At ZS, we partner with clients, nonprofits and one another to deliver healthy, fair and sustainable outcomes for our communities. Our recent efforts include work with Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care (SRLC), a nonprofit that uplifts underserved communities, on Project Anemia. Initiated in concert with the U.S.-based Sarva Mangal Family Trust, Project Anemia is SRLC’s flagship program in India.
Anemia is a public health issue affecting every fourth person globally, and developing countries account for 89% of this statistic. Over 600 million people in India alone are affected by nutritional deficiency anemia. ZS and SRLC’s partnership aims to confront this crucial issue by significantly reducing the incidence of anemia at a community level and improving patient outcomes through better screening and treatment processes.
“We think this partnership is critical for us,” shared ZS India regional managing principal Mohit Sood. “SRLC’s audacious initiative is designed to address the nutritional deficiency-led diseases at the grassroots level and to create better healthcare outcomes for people in India.”
SRLC initiated Project Anemia at Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital and Research Centre (SRHRC), a charitable, multispecialty hospital located in Dharampur, Gujarat, India. ZS will support SRHRC by providing strategy, data management and analytics expertise to execute the project and create maximum impact in the community.
Project leader Bimal Anand, a principal who joined ZS 23 years ago, spoke with us about the partnership. “We are using ZS’s rich experience in data, analytics and technology to measure patient outreach and impact, and ultimately to make improvements,” said Bimal. “We hope to positively influence more patients with our work. I am excited to help scale up the program from the few villages in which we’re now operating to a district, and then to a whole state. The program has the potential to expand across multiple states and even the entire country.”
The ZS team’s primary objective is to leverage their awareness of relevant, health-related issues at the community level to improve Project Anemia’s overall effectiveness. In collaboration with SRLC, the ZS team aims to conduct mass screenings of moderate-to-severe anemia patients, strengthen patient outreach, improve treatment and follow-up and realize gains in patient experiences and outcomes.
Anemia outreach vans bring digital infrastructure and a mobile pharmacy to dispense free medicine to underserved communities.
Using agile methodologies, an improved technology infrastructure and a state-of-the-art reporting platform, ZS first identified gaps in hemoglobin recordings and other data. The team then used this knowledge to help SRHRC update their software and train their staff. The improved data quality resulted in a 10% increase in the capture rate. Taking advantage of the newly digitized and streamlined patient care journey, staff can now reduce their time spent per patient and ultimately treat more cases. Meanwhile, the ZS team also identified and addressed gaps in hardware, reducing disruptions by 50%. On ZS’s recommendation, the SRHRC team acquired new tablets equipped with cameras, making patient registration a more efficient process.
Van servers use Wi-Fi routers for networking and synching the Android tablets used in the field to log data in real time. The van servers integrate with the hospital server to manage patient data.
In the coming months, we will continue to leverage our research expertise to help SRHRC identify non-invasive screening techniques and social determinants for anemia. Through technology upgrades and our expertise in process efficiencies, we will also scale the anemia mitigation drive beyond the currently targeted districts within Gujarat. Over the next few years, ZS and SRLC teams will work closely to identify additional priorities, with a focus on predicting the onset and prevalence of chronic and seasonal diseases beyond anemia to improve overall patient outcomes.
Bimal also spoke about his motivation for working on this initiative. “Like many ZSers,” he said, “I am passionate about solving problems using data and analytics. Early on, as we started discussions on the project, we could see that the foundation was already there for us to make an immediate impact on health outcomes. And because the team at SRLC is passionate about seva [service] and care about meaningfully improving patients’ lives, we were able to start the partnership with momentum. I am very excited to be leading the project and brainstorming with the team not only on the analytics, but also on bringing continued improvements and scaling up the solution to cover larger geographies.”
At ZS, we believe that health equity is a fundamental human right. Through initiatives such as Project Anemia, we will continue to address health disparities and improve health outcomes for all.
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