Partner: Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital
Over 2.4 million nurses are needed to meet India’s current healthcare needs. Working in partnership with Narayana Hrudayalaya, the largest cardiac hospital in the world, Noora Health(formerly called Care Companionprogram) helps close this gap by recasting patient family members as formal actors in the healthcare team. By reassigning simple yet time-consuming tasks, Noora Health harnesses family members’ potential and repositions them as an integral part of the patient recovery process. This results in an increased quality of care, while reducing hospital staffing requirements – providing a scalable solution for Narayana Hrudayalaya to implement across their network of hospitals. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Idea: Training patient family members to be an integral part of the in-hospital, patient recovery process and to perform some of the tasks currently carried out by trained healthcare professionals.
Project Launched: October 2012
Team: Shahed Alam, Katy Ashe, Edith Elliott, Jessie Liu
The Challenge: India is currently experiencing a healthcare crisis. Roughly 90,000 patients receive heart surgery in India every year; however, the estimated need is far greater at approximately 2.5 million. As the largest cardiac care hospital in the world and leaders in the cardiac care space, Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH) is aiming to meet this vast need by increasing its number of beds 10-fold, from 3,000 to 30,000 over the next five years. However, there is a shortage of healthcare professionals in India, which lacks 2 million doctors and 2.4 million nurses needed to meet current healthcare needs. In order for NH to achieve their goal of rapidly scaling – while retaining the top quality care which they are renowned for – NH is reimagining the role that family caregivers play in healthcare. By task-shifting to this often overlooked resource- NH can more effectively utilize their healthcare workers (HCWs), improve quality, and attain a more sustainable staffing model.
The Insight: Currently at NH entire families accompany patients to the hospital, and typically stay the duration of their patient’s hospitalization. They are only allowed to visit the patient during limited visiting periods 4 hours a day, which constrains them to pass their time waiting. Under this current model, family members are not formally involved in the patient’s health or recovery process during the hospitalization period. Thus, family members are relegated to being passive participants in the healthcare process. Mothers, father, uncles, aunts, cousins wait idly by for word on how their loved one is doing. If trained, this immense human resource could be harnessed and transformed into active contributors to NH’s innovative healthcare model. Furthermore, the Care Companion program will allow family members to actively contribute to the quality of care that their patients receive both in the hospital and after returning home.
The Product: The Care Companion program recognizes patient family members as an incredible existing resource and harnesses their capabilities by creating a position for them within the current hospital personnel framework. Through a training and certification process patient family members become in-hospital care-providers, or Care Companions. The Care Companion program shifts simple yet time-consuming tasks to family members, making them an integral part of the in-hospital patient recovery process and better preparing them to be care givers in the home. It harnesses the potential of family members to provide high quality care, while reducing hospital staffing requirements – providing a scalable solution for Narayana Hrudayalaya to implement across their network of hospitals.
What’s Happening Now?
In 2014 the students started the non-profit organization, Noora Health (https://noorahealth.org/), which as of 2023 has trained 2.7 million caregivers through 400+ partner facilities in India and Bangladesh