AIIMS to counsel security guards to make them people-friendly

The AIIMS administration will soon conduct counselling sessions for its security personnel, who are the first point of contact for patients and their relatives, in its efforts to make them people-friendly. It will also evaluate the stamina, agility and alertness of around 1,600 security personnel through a fitness test as a part of the exercise. The move comes in the backdrop of a patient feedback exercise, ‘Mera Aspataal’ (My Hospital), the launched by Union Health Ministry last year, identifying staff behaviour as the “single most important reason” for dissatisfaction among 22 per cent of nearly 46,000 patients who visited the premier medical institute between October and December last year.

“It is crucial that the security staff present themselves as fit, alert and well-behaved personnel as they are the first point of contact for patients and their relatives,” AIIMS Deputy Director V Srinivas said. Srinivas said that AIIMS handles 20,000 patients in the outpatient department (OPD) and 1,200 in the emergency section daily. “The heavy rush creates tremendous pressure on the security personnel who sometimes find it difficult to cope. They would be given counselling sessions so that they are better sensitised to deal with surging patient load,” he said. The AIIMS administration is yet to work out the modalities of the programme which is to be held shortly.

“‘Mera Aspataal’ feedback application has highlighted that the major reason for patient dissatisfaction is staff behaviour after which we felt that there is a need to sensitise the security personnel, along with other hospital staff,” he said. Srinivas said the administration has commenced follow-up work on the feedback received and has convened meetings of heads of various departments and medical superintendents to discuss it. “The ‘Mera Aspatal’ feedback is a red flag for us. We will strive for improving client satisfaction and will formulate plans to improve communication skills and inculcate habits for building soft skills amongst all stakeholders,” he said.