CHRISTIAN MEDICAL COLLEGE, vellore
Our vision is to be a witness to the healing ministry of Christ, through excellence in education, service and research.
Breif History of the Department of Geriatrics
Dr Alka Ganesh, the then Head of the Department of Medicine, started an outpatient facility for the geriatric patients in 2001. It was a once a week clinic and had a nurse, Physiotherapist and a Psychologist on board to cater to the needs of the elderly population. From these humble beginnings, we have come a long way to becoming a full fledged department.
Echoes with that of our institution, CMC Vellore –
“Not to be ministered unto, but to minister“.
Who We Are
The Department comprises of consultant Doctors, Post graduate trainees, Non PG registrars, physiotherapists, occupational therapists , trained geriatric educators, nursing team,medical sociologists, clinical pharmacists and office staff.
Dr Surekha V
Head of the department, MD General Medicine, FRCP
Dr Surekha took over as the head of the department in the autumn of 2017, Under her stewardship new projects including a Community based outreach clinic in CMC Chittoor, Ortho-geriatrics, Falls and Balance clinics and Memory and Falls Clinics were initiated in the last two years.
Dr Prasad Mathews
Professor, MD, FRACP (Geriatrics)
President of Indian Academy of Geriatrics
Medical Superintendent, CMC Vellore
Dr KG Gopinath
Professor, MD (Ger)FRACP, ClinDipPallMed
Dr Benny Paul Wilson
Asst Professor, MD (Geriatrics) MRCP
Dr Pranita Harshad Vanjare
Asst Professor, MD Geriatrics
Dr Rakesh Mishra
Asst Professor, MD Geriatrics
Dr Jini Chirackel Thomas
Senior Resident, MD Geriatrics
Our Team of Doctors
Dr Stephen Varghese Samuel, Dr Rakesh Mishra, Dr Prasad Kuruvilla Mathews, Dr Siddharth Ranjit, Dr Benny Paul Wilson, Dr Ranjit Abraham, Dr KG Gopinath, Dr Jini Chirackel Thomas, Dr Anju Anna George, Dr Joanne Lydia Rajkumar, Dr Surekha Viggeswarpu, Dr Pranita Harshad Vanjare, Dr Raeba Eldhose, Dr Jino Joy, Dr Nithya Ann (from left to right)
At present the MCI has approved an intake of three PG students per year from 2017. Our next Medical Council of India inspection is slotted for 2020 May, when the first batch of three postgraduates will be taking the examination.
We currently have two full time physiotherapists. We are happy with this increase in cadre, as the in patient is specially benefited with optimal care. The physiotherapists are now coming in the afternoons to the outpatient department and teaching exercises, prescribing aids, etc.
We have one full time occupational therapist who provides valuable inputs.
Geriatric Nurse Educator
The Nursing Service has given us a BSc Nurse, who is dedicated to the holistic care of the elderly in inpatient and outpatient. She goes through the preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative aspects of nursing with our patients in the hope to improve the architecture of ageing in the elderly. We are aided by staff who are prepared to go the extra mile in providing for the older person on the wards.
The Pharmacy has posted a Pharm D faculty along with an intern on our wards. Twice weekly they see all the inpatient drug sheets and bring to our notice inappropriate drug dosaging, potentially inappropriate drugs, drug interactions and other harmful effects of the drugs prescribed by us inadvertently on both the private and general wards
We have a Medical Sociologist from RUHSA, who is presently doing his Internship, posted with us. He not only looks into the social aspects of our patients, but also conducts group therapies on a weekly basis – where patient and relatives interact with each other on a social basis, assists the discharge process by teaching inhaler therapy, training on how to manage a pill box, and gives advice regarding insurance programs available to the elderly in Tamil Nadu. He also gives out pamphlets in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu which describes the process of making a will and registering it.
The team meets at least twice a week on an informal basis to sort out each patient and plan on appropriate and effective discharge. We aim to make it a full-fledged formal weekly meeting, wherein all aspects of care of a particular in patient is discussed and a discharge plan is evolved based on inputs from various faculty.
On an average we see over fifty consults in a month from various units, and take over patients with multiple co morbidities, whose medication orders need fine tuning prior to their return to the community. We also give advice regarding cognition – especially for people with delirium and dementia, and give our input on those with mobility issues. We also visit the elderly people in their homes, if they find it difficult to come to hospital. This is especially true for all the staff relatives who request a home visit.
Regular outpatient chart audits are done in the department, and this is one way we are able to fine tune the work of the postgraduates in our department, by looking into their documentation, treatment plans and follow up of all new out patients. Regular mortality audits are also done, and a report of the same goes to Quality Management Cell.
The MTS 4 ward is elder friendly – with grab rails, hand rails in the corridors, a small gym, and elder friendly bathrooms. The cots supplied to us also have features to make transfers easier. We also have a bay for patients who need closer supervision or monitoring.
In patients (2018-19)
Out patients (2018-19)
IP Consultations (2018-19)
The faculty are involved in taking clinics and lectures for the undergraduates.
The postgraduate program now is more streamlined, with regular appraisals, and progress regarding thesis is monitored. Their presentation – on rounds, at journal clubs and seminars are regularly evaluated.
We have started a distance education program in Geriatrics from 2017. Twenty students were enrolled in this blended program in the first year – which boasts of online modules, assignments, booklets, discussion boards, resources embedded in the website, contact programs, and assessments- both formative and summative. The intake has been increased to fifty per annum from 2018. The curriculum and modules – both online and paper – have been developed in-house with help from the Department of Distance Education.
We have decided to hold monthly workshops with assignments, tests and hands-on training for the nurses working in smaller hospitals and nursing homes in and around Vellore, and give them credits after the training on topics of importance eg Geriatric syndromes, rational drug prescribing, etc..
We run regular Continuing Nursing Education programs for the Nurses for the past six years – this is to improve their knowledge base in geriatrics and to hone in their skills in looking after geriatric patients. This is in liaison with the College of Nursing.
For the past two years, we regularly have Continuing Medical Education programs for the Allied Health fraternity also. This has been highly appreciated, as it is also a hands-on experience for faculty working out of CMC
We are also part of the Continuing Medical Educations programs run by the Continuing Medical Education department for the local general practitioners.
We have many more programs in the pipeline and are raring to go. We thank the administration and above all, God, who has given us the opportunity to branch out from acute care and make inroads into the preventive, promotive and rehabilitative care of the older person.
OUR NEW INITIATIVES
Falls and Balance Clinic
This is a referral clinic and is consultant led. The patients are assessed by a Geriatric consultant, nurse, medical sociologist and a physiotherapist. The inflow of patients include patients from other medical OPDs, Ortho OPDs and patients seen on the Orthopaedic wards following hip fractures
Memory and Cognition clinic
This is a consultant led weekly referral clinic where elderly patients from Medical/Neurology OPDs are assessed for cognitive ailments and appropriate treatment is given
Chittoor Outreach Clinic
This clinic was started on March 19th 2018, and aims to improve the health of the elderly in Chittoor. This is essentially a consultant run facility at present.