Last week I wrote about the amazing efficiency of India’s Little Flower Hospital. Our hospitals may be busy, but they don’t come close to the sheer number of people treated daily by Indian hospitals. Here in Canada, we could learn a lot about patient flow from them.
For instance, in North American hospitals, the operating rooms have one door for everything and everyone that comes and goes – limited access is key to sanitation.
One distinctly Indian innovation is to include another door in the operating room – a smaller, stainless steel door with a double barrier that leads to a service corridor. It is through this door that all the supplies, instruments and linens pass through (like a dumb waiter) which reduces the number of people who have to enter the room. Only medical personnel use the main door. Ingenious!
I came to India knowing that most Indians are very hard working, industrious people. What I had not experienced was their ongoing ability to reflect on their lives, their actions and how that impacts them, their families and their immediate life path. Through these reflections they see promise and potential, and they know that it may take a bit of time and a lot of work before they see success.
This resonates well with the way that Operation Eyesight understands sustainability and quality outcomes. Our leaders, past and present, see the potential that exists in India and Africa. We remain hopeful and forward-thinking in the way we work, while striving to listen carefully to our partners and adopting their vision for their own people.
In India, we work to build the capacity of our partners to craft Indian solutions, not North American solutions that may or may not work. This is the nature of true partnership – value the invaluable assets that the Indian people bring to the table.
One last story… on the walls throughout Little Flower Hospital are metal plaques with the names of organizations that have donated rooms or equipment. Some of the plaques look new and some look old and worn – especially the ones that commemorate a gift from Operation Eyesight.
Father Sebastian, Little Flower’s director and chief administrator, says the plaques that look old aren’t necessarily old. They look that way because people touch them. He says patients recognize Operation Eyesight, and they touch the plaques and perhaps say a word of thanks.
That is evidence of relationship. That’s partnership.