The unique design of Max Med Centre – a standalone immigration health check-up centre
By Rita Dutta
. The centre has also complied with the International Panel Physician Annual (IPPA) guidelines.
Max Med Centre, a standalone centre for immigration health check-ups, was launched recently at Lajpat Nagar in Delhi. The centre, spread across 4,906 square feet, was designed in a fit-out that was meant for commercial space. The centre caters to mainly to immigration health check-ups for people aspiring for immigration to Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. This is the only state-of-the-art standalone immigration centre of the Max Healthcare group, and the same is being replicated at Mohali. In the immigration space across India, such centres are run privately by clinicians or part of hospitals. This was a first time foray of a private hospital to create a standalone immigration health check-up centre.
This Max Med Centre has been designed, overcoming the challenges faced in the other immigration health check-up centre located at Panchsheel- which is being run for seven years. At the Panchsheel centre, there was a mixing of crowd – OPD, IPD and immigration applicants which led to embassies being worried about confidentiality, fraud detection or personalised care.
Max wanted to ensure a hassle free and quick immigration experience with increased throughput and reduction of processing time.
The model was also plagued by a lack of dedicated clinician time for immigration patients as well as a dearth of dedicated infrastructure for immigration patients. Also, the TAT of check up was four to five hours and reporting would take four to five days. There were also bottlenecks like high volume of call centre queries due to delayed reporting and some parts of SOPs for different countries could not be adhered to due to infrastructural issues. None of these pain points could be addressed at Panchsheel due to lack of space. Mixing of immigration and other patients had begun to impact service experience for patients and patients had to clamber up and down three floors for all their check ups. The immigration volumes were increasing by 20% CAGR, and thus a business call was taken to create a standalone centre.
Says Arpita Mukherjee, Vice President – Operations, MAX Healthcare, “We decided to design the new centre as per the guidelines that were provided by the consulates of Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. We also complied with the International Panel Physician Annual (IPPA) guidelines with demarcated documentation and medical area, sputum and DOT room and comfortable attendant area.”
The TAT had to be expedited in this centre. “If a sample was given before 12 pm, then the reports had to be within 24 hours else within 48 hours for all countries. And for the UK, same day reporting was required,” says Mukherjee.
The brief given to WARD FOUR Consulting, the firm that designed the project, was to craft an immigration centre to carry out the medical check required as per the required protocols of the countries. “We wanted to ensure a hassle free and quick immigration experience with increased throughput and a reduction of processing time. Privacy and contamination or dilution of data/ results /samples were of key concerns to the client consulates. Fraud detection through robust process and infrastructure, improvement in throughput and patient experience was also emphasised on,” says Mukherjee.
Detailed country-specific workflows were laid out by eliminating all non value added steps through value stream mapping. A detailed mapping of services to specific process requirements of each country was created. Says Siddharth Puri, Director- Architecture for WARD FOUR Consulting, “We decided to separate the patient and attendant in the first step of the process and to generate a café like atmosphere to improve patient and attendant experience. Max wanted to have spacious area for attendants (usually one immigration applicant comes with four to five attendants and family members) and the centre to be complaint with CDC and other intra Government protocols.”
The project has a kid friendly zone as young couples immigrating aboard come with children and adoptees, besides creating a dedicated on-boarding/document check and process area and separate clinical and non-clinical spaces. The project has created a linear operational flow as well as has a focus on infection control for sputum and TB testing. The centre is completely paperless system- from billing to documentation to nursing to doctor consultation and radiologist. It has imparted technical and behavioral training for doctors and staff and has a dedicated call centre executive to manage only immigration queries.
The project has used vitrified tiling and as with other Max Healthcare projects, branding has been a key part of the design. Max brand colours have been integrated in all aspects of design such as vertical screens. Customised seating has been provided for space efficiency. Transitional spaces have also been designed, such as a Zen garden has been provided to enhance user experience. Light subtle colours have been used to open up the space.
There were a slew of challenges to overcome in the project, though. “A major concern was that the floor plate was divided into two wings connected by a narrow corridor and this led to increase in percentage of circulation. The problem was solved by pushing the programme to the edges and utilising the central space for waiting and circulation. Apart from providing generous waiting, this also increased the sense of spaciousness and contributed to the desired café like environment,” says Puri. In the centre, the TAT for check up has reduced from 4.5 to 1.5 hours and process efficiency has increased from 8% to 24%. Patient satisfaction scores has increased from 43% to 86%, number of complaints per 1,000 reduced from 5.8-0.4 and applicants volumes have increased significantly. Over all, it has turned out to be a project that has been designed effectively.