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Published on: March 31, 2022, 5:04 p.m.
Healthcare workers get skill enhancement from Hitachi India
  • Hitachi India’s skill enhancement programme

By Business India Editorial

At the point when the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world in 2020, there was much apprehension in terms of how India would address a crisis of this magnitude. One of the critical areas that needed immediate attention was the human capacity constraint amongst India’s healthcare workforce. 

According to an NSSO survey (2019), India had 20.6 healthcare workers for every 10,000 members of the population, as compared to a minimum threshold of 22.8 specialists suggested by the WHO. Moreover, as more healthcare workers could contract the virus, it would have placed further pressure on our health systems. Therefore, given their vulnerabilities, supporting health-care workers in their capability to respond to the pandemic became fundamental. 

To help in relieving and supporting healthcare workers in mitigating this threat, Hitachi India undertook an ambitious initiative entitled ‘Covid-19 Skill Enhancement Programme’ (CSEP) during December 2020-March 2021, to upskill and reskill 4,000 Covid-19 care-givers (doctors and nurses) across Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka. The programme contributed towards target 3.c of UN’s SDG framework – “substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in the least developed countries and small island developing states”.

The objectives of the programme were three-fold: imparting essential training rapidly to the Covid-19 caregivers (doctors and nurses), as well as other medical and nursing professionals serving in non-Covid hospitals; bringing standardisation to the patient care delivery across the nation; and reducing the need for daily repeated training for new batches and save significant time for hospital administration and clinicians.

To deliver the programme viably, Hitachi India collaborated with PlexusMD, a leading learning and career development platform for doctors and medical staff. The course endeavoured to build capacity in critical areas, such as appropriate utilisation of PPEs, contamination counteraction, isolation, quarantine and treatment protocols, management of biomedical waste and managing mental health among other aspects.

The programme was delivered on Medcast, an e-learning platform developed by PlexusMD and consisted of 12 pre-recorded sessions that were specially curated for doctors and nurses. Each session was followed by a self-assessment for evaluating the viability and achievement of learning outcomes.

This online training programme for Covid-19 was co-designed with Hitachi’s inputs, considering the evolving necessities of the healthcare staff at the forefront, as well as aligning to pertinent guidelines issued by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), among others. As a result, the programme was certified by the Association of Physicians of India (API) and was recognised under their Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements for ongoing training and upskilling. Additionally, in terms of outreach, various medical associations, such as Karnataka Medical Council and the respective state governments also partnered in the endeavour. 

The entire programme received positive response from doctors and nurses alike, who observed the course content significant and timely, delivered in an engaging manner. The course set a broader context around dealing with infectious diseases generally, which will have relevance even as Covid-19 becomes endemic in the coming months. The lessons, conventions and protocols discussed in the course were practically applied by the doctors and nurses.

This initiative is an illustrious testimony of how best CSRs can collaborate with social enterprises to achieve transformative change, crossing the compliance hurdle. Hitachi, through such initiatives, is helping build a healthy, prosperous society and contributing towards India’s healthcare system, by ensuring that each citizen can access quality healthcare. 

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