Any person searching for blood needs to dial just a single - 9480044444 number to find out the closest place where safe blood is available.
Disha is a Centralized Blood Stock Information and Management System. It offers a single helpline for all blood requests. Any person searching for blood needs to dial just a single number to find out the closest place where safe blood is available. No more hunting for blood on streets. no more endless chain mails requesting for blood. Disha is the Sankalp endeavor that has bridged the gap between the needy and the blood available in the blood banks.
Any person looking for blood in Karnataka needs to call just a single number 9480044444 to get the blood availability information in the city. On inquiring the person is provided the blood bank's name, number of units available, the address and the contact number. He/she is also requested to inquire the blood bank before proceeding to ensure that the blood is available.
Till date we are connected to about fifty prominent blood banks in the city provide us blood stocks on a regular basis. More are being added. The helpline networks 95% of the regions where blood requests originate in the State of Karnataka. Please find out more about the helpline below:
On 23rd May, 2006 few volunteers in Sankalp dreamt of improving the blood search scenario in Bangalore. They had seen the pain that the people go through to locate blood in the time of emergency. The needy had to call endless number of blood banks to find blood, face delayed response from the staff, hear a ‘no’ from most of them and finally manage to find one or two units. Moreover, they had no way of knowing of whether they were taking blood from a safe place. Blood search in Bangalore was then a Herculean task!
The volunteers remembered calling many blood banks for each request. The ideal situation would be to call just one place and find if blood was available. This concept gave birth to Disha - an initiative of Sankalp to give the right direction to the people looking for blood. At that time there was no networking between the blood banks. All of them chose to work in isolation and there were plentiful biases and reservations among them. The challenge was to be able to create a neutral unbiased platform that worked in a transparent and efficient manner. Being independent of all blood banks was the only way that service could be universally acceptable, unbiased and reliable.
While exploring the possibilities Sankalp came across someone who was looking towards proving all emergency services under a toll free helpline. Comprehensive Trauma Consortium is an organization that has been providing free ambulance service in all parts of the city and beyond. With a manned call centre that operated 24 hours accessible through the 9480044444 and with the vision to work towards helping the people at the time of emergency we found our goals synchronized with them and hence the project took the shape of CTC Disha.
One after the other the safe blood banks in the city were convinced to participate in this endeavour and gradually the helpline took shape. On 13th September 2006, the Hon Governor of Karnataka Sh. T N Chaturvedi inaugurated the helpline and dedicated it to the people of Bangalore. On 15th August 2009 Sri Sri Sri balgangadharanatha MahaswamiJi of Adichunchungiri Ashram dedicated the helpline to the State of Karnataka.
Goals and Objectives
- To provide efficient, effective and quick blood search service through a dedicated and reliable help line.
- To ensure that every unit of blood that is available in blood bank is accessible to patients from all parts of the city and thereby usher in an era of optimized usage of available blood.
- To foster blood bank networking, information sharing and transparency and create a platform for the blood transfusion services to serve as one large unit.
- To provide maximum assistance to the needy by means of accurate information at their finger tips.
- Regular update of blood availability statistics from the blood banks working with Disha.
- To streamline all safe and standard blood banks with the helpline.
- To promote the helpline 9480044444 and ensure that the needy gets to hear about it on time.
- To achieve high degree of reliability for the helpline by minimizing the downtimes and also quick recovery in case of failures.
- To achieve high quality of service by frequently refreshing data, increasing speed of delivery, and ensuring accuracy of data, making the service easily accessible and ensure user friendly communication.
- To minimize the issues/problems that keep the helpline from achieving it’s targets by proactive communication and solution finding approach.
What are the Problems that Disha Addresses
Karnataka has more than 2000 hospitals. Most of them lack the facility of a blood bank. The major hospitals do have the blood banks but most of these blood banks insist upon the patient to provide replacement. For a person who is looking for blood the task is not easy. The following are few of the questions a person looking for blood faces to which answers were obscure before September, 2006.
- How can I get blood quickly?
Most of the times the news of blood requirement is disclosed to the patient at the time when the preparation for the medical procedure`s is in advance stages. The patient’s attendees need to be prepared mentally and also ensure that sufficient blood is made available in the given time. With no idea about what it takes to look for blood, the patient attendees have to race against time with no clue on how to proceed.
- Where do I find the contacts of the places where blood will be available?
How does a person get to know which blood banks can they contact? When asked for blood in hospitals they approach the ward boys, nurses and the local PCO people for help. It has been observed that at many places these people have over a period of time got into an agreement with some blood banks. They act as agents to these blood banks informing the patients selectively about the places where blood can be found.
- Which is the closest place to me?
There is no easy way of determine the closest blood bank where blood is available for the patient. The process of selection of blood bank is usually arbitrary. There are many situations when the attendees travel to far corners of the city to get blood when the same is available in nearby clinics.
- Is the Blood Bank I am talking to safe?
There is no ground for a common man to identify the safe and standard blood banks of the city. If they start calling blood banks from a telephone directory or any other list, they are very likely to fall prey to some unsafe blood banks of in the city.
- Am I sure that I have checked out all safe places?
The person searching for blood does not have any ground to believe that all the safe blood banks of the city have been approached. There is a definite scope of missing out a few. In the time of emergency the stock of blood available in those blood banks could make all the difference.
- No one lifting phone on the other side. What do I do?
Many times the blood bank fails to respond to the inbound calls. This situation is worse at night time when the staffs are busy with other blood bank activities . In such times, there is little that the patient can do to be able to know if blood may be available in that blood bank at all.
