RIDING A WAVE OF CHANGE MEET DR. MANISHA KARMARKAR, THE FIRST WOMAN COO OF RUBY HALL CLINIC
WE BELIEVE THAT OUR INVESTMENT IN TECHNOLOGY, HIGHLY SKILLED PEOPLE AND WORLD-CLASS FACILITIES WILL ALLOW US TO BUILD A BETTER AND MORE EFFICIENT HEALTHCARE ECOSYSTEM What was your rationale behind your career move? The notion of serving
WE BELIEVE THAT OUR INVESTMENT IN TECHNOLOGY, HIGHLY SKILLED PEOPLE AND WORLD-CLASS FACILITIES WILL ALLOW US TO BUILD A BETTER AND MORE EFFICIENT HEALTHCARE ECOSYSTEM
What was your rationale behind your career move?
The notion of serving humanity is one that is often spoken about, but it is doctors who heal disease, alleviate pain, and save lives. With my father and brother both donning the iconic white coat, I remember them both attending to patients whenever duty called. It was their dedication and humility which inspired me to follow in their footsteps.
It was quite a few years later when I was already practising as an anaesthetist for more than two decades and leading the Department of Anaesthesia and the Department of Operation Theatres at Ruby Hall Clinic, when the management saw my natural inclination towards leadership. After completing an MBA in Hospital Management, I welcomed the opportunity to move into a new role as COO of Ruby Hall Clinic Wanowrie, a one of its kind boutique hospital in Pune. It was a time when this hospital began to deliver exceptional patient care and operating performance. Five years later, after having witnessed me turn around the financial prowess of the hospital, I was called upon and named the first woman Chief Operating Officer of Ruby Hall Clinic Sassoon Road
Why do you feel innovation is the key to differentiation?
Medicine is a living science that prides itself on continual discovery. While coronavirus crippled our everyday functioning, it was innovation during this hour of crisis that also vividly demonstrated our resilience and helped us stay on track. At Ruby Hall Clinic, we provided our teams with the tools and processes to move quickly and swiftly while ensuring that patient safety and quality of care remained top-notch. For example, we undertook innovative measures in the OT for patient and staff safety, tied-up with a robotics company to help them create locally-made ventilators, offered tele-health services like virtual clinics, ensured pick-up-and drop facilities for geriatric populi and mobilised our team to learn new tools and skills.
What have you added to the scenario after taking up your position as COO?
I was announced as the Chief Operating Officer of Ruby Hall Clinic during the tumultuous time of COVID-19. We started by segregating the hospital into COVID and non-COVID zones in completely different buildings. Both facilities had independent ICUs and separate staff to ensure the continuum of care was maintained for all our patients — including those coming to us for emergency procedures and even those suffering from long-term malignancies.
By partnering with hotels in the vicinity, we were able to create COVID stations where those who tested positive could be monitored by our teams. I also had the responsibility of ensuring staff safety. It was a period of financial uncertainty and perhaps my biggest challenge was service restructuring to keep profits and expenses under control. However, after having weathered that storm, I can say with utmost pride that both the Wanowrie and Sassoon Road hospitals were not shut for even a day. Both hospitals managed to care for all those who walked through their doors every single day.
It was during this time period that I also took up the key challenge of the systematic delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination. Thus far, 1000 of our staff members have already been vaccinated and our comprehensive drive will ensure that 3500 employees will be inoculated eventually.
With such rapid, continual advances in technology, how do you ensure staying updated?
As a hospital, we know that technology has become an indispensable part of our lives. We have always been at the forefront of medical advances, for example, we are the first hospital in Pune to have acquired the da Vinci Si robot. In fact, we recently completed 200 robotic surgeries with this machine.
Telemedicine has also changed the face of the healthcare market. At Ruby Hall Clinic we have stayed at the top of our game by providing electronic medical records (EMR) for our patients. Another trend which is working wonders is artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT). When clubbed with information processing and decision-making it can open up many possibilities. This technology can improve precision, speed, and efficiency of diagnoses.
Could you throw some light on Ruby Hall Clinic?
Embracing quality improvement, personalised healthcare and high-end technology for over six decades, Ruby Hall Clinic is an 800-bedded multi-speciality tertiary hospital including a 130-bedded hospital at Wanowrie, a 70-bedded hospital at Hinjawadi and 28 peripheral centres across Maharashtra with over 3000 working staff members.
The medical fortress has won numerous national and international accolades such as the ‘Best Organ Transplant
Centre’ by the Govt. of India; ‘Best Medical Tourism Facility. by then-President Smt. Pratibha Patil and a shield from Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for setting up a state-of-the-art cancer centre. Additionally, it is the first centre in Pune to perform heart transplants. In fact, it is the only hospital in India to have acquired nine NABH and NABL accreditations/certifications by the Quality Council of India in Healthcare in addition to global recognition for its high standards of care.
Setting an example for other hospitals in the city and country alike, we’ve left no stone unturned to see that Ruby Hall Clinic remains committed to raising the bar of healthcare. We were conferred with being Pune’s first hospital to have acquired a cGreen OT certification. In fact, our green initiatives do not end here. Our boutique hospital at Wanowrie is amongst India’s first LEED-certified hospitals.
• The Healthcare Woman Icon Award at Singapore for her outstanding leadership skills make her the only doctor in the APAC region to have received this prestigious honor.
• Navbharat Healthcare Excellence Award – Woman CEO of the Year 2018
• Times Power Woman – West
• Great Indian Women Leadership (GIWL) Award – Woman Leader of the Year 2019
• Woman Entrepreneur in Healthcare – 10th MT India Healthcare award 2020