Health Sector Must Open to More Holistic ApproachThu, 06/06/2019 - 10:06
To combat future challenges, health institutions must be more open and seek collaboration both within their field and out, according to Ricardo Cabello, Director of HMG Hospital. “Medicine can benefit from knowledge from other fields, too,” he says.
Seeking a broader approach to attack health problems has many advantages. Ultimately, the goal is to meet people’s needs, says Cabello. These needs are broader than pure health complications and they derive from a multitude of factors, making a holistic approach necessary to introduce the knowledge of professionals from various institutions and specializations. “This bundles expertise and resources, leading to a more effective and efficient strategy,” says Cabello.
HMG Hospital manages its holistic approach in different ways. The hospital has space for up to 150 consultations at a time. However, about 1,400 doctors have the credentials to work at HMG Hospital, which means the facilities are open to a much wider group of professionals who are not necessarily based there. “This requires flexibility but also increases the value the hospital has to offer,” says Cabello.
HMG Hospital has a strong reputation in neurological surgery, particularly in the area of epilepsy. This expertise is showcased and shared at an annual event that takes place at the institution with delegates from the US, Europe and the rest of Latin America. Although this kind of international interaction is not unique, it is an example of collaboration that can strengthen healthcare on a bigger scale, according to Cabello. The hospital has recently established a collaboration with Humanitas University, as well. Through this joint venture, HMG Hospital will build a second building that will expedite consultations and ease patient overnight stays, while creating a space for students to complete their residencies.
Cabello highlights that less hierarchical and clustered work could also lead to a more integral approach in healthcare. HMG Hospital has attempted to move away from a pyramid structure to a more horizontal collaboration. This means the staff does not limit themselves to their own roles but partake in a wider range of responsibilities. “Patients may receive their medication from the doctor who performed their surgery, which leads to more flexible and faster treatment. Most activities are managed through an electronic platform that combines different types of information, including data from the patient and the hospital alike,” he says.
Eliminating the strictness of traditional hospital rules can be taken a step further by inviting professionals from other non-medical fields to contribute to providing better healthcare, Cabello says. Collaboration of non-medical parties extends to the government and private companies, such as tech startups, educational institutions and people from all kinds of backgrounds. Improvement of healthcare processes can even be achieved through the involvement of relatives in the healthcare process, particularly at home. “With new less-invasive surgeries, patients are likely to spend less time at the hospital and more time at home recovering. Using state-of-the-art monitoring techniques to maintain communication with the doctor allows those around the patient to take on bigger responsibilities,” he says.
Technology itself is proving disruptive in healthcare and it will eventually change the infrastructure and role of hospitals. However, new methods including a better ability to bundle data and analyze health problems will only increase the effectiveness of dealing with health issues, as well as maintain quality levels at a more affordable price, according to Cabello.
As chronic disease become more prevalent and Mexico’s population starts to age, the burden on healthcare services and providers will only get bigger. Cabello stresses that limiting the number of staff to what is absolutely necessary and increasing the flexibility of their roles is vital. “Evolution cannot be achieved without being open to new technological advances and more input from those outside the medical field,” he says. “Combining different disciplines to tackle major problems is a trend that is gaining momentum worldwide.”