A three- member committee led by V Ponnuraj (IAS officer-in charge of State COVID-19 War Room) formed on May 3 by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner Gaurav Gupta to plug loopholes in the Palike’s Central Hospital Bed Management System (CHBMS) had submitted a 33-point recommendation on May 7. The Committee that was formed on May 3 and it looked into two aspects- strengthening the backend system and bed allocation.
The recommendations include allowing only authorised users with a 2 factor authentication to access CHBMS.
Informed sources confirmed some of the recommended changes like informing a patient through a system generated SMS and an IVRS system once the bed is booked, had started by May 8 itself.
As far as bed allocation goes, the report says that for blocking a bed, preference should be given to the hospital in the same zone. In case there is paucity for beds, the patient has to be put on a waitlist and should be informed as soon as the bed is booked. The BBMP was till now auto-unblocking beds- that is beds are auto unblocked after a patient does not turn up in the hospital 10 hours after it was booked. The Committee has said that this time limit should be reduced to 6 hours.
The BBMP order forming the committee on May 3 said, “It has come to the notice of the undersigned that it has been done in a non-transparent and arbitrary manner leading to loopholes that are allegedly being misused. In context of the above, a committee comprising the following officers is hereby formed.”
This order came three days before the infamous raid of the BBMP South War room by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and three BJP MLAs.
Incidentally, on May 10, Tejasvi Surya read out some of the key recommendations of the Ponnuraj report. Notably, Surya failed to make a mention of the committee or the report in his exhaustive press conference.
Some of the 30-plus recommendations that his office sent are in fact part of the Ponnuraj-led committee, along two IFS officers—- Kumar Pushkar the nodal officer-in charge of the CHBMS and Vipin Singh who is in charge of 1912 call centre.
Top 10 recommendations by the Ponnuraj-led committee
Strengthen Access Controls to CHBMS:
1. Restrict application write access to Doctors authorised to carry out triaging for the purpose of bed allocation.
a. Create unique user ID for every authorised user with 2 factor authentication with OTP as the second factor.Implement Captcha login.
b. Restrict application access to computers identified for use by authorised users. Authorised Machines should be white-listed.
2. Conduct Application security audit of the CHBMS software immediately, with the support of the E-Governance department.
Improve bed allocation process:
3. Hospital and CCC beds should be allocated only after triaging at the zone.The patient record should be bucketed in CPT 1 and CPT 2 as the case may be in index app. CHBMS should allow bed blocking from CPT 1 and CPT 2 buckets only.
4. For blocking of a bed, preference should be given to the hospital in the same zone. Reason shall be recorded in CHBMS for preferring a hospital outside the one.
5. In case of non availability of bed at the time of allocation, a wait list of patients(approval of the patient should be taken before putting him in the waitlist) for a particular type of bed should be created in the system. A protocol on reasonable length of queue and managing bed allocation to the waitlisted patients should be prepared.It is suggested bid allocation to wait listed patients,should be done by central war room
6. BBMP's Public portal should display the waitlist under the 4 categories of beds, Zone-wise.
7. On allocation of a bed, the patient should be intimated through a system generated SMS and an IVRS system.
8. Looking at the unusually large number of auto-unblocks in the system, it is suggested that the auto-unblock window of 10 hours may be reduced to 6 hours to increase bed utilisation efficiency. This may be reduced after analysing the data.
9. Auto-unblocked beds must be auto-reallocated to the waitlisted patients and should not be available for re-allotment by staf.
10. Normally Bed blocking shouldn't be allowed for (1) BU numbers which are generated more than 10 days back and (2) Records Pendingin the CPT3 to CPT 9 buckets. The records which are in CPT 3-9 should be first transferred to CPT1 or CPT2, as the case may be and then should be dealt as per the queue or the timestamp of coming in CPT 1 or 2.