2020, when the world came to a screeching halt due to Covid-19 - which unleashed a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions - it was the healthcare industry which had to bear a large chunk of the ensuing brunt.
Ever since March 2020 at CMRI and BMBHRC, there has been a war-like situation in the hospital premises. An unannounced, unprepared for enemy, which we have been trying to keep ourselves at bay from with our planning, strategising, mapping resources, keeping our morale high and above all fighting the deadly virus as frontline warriors risking their lives and their loved ones - a commitment to their duty taking precedence over everything else. Amid the widespread uncertainty, panic, anxiety, stay-at-home orders and a multitude of self and state-imposed restrictions, we remained committed to the service of humanity.
This year has been an unprecedented one. My focus from day one was employee safety and getting back to business at the first go. Working out policies and protocols, having contingency plans, understanding the law of the land, getting prepared accordingly and keeping our focus on the job have been what we have focused on and continue to do so. However, following strict process and adapting to a new way of life by being alert and agile have been the mantra in the new normal era.
In 2020, we have been introduced to new lingos like lockdown, quarantine, physical distance, HCQ, PPE, N-95, sanitisers, and digitisation but I was very sure not to encourage words like panic attack, anxiety and patient refusal. The team comprising of healthcare workers, from different ranks and files, have faced challenges steadfastly and the clinicians and nurses have done their job at hand extremely well. I salute them and feel proud to have played my part in these trying times. Our focus and commitment to our patients can be explained through some major life saving surgeries that have taken place amidst the lockdown. Critical surgeries that include trauma, ectopic, orthopaedic robotics, pancreatic, maxillofacial, transplant and cardiac surgeries with excellent clinical outcomes have been conducted. Saving lives of patients as well trying to protect our doctors by following the laid down protocols and processes have changed the healthcare scenario.
A culture of collaborative work flow processes involving both scientists and doctors, upholding faith in science while simultaneously working relentlessly has resulted in serving humanity in a selfless passion which has given healthcare workers a great opportunity to serve and help, treat clinically and at the same time allay fears and bring hope. The compassionate culture and camaraderie that was witnessed in 2020 gives me hope for a better 2021. Yes, the deadly virus will be there but it cannot beat the passion, grit or determination of a healthcare worker. I would like to welcome 2021 with our aim at becoming the best medical facility with modern and advanced clinical facilities serving people from different walks of life.
On this positive note, let us respect and provide for each and every patient that walks in to our doors and continue to provide the clinical excellence and compassionate care that has now become the hallmark of C K Birla Hospitals. Today the task in hand is to educate, engage and empower the employee so that they can adjust to the new norm, keeping in mind that if we stand still for long, we might fall and if we go too fast, we could go wrong. Therefore, we must take cautious steps and yet at the same time, put ourselves out there to do what we know best - serve. We cannot afford to falter or miss a step. With this in mind, we hope that 2021 will bring us back to the new rhythm of life.
Stepping in to 2021 both CMRI, BMBHRC, and RBH (Jaipur) will see a lot of transformation while adapting to the changed times. These transformations will bring in new technology, improved processes, unmatched patient experience, and clinical excellence at par with world standards.
The author is the COO of CK Birla Hospitals, Kolkata