- Is it right to be paying money for someone helping me to find blood?
In desperate situations the patient’s relatives are open to all means to arrange for blood. There are anti-social elements that capitalize on this situation and exploit the patients. With little visibility the patient’s relatives bear this exploitation in silence.
- Is it necessary for me to get donation done?
Hundreds of blood units are collected daily by the blood banks from voluntary blood donors. But the benefit of these units fails to reach many patients who are told to get compulsory replacement donations done even when blood is available elsewhere in the city. There was no direct mechanism to expose the contribution of the voluntary blood donors to the patients.
The following are the Salient Features of Disha which make it so unique and powerful.
- Disha is a 100% impartial service which does not have affiliations with any blood banks. It works purely on the need basis and treats all blood banks equally.
- Multi Lingual Support at the call centre.
- Updated every 24 hours as of now
- All the blood banks attached to the helpline are known for quality and safety.
- The helpline is networked with the major blood banks in the city.
- Presently the helpline receives around 600 blood requests per month.
- The service provided is completely free.
- Response Centre Executives at the helpline are quipped to handle various types of blood requests.
- Disha undertakes massive publicity programmes to popularise the helpline. Driven by youth and directed to the locations where most people are likely to start their blood search, this campaign ensues that the needy get to know about the helpline.
- Disha has a dedicated team of volunteers to fix the problems that creep into the system.
- By coordinating with other teams in Sankalp, Disha is able to ensure help to each of the caller.
Benefits of Disha
The following are the benefits of the helpline to the system of blood transfusion as a whole:
- Fast and Efficient Blood Search
The needy need not dial many numbers to find the blood bank having the required blood unit. Just a single call to the helpline ensures that the needy find blood. In just 2 minutes they get to know where the blood is available along with the blood banks address and contact number. This is very important in case of time critical situations where the blood required may be in other parts of the city which the needy may not be aware of.
- Promotes sharing and transparency
Disha promotes transparency and sharing between blood banks. Blood comes from voluntary donors and should be freely available to people on need basis. The Project is a step in the direction towards this and helps to break the mental barriers between various organizations working for the cause of blood.
- Exposure to Blood Banks
Through the helpline the blood banks get exposed to greater population. The services rendered by the blood bank benefit people from more number of hospitals and that too without any additional effort from their side.
- Centralized Blood Availability
The helpline is accessible to all who can request 24x7. All the blood bank's available stocks are available centrally which a needy can know by just enquiring from the helpline. This is an important thing especially in preparation towards any future disasters .
- Free Service
The entire service is made available to the public free of cost. The helpline works 24x7 ensuring that every single request receives prompt attention.
- Better Management of Available Blood
The helpline ensures that the shortage of blood in individual blood banks does not cause inconvenience to people. Wherever more blood is available, it is better distributed through the helpline.
- Quality Assurance of Blood Banks
Since extensive care is taken only to select the safest and standard blood banks, the patients are more assured of the quality of the blood they are receiving.
- Choice of Blood Bank
The helpline helps in directing people to the right blood banks for components and for night time requests .
- Prevents Blood Misuse
Having the blood availability information centrally and easily available makes sure that there is lesser chance for the anti-social elements to capitalise on the suffering of the patients. Once people approach the helpline either they are redirected to safe blood banks or to the Sankalp Emergency Wing. In both the cases they get the best possible help easily and so they are not forced into using the help of touts and professional blood banks. Moreover publicizing standard blood banks keeps the faulty ones at bay.
- Relevant Calls Routed to Blood Banks
Most blood banks receive high number of calls even for blood groups that they do not have. This causes severe stress and affects the other work they do. Gradually the helpline is receiving increased number of calls. The blood banks will have the requests for blood which is available in their blood bank via Disha.
- Identifying Citywide Blood Shortage
Rakta Kranti is a wing of Sankalp India Foundation that conducts blood donation drives when there is a citywide shortage of blood. Through the blood statistics provided by the blood banks, an accurate judgement of citywide shortage is made.
- Transparency of Blood Banks
The blood stock information provided by the blood banks helps us in identifying the blood banks are transparent in their operations.
Performance of Disha so far
- 600 blood requests per month coming to the helpline
- ~50 blood banks across Karnataka networked
- 95% area of Karnataka covered by helpline
Participate and Contribute in the Movement
Sankalp is a youth movement. We are always welcoming poeple who are interested in contributing to the cause of the nation. Disha helpline is up but more needs to be done to achieve the objective of taking the helpline to entire state of Karnatak.
- Help Publicise the Helpline The helpline is of use only when poeple know about it. we encouarge you to publicise the Disha helpline. The following are few of the publicity strategies you could get involved with:
- Online: - Make "Looking for Blood in Karnataka? Call 9480044444" your status message and your signature.
- Tweet about the helpline and post links to this page.
- Use Disha Wallpapers available at http://www.sankalpindia.net/image/tid/214
- Use this image on your website and blogs to raise awareness: http://www.sankalpindia.net/sites/default/files/poster1.jpg
- Request Disha Stickers for your bike, car, office and other places. http://www.sankalpindia.net/help-publicizing-disha
- Take trips to hospitals in your vicinity and make them aware about helpline.
- If you are organising a get together, you could request Disha Team to come and give a small talk/presentation about the helpline.
- 100% Networking Across Karnataka
- Modernisation of Call centre with Advance automated call logging infrastructure
On Road to the Revolution: Taking Disha To People
This includes the attempts that have been made to publicise the helpline.
- Taking Disha publicity to all hospitals in the state
- Creating massive media movement to promote helpline
- Celebrity endorsement for the helpline.