Amrita Hospital joins hands with the Kerala Government to begin COVID-19 vaccinations

With its launch, India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive is the largest of its kind in the world. The District of Ernakulam, Kerala, and Amrita Hospital have formed a unique Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to vaccinate health care workers there.

The Kadavanthara Urban Public Health Center will be managed by Amrita Hospital and set up in a way that other health centers can easily emulate. It is equipped with medical teams, an ambulance, necessary physical facilities, and awareness posters.

Medical Director of Amrita Hospital Kochi, Dr Prem Nair, said that Amrita Hospital will provide all the means for the vaccination of health workers as per the instructions of the government. Dr M. G. Sivadasan, who is leading the vaccination drive for the Ernakulam administration, said that this PPP initiative is a model that other districts can replicate.

Expressing their gratitude, hospital officials said that the collaboration was part of a community commitment and that they were proud to be able to participate in the government’s vaccination drive. In addition, Amrita Hospital is operating as a separate vaccination center.

Dr Vivek Kumar R., District Medical Chief, and Matthew Numpelil, District Program Manager, appreciated Amrita Hospital for their commitment. The district chiefs thanked the hospital authorities for their immense support and involvement with the government to control the pandemic in the country since its inception.

Amrita Hospital has also been one of the hospitals conducting the trial run of the COVID-19 vaccination. The Ernakulam district administration said in the context of both initiatives, Amrita has embarked on a venture which brings the enhanced efficiency of the private sector together with the service capabilities of the government.

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Amrita Launches a Desi Low Cost PAPR Kits for Healthcare Workers

Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) is a protection equipment technology used to supply purified air to medical professionals working in infection-prone areas such as COVID wards, to prevent infection and disease from the aerosolized virus particles. Till very recently, all the PAPRs in the country were imported and they cost more than one lakh rupees. The problem was acute during the pandemic when the availability of protection equipment became scarce. It was at this time that AMMACHI Labs and the doctors at Amrita hospital decided to work on designing and developing a complete PAPR kit from scratch – a small but sure step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat for its healthcare needs.

PAPRs are generally safer, more comfortable to use, and reusable as compared to normal PPEs with N95 masks. But because of their exorbitant cost, they haven’t been widely used in developing countries like India. The goal of the project was to develop a low-cost solution that meets all the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) standards.

On January 13, 2021, AMMACHI Labs at Amrita University and Amrita Hospitals launched the product jointly. 20 kits of this product will be tested by medical professionals at AIMS. Once all the feedback and design improvements have been incorporated, the PAPR will be productized by Omnex Inc. Unlike commercial PAPRs costing anywhere between Rs. 70,000 – Rs. 1,50,000, Amrita PAPR costs less than Rs. 30,000 per kit.

The Amrita PAPR for medical professionals uses an H14 grade HEPA filter with more than 99.995% virus filtration efficiency, weighs less than 1.5kg, and gives more than 10 hours of battery up-time for usage. The airflow is more than 10 CFM, providing more comfort in a humid country like India (the NIOSH standard requirement is just 6CFM). The noise level is kept under 68 decibels inside the hood, making communication easier (even better than some commercially available PAPRs).

The launch event was attended by several esteemed dignitaries from AIMS, AMMACHI Labs, and Mata Amritandamayi Math. Swami Dayamritananda Puri, the executive director of Mata Amritanandamayi Math centers of North America, was the special guest for the program. Swamini Karunamrita Prana from Mata Amritanandamayi Math lit the lamp and inaugurated the event. Dr. Sreelakshmi P Leeladharan provided the welcome address and shared how Amma’s vision and guidance has inspired several teams in Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham to convert the challenges of the pandemic into several world-class innovations. Swami Dayamritananda Puri talked about the potential for the PAPRs to help people not just in the medical field but from all walks of life thereby creating a tangible impact on society. Dr. Bhavani R Rao, the director of AMMACHI Labs and CWEGE gave the opening remarks for the product launch where she touched upon the initiative and inventiveness of the scientists, doctors, and engineers from several Amrita institutions coming together for one cause – dealing with the pandemic with cutting edge and social innovations like the PAPR. Mr. Deepu D S gave the product presentation and technical brief on the PAPR and the technical standards it is designed to meet. Dr. Sundeep Vijayaraghavan, Professor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery department shared some of his experiences during the product development, from conception to final prototype. Mr. Chad Kymal, Chairman of Omnex Inc talked about scaling up and taking the device to market. Mr Arun Kumar, the vice president of Omnex Global presented the product roll-out strategies. Dr. Mahesh Kappanayil, Professor, Paediatric Cardiology concluded the program and provided the vote of thanks. Dr. Prem Nair, Director of AIMS hospitals presided over the event and received the PAPRs.

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Ms. Sai Bala M., Nursing Director, wins 3M National Nursing Quiz Championship from South region

Ms. Sai Bala M., Nursing Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, became the winner of 3M National Nursing Quiz Championship from South region held on November 07 & 08, 2020.


Amrita Hospital Selected as Runners-Up in Healthcare Worker Safety : A Priority for Patient Safety

Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations (CAHO) organized an international competition in association with ENVIS (Resource Partner), ICMR-National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) and supported by Global Society of HSE Professionals on "Measures taken by hospitals towards worker/workplace safety during pandemic".

Hundred hospitals from India including seven from outside India (Public and Private) participated in the competition. All the submissions were evaluated against a carefully chosen criteria of 30 metrics and judged by a committee of experts globally. Amrita Hospital Kerala was adjudicated as runners-up under the Very Large Hospital category.

Amrita Hospital Honoured with Excellence Award for Continuous Quality Improvement Breakthrough

Out of the 25 shortlisted finalists, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi was declared the WINNER in the non-clinical category for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process management in the project titled "DMAIC approach to Patient Movement Services - A Quality Improvement Initiative at a Quaternary Care University Teaching Hospital" at the World Quality Month 2020 Celebration hosted by Qimpro Foundation and CAHO (Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations) held during November 28-29, 2020. Congratulations to the Department of Hospital Administration for compiling the project, Department of Patient Movement Services for their wholehearted cooperation and Dr. Vidya Jha, Assistant Medical Administrator, for presenting the project.

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