Last week, AIIMS, New Delhi announced shifting of its block 500 m away from the main campus to Masjid Moth. The new OPD block will be functional by March this year. The Institute plans to run free transport services between the main campus and the new OPD bloc. This move will help decongest the main hospital and, therefore, allow better management of inpatient facilities. “The existing OPD may be utilized to expand emergency medicine and other inpatient departments, depending on need assessments,” an official said… (TOI, Jan. 3, 2019)
When planning a hospital, OPD complex should be away from the main hospital building to reduce the chances of hospital and healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).
The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined HCAI as an infection occurring in a patient during the process of care in a hospital or other health care facility which was not present or incubating at the time of admission “they first appear 48 hours or more after hospital admission or within 30 days after discharge”.They are also called nosocomial infections or hospital-acquired infections.
HCAIs occur in all settings of care, including acute care within hospitals and same day surgical centers, ambulatory outpatient care in health-care clinics, and in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.
Today hospital OPDs cater to all types of patients; whether from the community with new illness or a follow up patient after a hospital discharge. Patients with community-acquired infections in an OPD located in a hospital setting have high chances of acquiring a serious hospital aquired infection.
Therefore, community OPDs should be separately located from the hospital. Community OPDs serve as the first point of contact for the general population. An example of Community OPD is the Mohalla Clinic, which provides basic medical care for common health problems. Mohalla in Hindi means neighborhood or community.
Shifting of OPD is a good move by AIIMS and will help in reducing cross infections to community patients and their relations.