Javier Flores
Director of Hospitals and Clinical Services
Hospital San José & Hospital Zambrano Hellion
View from the Top

A Focus on Quality for Patients

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 12:04

Q: How many surgical procedures do you perform on foreign patients?

A: We do not perform a great deal of surgical procedures on foreign patients, although we attract international patients, mostly from the US and Canada. The foreign patients often live or work here but seek treatment under a foreign address, which is why they are considered medical tourists. Although we do not look to receive foreign patients specifically, we do get some.

Q: To what extent are you using alliances with doctors abroad to attract foreign patients?

A: Usually the patients come through a broker, which mostly originates in the US. Most conditions that we treat here require surgery. The patients plan this ahead and decide whether to have it done here or in their country of origin. There are also a few cases of trauma, most of which require high levels of specialty. Some begin their treatment here and the follow-ups are performed in their home country. Often patients could be treated there but they come because they have international medical coverage.

Q: Why do you have this brokerage system with the US but not with other countries such as Canada?

A: Canada has a public healthcare system, as do some European countries like Denmark. They do not see the need to pay for medical services because they are free. It is from countries that require the population to pay for services themselves or to pay for private healthcare that we see the most foreign patients originate from.

Q: Why would an international patient choose you over another hospital?

A: The conditions of our facilities are excellent and many of our doctors studied abroad in the US and Europe. Patients have confidence in us. Those that come are impressed by the quality of our medical services and facilities. Patients imagine a different scenario but they start to feel more comfortable once they see our webpage and eventually our facilities. We have testimonies on our website where people have said the reality of treatment here was completely different from what they had imagined.

Q: What certifications do you currently hold?

A: Hospital San José has recently undergone an audit from Mexico’s General Health Board (CSG). Hospital Zambrano Hellion's audit is scheduled for July. We hold a JCI certification that we obtained in 2012. For reasons of safety, the commission did not want to come to Mexico to carry out the evaluation so we had a robot that went around the hospital. We are hoping that by December 2017 we will be re-evaluated and gain another certification, either by the JCI or another international organization.

Q: How has the affiliation with Houston Methodist increased your patient influx?

A: The affiliation was set up with the intention of exchanging best practices. This entity is much bigger than us in terms of patients, space and capital. We both take advantage of the exchange of knowledge on diseases and services.

Q: What projects do you have in mind for 2016/2017?

A: We are focused on highly specialized services. For the past few years we have declared our intention of focusing on cardiology, oncology and neurology. We will continue to work on projects of high quality, service and safety for the patient. Both hospitals are general hospitals so we still tend to all ailments. We have a program called CUIDO, which covers all topics related to the health and safety of a patient. We have all the certifications needed for Hospital San José and Hospital Zambrano Hellion will be audited soon. We are getting ready to obtain international certification as a medical center in 2016/2017. We are also working on a cultural transformation project called VIVO, which aims to improve the patient experience.

Q: Why are your main areas of focus?

A: We have great patient care facilities, research labs and academic links. We want to boost these areas as we are one of the few institutions in Mexico that has those three elements. It is part of our vision to help create medical professionals the Mexican healthcare system needs. We know more than anyone the need for good medical professionals. For this we concentrate on quality and security for the patient and academic training.