Dr. Vandana Dhaktode: Precision in Every Incision
Dr. Vandana Dhaktode
Every sector of society has witnessed rapid growth and change in the 21st century. Healthcare in India in particular has seen a significant amount of evolution with significant achievements in healthcare infrastructure, technology, traditional systems of medicine, and health insurance. However, ineffective public healthcare and insurance models have rendered the herculean efforts by the government unproductive.
These challenges were realized by Dr. Vandana Dhaktode, Director of Om Hospital, a 24 bedded multispecialty hospital providing various medical and surgical facilities in Dombivli, Maharashtra. Dr. Vandana is an MBBS graduate and pursued post-graduation in Surgery (General Surgery) from KEM Hospital. She is trying to create a better and healthy world through her service as a surgeon and in society by providing employment to over 35 female staff in various roles at her hospital.
In an in-depth conversation with Women Entrepreneur magazine, Dr. Vandana shares with us her professional journey and various lessons she has gathered on the way. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
Tell us about Om Hospital. What are its key areas of specialization?
Well, for one thing, Om Hospital is a multispecialty hospital situated in and serving the suburbs of Dombivli. It is the first ISO-certified hospital and NABH pre-entry level accredited hospital in Dombivli which provides affordable services to patients. We cater to several procedures and services in general surgery, laparoscopic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, cancer surgery, and pediatric surgery. Apart from these, we also provide various medical facilities such as ICU, consultation, and treatment in gynecology, obstetrics, medicine, and orthopaedic.
We have state-of-the-art infrastructure with all the latest equipment and two operation theatres including an super specialty OT which can be utilized to perform a wide range of surgeries including cancer, kidney plastic, pediatric laparoscopic surgery, and many other types of surgical procedures. We are committed to delivering high-quality surgical care, fostering a positive patient experience, and continuously striving to improve our practice to provide the best possible services to the patients.
Tell us about the different responsibilities you shoulder as the Director of Om Hospital. What are your areas of specialization as a healthcare practitioner?
Most of my responsibilities as the Director of Om Hospital involve administrative work. So it typically involves managing various administrative and operational aspects of the hospital to ensure smooth functioning and efficient service delivery. I don’t possess a degree in hospital administration but I learn on the job. Administrative work in hospitals requires strong organizational, communication, and leadership skills, as well as knowledge of healthcare regulations and operations. I also attend various conferences and have read several books about hospital administration to ensure that I am competent enough to look after the hospital. This has enabled me to install software systems for patients and cashless systems, create a website for the hospital, leverage technology, and keep up with the market trends such as innovative new equipment, patient safety, and more.
"At om hospital, we strive to provide super specialty services conforming to international standards at an affordable price"
As a general surgeon, I specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, and performing surgeries for various diseases such as piles, fissures, fistula, breast, hernia, gastrointestinal diseases, lumps and swellings, and much more. Apart from this my role also encompasses managing post-operative care, collaborating with other healthcare practitioners, educating patients, and staying updated with the latest advancements in surgical practice.
As a leader in healthcare, what are some of the most critical challenges you encounter? What steps do you undertake to overcome these roadblocks?
One of the most challenging yet crucial aspects of operating a private healthcare facility is ensuring government compliance as it requires a proactive and vigilant approach. We have to be aware of the regulations, laws, and statutory compliances and implement these to stay protected, ensure patient safety, and achieve long-term success in the sector. By establishing robust compliance policies and procedures, conducting regular audits, providing employee training, maintaining accurate documentation, and collaborating with regulatory authorities, we aim to
mitigate compliance risks and ensure that we are operating in accordance with applicable regulations. Government policies and compliances tend to evolve very often and are done to promote greater efficiency and accessibility. One needs to have an efficient legal team in place to establish processes for monitoring, reviewing, and updating policies and procedures to align the hospital with the new rules and needs in the dynamic healthcare environment.
What steps do you take to align yourself with evolving industry trends and requirements?
I attend various seminars, workshops, and conferences regarding surgery and medicine to keep myself up-to-date with the latest innovations and techniques in the field. These events provide opportunities to learn about the latest advancements in surgical techniques, technologies, and best practices. Medical science is a constantly evolving industry with advancements in techniques, technologies, and research and one has to stay agile, vigilant, and willing to learn at all times. It is only through constant learning and updates that we can provide good treatment and care to the patients for optimal outcomes.
I also attend various conferences regarding hospital administration and then implement those learnings for the smooth and hassle-free functioning of our hospital. I strive to stay informed about the latest trends, best practices, regulations, and policies in healthcare administration. In the future, we plan to foray into becoming a part of the government scheme such as the Pradhan Mantri Yojana Scheme and plan to expand Om Hospital into a 50 bedded hospital for the same.
As a successful practitioner and entrepreneur, what would be your advice to young women and girls who aspire to become business leaders and entrepreneurs in their respective science domains?
I would like to advise medical graduates and post-graduates who are planning to venture out into their professional lives to use their education and degrees for the betterment of society and the healthcare sector in our country. Remember that your journey as a young medical graduate is just beginning, and you have a long and fulfilling career ahead of you. Stay committed to continuous learning, compassionate care, and professional growth, and you will make a meaningful impact on the lives of your patients and contribute to the field of medicine.
We should also train ourselves to become self-employed because this facilitates us to attain our goals and serve the masses. This is possible through hard work, patience, and perseverance. One can navigate all barriers and move towards the goal by having faith in oneself and trust in one’s abilities. Success is often a journey and not an overnight destination and incorporating these qualities into your mindset and actions can significantly increase your chances of achieving desired outcomes.
Dr. Vandana Dhaktode, Director, OM Hospital
An industry leader you admire - Dhirubhai Ambani Dr. Vandana Dhaktode is a qualified professional with an MBBS degree and post-graduation in General Surgery. Through her patient-centric approach, clinical expertise, and comprehensive care, she aspires to make a difference in the healthcare sector and ensure quality services are provided at an affordable rate.
An industry leader you admire - Dhirubhai Ambani