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Name of the Project: Vision Centre: Understanding Refractive error management practices at VCs
Description:
Today we get information from the vision centres on total number of refractions done, number of prescriptions given and number of orders placed. There is a huge difference between number of refractions done and glasses prescribed. Last year the number of glasses prescribed were only a third of the refractions done. Today it is not clear if prescriptions are given only those who are willing to buy the glasses or to everyone with significant refractive error (near/distance) and will benefit from wearing glasses. Some of this can be ascertained from secondary sources such as the EMR database which has refraction data as well as information on prescription generated. If this exploration shows that significant number of people are not given prescription because they are not willing to wear glasses, then it will be necessary to also collect primary data on a sample of such patients as to why they are not interested in rectifying their refractive errors. Given the high number of refractions done and prescriptions generated, if this explorationis done with good rigour it could result in a publication as well as give insights for improving our refractive error services.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Preferably an MPH with an interest in health system or health behaviour
Project Guide: (AECS staff who will work with the volunteer for this project)
Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla assistance from Mr. Ganesh Babu and Ms. Dhivya
Duration of the Project:
2-3 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
Open – within next 6 months


Name of the Project: Aetiologyof Interventions (failure of prevention/patient education/early intervention): Corneal Grafts
Description:
When we reflect, we will soon recognize that for a number of interventions, they are needed because of failure of the eye care services down the line. Such failures could be attributed to the patients (awareness, health behaviour, etc.) or the provider (competence, availability, cost, etc.). We need to understand this better to see if It would make better sense to fix such “failures” or continue to focus on the interventions. The aetiology for most of the corneal grafts tends to be corneal ulcers or trauma. Both of these are potentially preventable conditions. Thus it will be useful to understand the aetiology for the corneal grafts by studying the information available in the medical records for the last one year’s grafts. This can potentially help in the development of a suitable intervention programme which would be a combination of health education, prevention (protective eyewear) early interventions and some advocacy.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Medical Student, MPH
Project Guide: (AECS staff who will work with the volunteer for this project)
One cornea fellow and Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla
Duration of the Project:
3 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
Open – within next 6 months


Name of the Project: Aetiologyof Interventions (failure of prevention/patient education/early intervention):Cataract blindness
Description:
When we reflect, we will soon recognize that for a number of interventions, they are needed because of failure of the eye care services down the line. Such failures could be attributed to the patients (awareness, health behaviour, etc.) or the provider (competence, availability, cost, etc.). We need to understand this better to see if It would make better sense to fix such “failures” or continue to focus on the interventions. While it is a well-known fact that we still don’t have actionable means to prevent cataract formation, we certainly have the means to prevent an individual going blind bilaterally due to cataract. Thus a bilaterally blinding cataract indicates the failure of the delivery system and it will be good to understand the reason for the same. The current medical records are unlikely to provide any meaningful data to understand the cause of such failure. Thus this would need to be a prospective study. The patients who present with blindness due to cataract need to be interviewed to understand the reason for not getting the intervention till that stage
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Medical Student, MPH
Project Guide: (AECS staff who will work with the volunteer for this project)
Dr. Haripriya and Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla
Duration of the Project:
6 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
Open – within next 6 months


Name of the Project:Aetiologyof Interventions (failure of prevention/patient education/early intervention):DR blindness / PDR
Description:
When we reflect, we will soon recognize that for a number of interventions, they are needed because of failure of the eye care services down the line. Such failures could be attributed to the patients (awareness, health behaviour, etc.) or the provider (competence, availability, cost, etc.). We need to understand this better to see if It would make better sense to fix such “failures” or continue to focus on the interventions. Our past experience shows that regular monitoring and counseling of the diabetic patients significantly arrests the progress of the condition and in many cases preserves their vision. Thus in most cases seeing a patient who is blind due to DR or in an advance stage of the disease (PDR) is an indication of failure of intervention. Here again it would help to understand the circumstances that led to this condition. There will be some instances where despite regular follow up and full compliance, the diseased still progressed. This will too need to be documented. Here again, this will need to be a prospective study since the medical records are very unlikely to provide this in-depth insight.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Medical Student, MPH
Project Guide:
Dr. Naresh Babu and Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla
Duration of the Project:
6 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
Open – within next 6 months


