COVID-19 Pune: District Collector puts blame on ‘data entry delay’ for misinformation about hospital bed vacancy on dashboard

Salil Urunkar
Thursday, 23 July 2020

Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram has blamed the delay in data entry of information by private hospitals for the incorrect information being displayed about hospital bed vacancy on the COVID-19 dashboard

Pune: District Collector Naval Kishore Ram has blamed the delay in data entry of information by private hospitals for the incorrect information being displayed about hospital bed vacancy on the COVID-19 dashboard of the administration. Ram also assured to remove the discrepancies within two to three days and that real-time information will be displayed soon. 

Several patients and their relatives have had to frantically search for oxygen, ventilator and Intensive Care Unit beds in private as well as government hospitals for the past few days. Especially private hospitals are denying admission to patients citing a shortage of these hospital beds. However, on the other hand, the dashboard of district administration continues to show the vacancy of hospital beds in various hospitals. Relatives of patients are left confused over who is speaking the truth – the hospital or the administration – which is leading to verbal spats between them and hospital staff.

Recently, at least four patients have succumbed to the COVID-19 disease as they were not admitted by private hospitals in time due to unavailability of hospital beds. The administration has however stated almost daily that there are an adequate number of hospital beds available and patients or relatives should not panic over the situation.

When asked to clarify on this issue, Ram said, “The mismatch between actual vacancy and the dashboard numbers is due to delay in data entry by the concerned hospital staff. We have repeatedly asked the private hospitals to update their bed vacancy data on a real-time basis. It is not a healthy sign if patients or their relatives are frantically calling up hospitals in search of beds. This is also bringing disrepute to the name of Pune city and district.”

“We held a meeting with about 30 representatives of private hospitals on Thursday (July 23). We have explained the plight of patients and also doctors who are referring the patients to hospitals. The private hospital managements have told us that they will update their information on a real-time basis. The private hospitals have also assured us that no data related to the hospital beds will be hidden or represented in a misleading way,” Ram said.

Commenting on the mismatch between state government and district administration’s data about active cases, Ram said, “Similar to the hospital bed vacancy, there is a huge mismatch between the active cases numbers data provided by the state government and district administration. We have around 11913 patients admitted in hospitals, but unless they are discharged from the hospital and their data is entered by the hospital staff, we continue to treat them as active cases. The COVID Care Centre data entry is also lagging which is absolutely unacceptable to us. We have asked all concerned officials and staff to feed real-time information about patient and hospital-bed status.”

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