Dr. Sanjaya Kumar's passion is working to make healthcare safer worldwide. Later this week, as part of a San Francisco-Bangalore trade trip, he'll travel to his homeland of India on a personal mission to promote hospital safety.
Kumar, founder and Chief Medical Officer of Quantros, Inc., is joining San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's trip to Bangalore as part of the San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative. In advance of the trip, Kumar has pledged to donate to Indian hospitals 500 copies of his book, Fatal Care, which features detailed personal stories of medical errors and practical tips for patients how to safeguard themselves in hospitals.
"Furthering the mission of improving patient safety and quality is the overarching goal of everything we do here," Kumar said in a recent interview. An opportunity to promote patient safety and quality on the trip to India is special, as Kumar's parents, Mahesh Chandra and Sudarshana Gupta, live in Dehradun, along with other close relatives. "This is going back to my roots. To make some contribution to improving quality in hospitals in India, it's very personal. My mother, my father, my sister, they all are there, and many other family members too."
While in India with the Mayor's delegation, Kumar plans to meet with government and private healthcare officials to discuss best practices. He said he will urge hospital leaders there to embrace patient safety as a top goal. "Having it ingrained into the culture and into the delivery of services, every day, that's what it takes," Kumar said.
As a mentor to Kumar, a board member of Quantros and a founding director of the San Francisco-Bangalore alliance, businessman Vish Mishra has particular insight into Kumar. "I am very happy to see Dr. Kumar taking his message to hospitals in India about patient safety and promoting use of technology to address this problem," said Mishra, Venture Director of Clearstone Venture Partners of California and India, and President of TiE Silicon Valley, the founding and largest chapter of TiE, the largest not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship.
Early years shape passion for patient safety
Kumar spent his early years in Nigeria and the extreme poverty surrounding him eventually defined the course of his career. Overwhelmed by at times horrific yet preventable medical outcomes, and affected personally when a family member succumbed to polio, Kumar decided that a career as a physician would be the most effective way to fulfill his calling.
Kumar earned his medical degree in 1987 and received extensive post-graduate training in internal medicine and cardiology. Kumar also holds a Master of Science in Health Planning and Finance conferred jointly by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics, and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
In 2000, Kumar founded Quantros, Inc., a web-based SaaS vendor that provides software and services to healthcare organizations in the areas of patient safety, quality, risk management, performance improvement, accreditation and compliance, real-time surveillance and centralized business and clinical decision support solutions. Drawing on his extensive background, Kumar directed his medical training, experience in direct patient care and biostatistical data management and analysis skills towards developing a solution that would impact the health and safety of the greatest number of people.
Kumar serves on numerous quality improvement committees, task forces and working groups including the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management Data Safety Committee and the National Patient Safety Foundation Safety Product Vendor Selection Criteria Committee. He is a frequent speaker at national health care conferences and meetings and has hosted a number of conferences as well. Kumar has been widely published in peer reviewed medical journals.
Madhav Misra, co-chair of the Sister City Initiative, said, "This historic Delegation will lead to a series of agreements between San Francisco and Bangalore covering water, waste management, the environment, sustainable development, arts and culture, biotechnology, health care, the urban poor--it is comprised of entrepreneurial, dedicated leaders from a variety of fields in the Bay Area who share a passion to deepen and enrich the relationships between the two communities and cultures--leaders like Dr. Kumar."
Vish Mishra added, "Medication errors are among the leading causes of deaths in U.S. hospitals. By some estimates, it's 100,000 patients. Given India's size, this figure could be much larger there. I'm glad that the Sister City Initiative can create an historic opportunity to share these types of best practices from America to promote safer patient care."
Quantros (quantros.com) is a leading software and services provider for the healthcare industry in the areas of safety and risk management, quality and performance improvement, accreditation and compliance, real-time surveillance and centralized decision support. Today more than 2,000 healthcare facilities use Quantros solutions to improve performance and provide a safe, high quality environment of care.
Quantros solutions are based in sound clinical discipline. Key product decisions are driven by experts in healthcare quality and performance improvement, safety, compliance, risk management and nursing. Quantros team members include physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.