Name of the Project:Manual for community-oriented Pediatric Eye Care services
Description:
Aravind Eye Hospitals located at Tirunelveli and Pondicherry were carried out a comprehensive community based pediatric eye care services in 6 districts and screened about 1 million children for common eye problems in three years period. As the project progresses, the project team documented the activities so as to develop a model that can be used anywhere in the nation to deliver paediatric eye care services. The one of the outcomes of the project is to publish a manual. This Manual for community-oriented Pediatric Eye Care services will cover all strategies and process of the project activities like awareness creation, community screening service delivery at the community level & hospital setting, human resources and infrastructure required etc.,
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Preferably a student of MPH with an interest in articulates the existing documents/materials into a user friendly manual.
Project Guide:
LAICO: V. Vijayakumar & A. Sekar; Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli: Dr. Meenakshi; Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry: Dr. Veena
Duration of the Project:
3 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
Open, the earlier the better


Name of the Project:Packaging Aravind IT Products – Packaging / FAQs / User manual etc – Making it ready for sale
Description:
Aravind has extensive list of IT applications being used for enhancing eye care at various levels. Some of them are developed with an intention to share others and designed accordingly. As part of the capacity development activities by LAICO, we have started offering IT solutions to eye hospitals as per the request. Currently, we have nearly 80 hospitals using our IT solutions mainly Integrated Hospital Management System. Though we have nearly 20 IT products, we are currently offering 3 to 4 solutions. We need to package the solutions and make them ready for offering. Also, we realize from our experience that we need to develop a detailed and interactive user manual, products catalogue, user forum etc. We expect that this project should result in producing IT packages, User manual and Product catalogues.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Graduates with better understanding packaging IT solutions. Developing and documenting promotional documents.
Project Guide:
Ganesh Babu BS& Karthikeyan M
Duration of the Project:
3 months
Preferred Dates
Any period, preferably May to Jul.


Name of the Project:IT Services – Standardise the IT Product deployment process
Description:
We have been offering IT solutions to other eye hospitals for nearly a decade. We have broad guidelines for following the process of implementation. We often realize the lack certain steps which result in inefficiency in overall process. Though we apply our experience and improve the process, we see the need for systematic and standardized process. It also requires documentation of the process for monitoring to understand the status of the assignment. We expect that this assignment should produce standard processes and guidelines for implementing IT solutions and also mechanism for tracking them.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Graduate with IT services background, preferably in the products side.
Project Guide:
Ganesh Babu BS, With Mr Guru and Mr Karthikeyan.
Duration of the Project:
2 months
Preferred Dates
Any time, at the earliest.


Name of the Project:Developing central database
Description:
Aravind has abundant resource of patients and other database. Currently the databases are decentralized at centre level for functional reasons. We extract some summary level of data from all the centres to generate some standard reports and retrieve data as and when required. Also, we have developed one such central database for monitoring outcome of cataract surgeries and find very useful. We have been thinking of developing a central database to support various areas that would guide the management with evidence for planning and managing more effectively. It requires a detailed understanding of what would be interesting for the users, to decide on variables/ attributes for developing the database. This project should result in identifying data requirement for various areas for developing central database.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Graduate with the background of business/hospital management and experience in identifying needs for managing.
Project Guide:
Mr RD Thulasiraj and Mr BS Ganesh Babu
Duration of the Project:
3 months
Preferred Dates
Any time from July to Dec.2014.


