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In India, how nurses are using a “clinical search engine” to improve patient care

Nurses at Breach Candy Hospital Trust in Mumbai use ClinicalKey to navigate the complexities of hospital care

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The nursing care at Breach Candy Hospital Trust in Mumbai is considered among India’s best. (Photos courtesy of Breach Candy Hospital Trust)

Editor’s note: This month, we are exploring the theme “from science to society” – how research and innovation are making a difference in all aspects of life. That's the case at Breach Candy Hospital Trust in Mumbai, India, where nurses are using a tool that helps them improve patient care.


As a nurse at Breach Candy Hospital Trust, Director of Nursing Prajakta Hindlekar has a long-standing tradition to uphold. The 222-bed hospital has a reputation as a leader in several fields, and its nursing care is widely recognized as among India’s best. The patients rely heavily on its 500 nurses for detailed instructions on the medical procedures they’re undergoing at different stages of care.

But it’s not always easy for the nurses to get that information right when they need it.

The answer was to put it in the palms of their hands.

“The work and the training we do needs to be supplemented with readily available information and reference, as well as a lot of self-training,” Hindlekar explained. The hospital has a clinical decision support program, but that doesn’t cater to nurses. Books and journals provide useful information, but referring to them means making a trip to the library and browsing, a time-consuming task that takes the nurses away from their patients.

For Hindlekar and the nurses at Breach Candy, the adoption of an online solution for evidence-based clinical information – ClinicalKey for Nursing – made a big difference.

About 70 to 80 percent of the nursing staff has registered. “Despite their busy schedules, nurses use the program for at least one to two 15 minute sessions each day, either on their phones or via computers,” Hindlekar said.

Such a system changes the way nurses can care for patients. They can retrieve information without having to go to the library, meaning more time spent with patients, and they are better equipped to make well-informed decisions in their practice.

It makes a difference for patients, too, when they ask about side effects, safety precautions or even dietary restrictions during treatments. Surekha Damania, Ward Superintendent of the surgical intensive care unit, said she sees the difference the platform has made:

I can offer better explanations, because I have immediate access to clear information. That leads to a much better interaction between me and the patient.

Those patients also benefit from nursing education handouts that ensure the relevance and usefulness of the information. As the nurses can quickly extract detailed information for patient education, patients themselves say they feel more  reassured after consultation and feel more confident about the treatment they receive at Breach Candy.

Credible clinical information is used to support arguments and align nursing practice. Sheela Remedios, Head of Training and Development, observed that nurses at Breach Candy use ClinicalKey for Nursing as “a platform to consult case studies and procedures, and thereby come to a consensus on the treatment regimen for the patient.” The platform also features trending topics to help nurses stay current with scientific advancement in their field.

The nurses there are also becoming more sophisticated when it comes to making the most of an online solution. They quickly realized the benefits of additional tools and features, such as the Presentation Maker to prepare their weekly presentations. ClinicalKey for Nursing’s Discovery Usage Tool saw its usage at Breach Candy increase approximately five times between May and September 2016. On average, nurses have saved from 30 minutes to an hour on their presentation preparation time.

Gurmeet Singh“What we’ve seen at Breach Candy is that having access to current, credible information has given nurses the tools to improve their nursing practice,” said Gurmeet Singh, Customer Engagement Manager at Elsevier. “Even as they deal with more and more patients, they’re finding that they’re well-prepared to meet the challenge of maintaining the hospital’s reputation for delivering the best care to generations of patients.”

Empowering Knowledge pageFrom science to society

Health research can make a huge difference in the medical treatment we receive. At Elsevier, tools like ClinicalKey bring the results of that research to health professionals at the point of care. For more stories about people and projects empowered by knowledge, we invite you to visit Empowering Knowledge.

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