Patient Education Centre
At KEM Hospital and Seth G.S. Medical College
The Patient Education Centre (PEC) at King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital and Seth G.S. Medical College (run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC) is one of its kind in India. An initiative of the Department of Community Medicine (previously known as Preventive and Social Medicine), its aim is to create awareness among patients, their families, and the community at large about various diseases, their causes, prevention and treatment. Knowledge is power. Hence, the Patient Education Centre seeks to empower patients, their relative and members of the community with the requisite knowledge so that they are enabled to assist in the faster and better healing of the patients. It was established in 2003.
The initiative to establish the Patient Education Centre was taken by Dr. Kamakshi Bhate and Dr.Srikala Acharya, both senior faculty at the Department of Community Medicine, with small donations from well-wishers. It has now become a full-fledged Centre with the support from Diamond Jubilee Society Trust (DJST) of KEM Hospital. Mr. Sachin Mahadik, a young artist, has made a useful contribution in content production.
Principle behind setting up the Centre: The best cure is self-cure. Well-informed patients are better able to take care of their own healing process. They help in improved Doctor-Patient relationship, which makes a big difference in the healing process. Well-informed patients and their relatives are proactive in health care. The information and knowledge they acquire removes fear from their minds, which is a major factor in aiding complete treatment. Moreover, information and knowledge help families and members of the community adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent diseases.
Practical Considerations: In highly crowded public hospitals like KEM, which receives 5,000 new out-patient department (OPD) patients daily, there is a lot of waiting period for patients and their relatives. This waiting period can be put to good use by giving educative information to patients about their ailments.
Educational content: The Patient Education Centre conceptualizes, designs and produces posters in digital and print formats, pamphlets and booklets on various diseases and treatment procedures in simple Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati. The information is easy to understand, especially since it is presented in a pictorial form. The Centre has so far developed material on topics such as care in pregnancy, child health care, breastfeeding, complementary feeding, infectious diseases like tuberculosis, water-borne diseases like malaria, burns, eye diseases, drug addiction, etc. A series of posters on lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, addictions cancers and posters on physiotherapy, occupational therapy, adolescent problems, myths and misconceptions about blood donation, organ donations and so on are also available.
How does PEC Work? Although the Patient Education Centre is an initiative of the Department of Community Medicine, it works closely with all the other departments and facilities of KEM Hospital. Doctors, medical students, interns, resident medical officers (RMOs), nursing staff and other support actively participate in spreading patient education messages. There are 24X7 exhibitions put up General OPD, hypertension OPDs, Obstetrics OPDs, Physiotherapy OPD, Ocupational Tharapy OPD, Nephrology Department, and the Blood Bank. Posters are displayed in OPDs, wards, verandas and other places in the hospital campus with significant footfall of patients and their relatives.
Dr Kamakshi Bhate, Dr Shrikala Acharya and others from KEM Hospital regularly participate in TV and radio programmes to spread health education among patients, their relatives and members of the public.
Patient education in communities and special camps: Undergraduate and postgraduate students and interns regularly use the posters and other educational material produced by the Centre during blood donation camps and health camps in slum communities, urban health centres, schools and colleges in Mumbai. Sometimes they also use this material to educate people rural and tribal areas when KEM Hospital conducts special camps. They use this material to give talks on healthcare to women, adolescent boys and girls, elderly people and, especially, to community health volunteers (CHVs). The educational material is also used in the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) that have been adopted by the Department of Community Medicine. In addition, PEC helps in conducting organ donation awareness camps with the participation of students in various colleges under the National Service Scheme (NSS).
The Centre also provides posters and other educational material to NGOs and community organisations for use in the community during Ganpati festival and other festivals.
Other BMC organizations like Mumbai District Aids Control Society (MDACS) and Savitribai Phule Gender Resource Centre use material created by PEC.
Health Education Material
Stress Management Books