Name of the Project:Documentation of Protocols/Developing SOP’s to provide Quality eye care services
As part of LAICO’s consulting work, we currently share/ showcase the preferred practices that are adopted by Aravind to deliver high volume, high quality, and sustainable eye care. These are shared, in the form of real time exposure/observation, presentations in the sessions, discussions & also give them few tools, templates, checklists & related literature. But it is witnessed that replicating it, in their own setting is not happening to the possible extend, due to lack of know how or missing out the principle behind it or some minute details. So one of the approaches to make this implementation easier is to give the participants / hospitals a practical guide (with short films as required) which will spell the details of the process, systems required, HR needed & the infrastructure requirements. The outcome of this project is to have a practical guide for each of the following areas
1. Cataract Services – Out Patients visit to Follow up visits
Description:
Develop protocols for: Clinical examination processes, required investigations & procedures, at all levels - Comprehensive eye examination in the outpatient clinics - Preoperative Evaluation for surgical patients - Preoperative Preparation and Anaesthesia - Intraoperative Considerations - Postoperative Management - Follow-up
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Preferably a medical graduate.
Project Guide:
Ms. Ushalini, D. Datta & Dr. Haripriya
Duration of the Project:
Two months
Preferred Dates
Any time except during April, May & December
2. Refractive Error and Setting up spectacle dispensing services
Description:
On one hand refractive error is one of leading cause of visual impairment, even though the solution is very cost effective, it is almost not addressed. So the unmet need is very high and it is totally an untapped market. And on the other side, the service providers view refractive correction services as a burden, due to its complexity of managing HR, procuring and managing stocks, pricing, etc. Consider the above two facts, we feel that if we can provide them the details of how to handle refractive correction services starting from comprehensive eye examination, setting up optical shops, training programmes available at Aravind & elsewhere for both optometrists & opticians, basic equipment’s required, supplies required, contact details of various suppliers. Again the focus of this guide will be both on the base hospital and also in the outreach programmes.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Preferably an optometrists / optician
Project Guide:
Mr. Murugesan , Mr. Ranjith & Dr. Kalpana
Duration of the Project:
Two months
Preferred Dates
Any time except during April, May & December
3. Patient compliance framework: Disease focus (incl. Setting up counselling services)
Description:
One of the significant dynamics for high acceptance rate at Aravind for any of the intervention (Surgery, spectacles, investigation) is due to the contribution made by counsellors. This has evolved over a time at Aravind. This is a win-win situation both for the providers and patients. Which many of the hospitals lack. Due to this lacuna, we have witnessed that even though the outpatient’s visits are considerable the conversion rate is below average. In such a situation, the hospitals have invested the time & energy in diagnosing the disease & left out without intervening, which is not right for the hospital and for the patient. This guide should contain the details of the knowledge and skills set required for the counsellors, who should provide training, basic training module, process of counselling, empowering patients, promoting latest technology, tips for handling non-willing patients, indicators to measure the performance of counsellors, basic infrastructure, the tools & templates required to provide effective counselling.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Preferably a social worker Fluency in Tamil language is desirable
Project Guide:
Mr. Priya, Dr. Venkatesh & Ms. Dhivya
Duration of the Project:
Two months
Preferred Dates
Any time except during April, May & December
4. Outreach manual – A Practical Manual for Conducting Outreach Eye Camps
Description:
One of the most efficient ways to reach the non-customers is by reaching out to them through outreach services. In eye care, Aravind has pioneered this approach & it is also an integral part of national programme of Blindness in India. By seeing the success of this programme, this approach of generating demand has been adopted as one of the strategy by all the INGO’s engaged in eye care. They also advocate the same to all the partner hospitals in the developing and undeveloped countries. Mr. R. Meenakshi Sundaram, Sr. Outreach manager, Aravind eye care system has come up a Manual which details out every aspects of various outreach programme in a detailed manner. This is like a bible for eye care outreach programme. This can be used as a reference material. Reading it, synthesising it & then implementing it, is a time consuming factor, considering this fact and also easy implementation a condensed version will be very helpful. This condensed version is basically the extract from this original detailed document with specific to comprehensive eye examination and workplace camps.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Preferable a Marketing or MPH post graduate
Project Guide:
Mr. R. Meenakshi Sundaram
Duration of the Project:
Two months
Preferred Dates
Any time


Name of the Project: Packaging LAICO’s consultancy services
Description:
From its inception, LAICO in collaboration with INGOs has worked with 300 eye hospitals in India and other developing countries to develop them into high volume, high quality and financially viable eye hospitals. Initially LAICO started off providing consultancy services for secondary eye hospitals in a three step approach - assessment visit, workshop to develop a strategic plan and follow up support. Over the years, LAICO widened its scope of services based on the requests. In recent times, a lot of organisations/individuals too have started approaching LAICO on their own. However, these services are yet to be packaged as readily available offerings and this is felt as an acute need at this point of time. Aim is to make the process of getting an enquiry converted into a partnership much easier for LAICO as well as the clientele approaching us. The expected output of this project would be: 1) Service offering for each type of consulting and the budget 2) information/communication that will be shared at each step 3) brochure/flier and write up for each service offering
Volunteer qualification:
Someone with an experience of developing portfolios in consultancy firms is preferable.
Project Guide:
Mr. Thulasiraj, Sashi and Suresh
Duration of the Project:
8 weeks
Preferred Dates:
Any months other than June/July


Name of the Project: LAICO Milestones, Metrics and Dashboard
Description:
LAICO has set itself ambitious targets to be achieved by the year 2020 in the areas of consultancy (2 million additional surgeries), universal coverage through Vision Centres (scaling up 150 Vision Centres within AECS and reaching 1 billion globally), training (10,000 paramedic staff on Auroshiksha) and research initiatives which were also approved by the Senior Management Group (SMG). As a short term, a two years action plan is also in place. This strategic plan includes foraying into newer areas while retaining the focus on strengthening existing services. Achieving this requires enhancing LAICO’s own capacity as well. In order to guide LAICO team and also as a way of monitoring the progress and its impact, this project would help in developing a set of milestones and metrics for each strategic area; and a dashboard in a MS Excel format that would reflect these as a snapshot for both LAICO team as well as the SMG on a monthly/quarterly/yearly basis.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Preferably someone who has experience in doing this in their day job; or a management graduate with skillsets in MS Excel
Project Guide:
Mr. Thulasiraj, Ganesh Babu, Suresh, Sashi
Duration of the Project:
8 weeks
Preferred Dates:
Any months other than June/July


