As a part of its ‘Public Education and Awareness’ workstream, InOrder recently launched Health Answers, a free of cost service for all citizens to help them navigate the complex healthcare delivery system. The purpose of Health Answers is to answer the myriad question people have related to their healthcare needs and to empower them through appropriate health education and awareness. 

As a part of the services offered by Health Answers, citizens can look for answers to their questions either on the web portal http://www.inorder.in/healthanswers/ or call on the toll-free number 1800 121 6780 from Monday to Saturday between 9 AM and 6 PM. The web portal has a number of FAQs answered by experts and a user can find the answer by simply typing the keywords related to his query. The helpline was launched as a pilot on May 15, 2021 for callers in the Telangana state and was officially launched on September 1, 2021. The services will be expanded to the rest of the country in a phased manner.

Citizens can seek information on medical and non-medical services, hospital transportation, reaching the appropriate doctor and hospital, understanding their financial coverage (through insurance and non-insurance mechanisms), pharmacies, laboratories and diagnostics, availability of hospital beds and medical equipment, and access to donors – blood banks, plasma and organ transplantation among other. For crisis management, the helpline will connect with volunteer networks and other similar platforms to help patients access food, medical oxygen, financial aid etc.

Launching the InOrder Health Helpline, Dr Krishna Reddy Nallamalla, President, InOrder, said –  “The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the need for the availability of easily accessible information at one place to guide and help citizens coordinate for their healthcare requirements, especially during emergencies. Information asymmetry between people and healthcare providers puts people at a great disadvantage. People lose precious time and resources while navigating the complex, mixed healthcare system that is made up of both private and public providers. Moreover, people also need constant assistance towards their acute and chronic health needs. They need guidance in financing their healthcare needs and in availing their health insurance benefits, be it government financed, employer financed, or self-funded. They need guidance in accessing and processing the right information about diseases, drugs, and procedures to help them make informed decisions. They need to be aware of their rights as a citizen, as a patient, and as a health insurance beneficiary.”

Even as several health helplines are currently operational across the country, there are few that cover the entire gamut of healthcare provision and handhold patients in navigating the disconnected healthcare systems. Patient navigation systems guide patients through the healthcare system and help them overcome barriers that prevent them from getting the care they need. The Health Answers patient navigation program has created a trained task force to facilitate the patient’s logistics journey right from entry to the hospital to follow-up and recovery; also addressing emotional, economic, and other needs holistically along the way. In addition to including all healthcare service and product providers under its network, Health Answers will also connect with volunteer groups and technology platforms to widen the reach of this initiative.