BBMP set to roll out automated queue system

Critically ill COVID-19 patients will be in a priority queue that will be handled manually

Allocation of beds under the civic body’s Central Hospital Bed Management System (CHBMS) will soon follow an automated ‘queue system’ based on calls made to the call centre or war rooms by patients. This new system of bed allotment is likely to be implemented in a couple of days, said Arvind Limbavali, Minister for Forests, Kannada and Culture, who is also the nodal minister for war room and call centre management.

The Minister held a meeting with COVID-19 war room officials to hammer out the details. In a press release, he stated that under the new system, when a request for a bed is logged into the system, the patient will be given a number automatically. Citizens will be informed of their position in the queue.

This is an attempt to stop people from jumping the queue and bring in transparency to the bed allocation system. Once the system is stabilised in Bengaluru, the same will be extended to other parts of Karnataka, the release stated.

According to senior BBMP officials, with the COVID-19 cases coming down in Bengaluru, the availability of general, general-oxygenated, and HDU beds have improved. The queue is valid only when there is a waiting list. However, with beds now available, allocation can happen immediately.

When the plan had been mooted by Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, it had been criticised by public health officials and even within the civic body for its failure to account for critically ill patients. At the time, doctors told The Hindu that allocation had to also be done after they assess how critical a patient is and not just on when he or she gets a token.


Emergency queue for critical patients

For COVID-19 positive patients in need of critical care, a priority/emergency queue system will be in place. After tele-triaging or physical triaging at the Physical Triage Centres, such cases will be pushed by the zones to the ‘superuser’ (central COVID-19 war room) or 108. These patients will be attended to on priority out of the queue system.

“While the queue system is automated, the priority queue will be handled manually. The entire system is being tested and will be rolled out in a couple of days,” an official stated.

Four-hour window

In the release, Mr. Limbavali added that several changes have been incorporated in the bed allotment system. Reminder SMSes will be sent to patients, who have been allotted beds, if they do not reach the hospital within four hours of the allotment. The same information will be shared with the nodal officer in hospitals. However, the allocation of a time slot had also been criticised, as beds are often occupied after five-six hours, civic officials had told the The Hindu in the past

He said that the State war room and the BBMP war rooms will be brought under one umbrella. In preparation of the third wave that experts state would affect children more than others, the Minister said special wards in government and private hospitals would be established.

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Sagar Biswas

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