Name of the Project: Organizational self-assessment tool
Description:
Often, eye hospitals may not be in a position to understand where they stand – what their strengths and weak spots are. Such diagnosis at a macro level would help the hospitals in taking right course of action and seek support accordingly. Towards this LAICO has developed a basic assessment tool that is currently administered manually to the hospitals participating in the Vision Building workshops and one week leadership training course. However, this needs to be reviewed, validated and develop it into a dynamic tool with an inbuilt scoring system ensuring its relevance to most type of eye hospitals and make it available for a wider audience. Expected output of this of project is to have in place this dynamic tool that could be integrated into LAICO’s website and offer it as a value added service at no cost to the hospitals
Volunteer qualification:
A management graduate with IT skills (minimum skills – expertise in MS Excel)
Project Guide:
Mr. Thulasiraj, Suresh and Sashi
Duration of the Project:
4 – 5 weeks
Preferred Dates:
Any months other than June/July


Name of the Project: Developing an inventory algorithm for spectacle lens at outreach eye camps
Description:
Aravind organises over 2000 outreach eye camps each year. In addition to other services, these comprehensive eye care also provide spectacle dispensing services for those who need refractive error correction. Today we provide custom-made spectacles at these camps by taking an inventory of frames and lenses. This on the spot dispensing of customised spectacles, greatly increases uptake and reduces the cost to the patient. But there is no fixed algorithm that we use, to ensure we have the necessary lenses at the camp site. This may result in fewer orders delivered on the spot; or the dispensing staff may try to adjust the power used for a certain prescription. It is important to analyse the range and frequency of prescribed powers in order to develop an algorithm to suggest an inventory set of lenses for a camp that will allow a majority (say, 85%) of the orders to be satisfied on the spot.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Students of mathematics or software development who have experience in developing predictive and iterative algorithms.
Project Guide:
Mr Thulasiraj and Dhivya
Duration of the Project:
One month
Preferred Dates for the Project:
Earlier the better


Name of the Project: Establishing the need in the community for Specialty Eye Conditions
Description:
Over the years, Aravind has developed a good understanding of the need for cataract services in the community – this has informed the way Aravind’s services are designed and made available to those who need it. However, other specialty eye diseases cannot be delivered through the same mechanism – the target audience, the access barriers, the treatment modes are different. This project proposes to study the need in the community for specialty services such as corneal services, low vision services etc.
Volunteer qualification:
MPH, Medical student
Project Guide:
Dhivya and Mr Thulasiraj
Duration of the Project:
2-3 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:


Name of the Project: Shared Medical Appointment for Glaucoma Clinic
Description:
With the growth of Aravind’s specialty clinic volumes, we see more patients needing chronic care. This means that several of our patients are required to return for regular review visits with the specialists. Over the years we have seen that the compliance for these review visits has not been satisfactory, despite counselling. Cleveland clinic, among others, has successfully deployed the “shared medical appointments” for several chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiac care, hypertension etc. This project will explore if this tactic is suitable for the glaucoma patients of Aravind who require chronic care, to see if it can increase compliance and contribute to more efficient systems in the clinic
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
MBA / Masters in healthcare management – with an interest in operations management.
Project Guide:
Dhivya with Dr. George
Duration of the Project:
2 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
Assigned to undergrad students from University of Pennsylvania – May/June 2014


Name of the Project: Health Education Material Development
Description:
There are several untapped opportunities within our hospital facilities and at our outreach camps where we can educate our patients about common eye diseases. This project will focus on the development of a series of targeted communication to be placed in several common areas of the hospital.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Students of Visual communication or media.
Project Guide:
Dhivya & Dr Kim
Duration of the Project:
2-3 months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
July / August 2014


Name of the Project: Health Education Material Development
Description:
Aravind Eye Hospitals organise a biannual performance audit of each of its departments. This is carried out by a multi-disciplinary audit team drawn from the different satellite centres. The metrics audited in this audit are drawn from different data systems and presented – usually as excel sheets. Currently there is also some variation in the way these metrics are measured in the different departments/hospitals. This project aims to standardise these metrics and automate the report generation process in order to make the data reliable and comparable across the different satellite centres.
Volunteer qualification / experience requirements:
Students of Operations Management or Healthcare Management Studies.
Project Guide:
Dr R D Ravindran &Gnanashekar
Duration of the Project:
2months
Preferred Dates for the Project:
July / August 2014

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