Project Sequelae



By Dr. Deepa Bhide, MBBS, DCH, PMP

Hyderabad, India


Sequelae is an important concept in the medical world closely aligned to the therapeutic management of patients, be it surgical or medical. Sequelae, when they happen, add to the burden of disease. By drawing parallels between healthcare and project management domains on the management of sequelae, the author believes that sequelae go beyond the understanding of risk management. A good understanding of the spectrum of possible sequelae (short-term or delayed) will add to the identification of the complete scope of the project. While the negative sequelae warrant treatment and prevention strategies, positive sequelae merit exploitation for the benefit of the project team and organization. This will not only have financial rewards for the team but will also protect/enhance the project manager and his team’s credibility. On the lines of ‘Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) to measure the ‘Burden of disease’ from the medical world, the author would like to conclude with a call for exploring ideas to measure the ultimate value of the project which includes the occurrence of positive or negative sequelae.


“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” – Denis Waitley

Project Management (PM) tenets such as transparency, adaptation and resilience, risk management, authority, and alignment with organizational goals are invaluable in making the project successful. Projects get recognition for the value they add to the sponsors and community. Any negative after-effects of project execution can break the credibility of the project manager and project management fabric.

In the medical world, ‘sequelae’ is an important concept in patient care management. Through this article, the author intends to explore synergy or lack thereof of sequelae with project management. The author would like to draw attention to exploring this concept to understand and measure the ultimate value of the project.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary1 the term “sequela” means i) an aftereffect of a disease, condition, or injury or ii) a secondary result. To understand sequela (plural: sequelae), let’s take a few examples from the medical world.

  • A 46-year-old male2 was brought to a neurology clinic for evaluation of epilepsy. Two years ago, he had been involved in a motor vehicle accident and had sustained a traumatic brain injury (a complicated injury involving vital organs such as the brain) and bleeding in the brain which was confirmed by a CT scan. The neurological assessment confirmed epilepsy as a sequela of traumatic brain injury that he had sustained earlier.
  • Post Covid-19 infection sequelae are being reported as a common occurrence across the globe. Three years after the pandemic, reports are trickling in around a diverse set of symptoms noted by patients up to 110 days after the initial illness.  According to this study published in the JAMA Network Open3 by Jennifer K. Logue et all, the most common persistent symptoms of post-Covid-19 sequelae were fatigue, loss of sense of smell or taste, and brain fog.

A few more examples of sequelae in the medical world can are as follows

In these examples, the sequelae are different diagnoses (a separate code assigned by ICD-10 diagnosis classification of medical conditions4 and needs the letter “S” at the 7th place in the coding format) from the original condition and are not an exacerbation, worsening, or complications of the original condition. Sequelae are new/de novo conditions (diseases) that have arisen as consequences of the original condition.

Attributes of Sequelae

Important: A clear link can be established between the primary condition and the sequelae.

A few attributes4 of sequelae are as follows. Sequelae are:


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this paper: Bhide, D. (2023). Project Sequelae; PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue I, January. Journal, Vol. XI, Issue XII, December.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/pmwj125-Jan2023-Bhide-Project-Sequelae-featured-paper.pdf

About the Author

Dr. Deepa Bhide

Hyderabad, India


Dr. Deepa Bhide, MBBS, DCH, PMP has over 20 years of professional experience where she has blended medical practice and research with IT and Project Management. She juggles consulting, training, and operations, and is proficient in clinical medicine, project management, and healthcare information technology. Starting her career as a medical practitioner, she has worked with varied organizations before her current stint as a vice president – Research, with Cotiviti.

Her passion for IT and Project Management was born out of the day-to-day interaction that she had with her patients. Needless to say, Deepa’s growing interest and work in these areas helped her view Project Management as a backbone of progressive healthcare. Her paper on “Patient Care – A Project Management Perspective” is a widely acclaimed one having received global recognition and acclaim. Deepa is an active contributor to PMI with her articles on a cross-domain confluence of Healthcare and Project Management. With a physician background as a solid foundation to leverage IT/PM skills and knowledge, Deepa has blended her broad-based experience and learnings to present a unified, holistic wholesome view of Project Management and Healthcare. Through various webinars, events, talks, and writings across platforms, Deepa has been an evangelist in championing global project management during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Gold medalist from Osmania University for standing First in the MBBS course and also for Human Physiology, she went ahead to pursue her DCH in Pediatrics and Child health. Deepa is an active member of the PMI Pearl City Chapter with their volunteer initiatives. Deepa has served a variety of roles in local and global PMI regions. In the role of Council Lead for PMI’s Healthcare Community of Practice for a period of 2 years (2013-15) and was involved in identifying, and mentoring volunteers, collaborating across geographies for knowledge assets. Deepa currently is a part of PMI’s Ethics Insight Team, a global team of 8 volunteers for advocacy of PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Deepa lives in Hyderabad, India, and loves to travel, sing and experiment with global cuisine. She can be contacted at deepabhide@gmail.com