As a busy working mom, I always claim to be short on time. While that notion itself is debatable, one of the things that gets pushed to the back burner all the time is my health. This is nothing new. I have seen my mother do it. All my colleagues do it. The only time we really pay attention to our health is when something goes wrong. We only visit the doctor when some part of our body complains. What follows is a flurry of tests. Once during such a discussion with a doctor buddy, he said India has no concept of regular tests. If people monitored their health, then early detection of problems and early treatments would not only be less painful for the people but also increase the success rate for the doctors. True, I said and mused that more people would adopt this regular test practice if it was more convenient. This is the age of convenience. If I can get vegetables delivered by WhatsApp, then surely I can get my medical tests done from home.
We had that conversation and forgot about it. A few days later I was approached by Thyrocare to try out their Aarogyam programme. Under this package, they have a series of tests so you can choose the one that is most suited to your needs. The best part though is that they offer these services in the comfort of their homes. Am recounting my experience with the service below.
Aarogyam by Thyrocare – My Experience
Once my package was confirmed, I was sent an email with the tests included in the package. I also received a phone call for scheduling the appointment. I requested for a weekend morning and they readily agreed. One day before the appointment, I was called again to confirm the appointment and told to fast for at least 10 hours before the blood samples could be collected. My only request then was that their executive call me 30 minutes before arrival. On the morning of the appointment, the executive calls me half an hour before the scheduled time. While I marveled at the professionalism, he says he is 10 minutes away! I told him to give me a few more minutes and he said that he has to travel further to collect more samples and will be late for those appointments. 10-15 minutes was not much of a big deal so I readily agreed. He arrived within the next few minutes and began laying out all his equipment on the table. I noticed that all the things he fetched were sealed in their individual bags. My guess is that they were all sterile.
The next thing he did shocked me though. He began opening the bags without cleaning his hands! I had to ask him to wash his hands before beginning the procedure. He had a tough time finding the right vein to draw blood from. Not his fault, I have always faced this whenever I have gone for the blood tests. People do lose their patience sometimes during my sample collection. However, I friend was probably in a hurry because the first time he jabbed me, he had not even added the Velcro band on the upper arm to increase the pressure on the hand. When I asked him to do it, he produced a band so dirty that I wished I had not asked him for it. Once the sample was collected, he left. I was notified by text messages that my samples have reached the lab.
The very next day, a soft copy of the results was mailed to me. The hard copy arrived within the next week.
To conclude, I think this service is a great idea. From an execution perspective, they have set very good processes for keeping all the operations smooth. There is ample communication with the customer so one does not really feel the need to reach out to them. The reminder call the previous afternoon and the fasting reminded are actually necessary! My only problem was with the executive visiting me and his inclination toward hygiene. This was the most important part of the experience. In fact, if proper care is not taken, the samples can get contaminated or even exchanged with others. I think that a backpack where bags of samples and sterile equipment is stored together is not the ideal way of doing things here. If only they improve on this bit, it would be a flawless service. In fact, when I shared the same feedback with the folks at Thyrocare, they told me that they have taken it very seriously and communicated it to their staff to rectify these problems. I was pleasantly surprised that they did that and even communicated it back to me.
Disclaimer: I was offered this service complimentary in exchange for the review. The views expressed are my own though