Alejandro Gil
CEO
Centro Médico Puerta de Hierro
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View from the Top

Mayo Clinic Alliance Helps Set New Bar for Treatment Standards

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:27

Q: What is your specialization and how does it provide an added value to your business?
A: Over the past 15 years,, we have developed five hospitals. One has become a major center for ambulatory surgery. We introduced this model to Mexico from the US and adapted it to the local market. The other four hospitals focus on five specializations that require hospitalization and major surgeries: neuro, cardio, orthopedic, ophthalmology and transplants. In the private sector, we are nationwide transplant leaders, completing 115 successful kidney transplants per year. The group is developing a network to manage transplants between hospitals, which entails procuring and distributing the organs to where they are needed. This has allowed us to transplant multiple organs from the same donor into patients at different hospitals. This year, we also secured an alliance with the Mayo Clinic in the US, making us the only hospital group in Mexico to have this credential. This will help us raise our treatment standards to the highest international levels.
Q: What is the main challenge facing the transplant segment in Mexico, where the number of patients in need of a transplant has increased sharply?
A: The principal obstacle is cultural. Certain perceptions inhibit individuals and families of potential donors from donating their organs. It is important to educate people and raise awareness about what they can do.
Another issue is having the capability to transport the organ fast enough. This means having good coordination within and between hospitals. What often happens is that the organ is delayed at the originating hospital due to administrative and legal procedures. You can facilitate communication in such a way that these procedures are processed faster. Internally, for example, we have dedicated a great deal of time in developing a team of doctors specifically for transplants. Every hospital has a team for liver transplants, for instance. There is a specific team for a specific organ in each hospital. Our alliance with the Mayo Clinic will allow us to share our mutual experiences and improve further in this field.
Q: Only 40 organizations globally are allied with the Mayo Clinic. How did you receive this accreditation and what does it mean for the group?
A: The accreditation process took 14 months. This involved an intense evaluation and audit of our operations. Certain key components were essential: the focus on providing high-quality care to patients; the competitivity of our specializations; and our role in furthering research and education. Additionally, we are one of the only two hospitals that offer a seat on our board to the medical faculty at Monterrey Institute of Technology. The cooperation with Monterrey Institute of Technology involves hiring alumni and maintaining a department for study and research.
The alliance with the Mayo Clinic will allow us to share clinical protocols and experiences between doctors. The Mayo Clinic treats over 5 million patients a year and it has access to immense amounts of information. Being able to combine our knowledge and experience will make treatment opportunities infinitely richer. The main benefit is for the patient; they will be able to access a Mayo Clinic expert for a second opinion at no cost.
Q: What does your association with the Mayo Clinic mean in terms of medical tourism?
A: Several of our hospitals are in places that have large foreigner and expat communities. People from the US and Canada will recognize our relationship with the Mayo Clinic as a guarantee for quality at a clinical and service level. We are also thinking of offering treatment and services to the Latin community residing in the US. People from this community often have family living here and may acquire any necessary medications or treatments in Mexico. There is an opportunity to create compatibility there.