Juan Galindo
Chief Medical Officer
Christus Muguerza
View from the Top

Nonprofit Hospitals Finds Balance with Growth &Community Service

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 11:22

Q: How is Christus Muguerza increasing access to healthcare while balancing its budget?

A: Our vision is to provide care to those who need it most, so we are looking for strategies to ensure that while reinvesting all profits in the hospital’s infrastructure and into community service, as stated in our mission. In 2017, the health system spent over MX$100 million on community services and during the first six months of 2018 we have already surpassed that amount. About 90 percent of our patients are covered by insurance and this helps us provide services free of charge to those who need them.

Q: What are the main capabilities of Christus Muguerza’s new transplant center?

A: One of our most effective programs is for lung transplants and in the last ten months we performed three successful surgeries. The first lung transplant performed by one of our hospitals in Monterrey occurred in 2017 and used extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). There are few centers in the world that can use this technology and we are the only one in Mexico.

Q: What would you identify as the main barriers to performing transplants in Mexico?

A: The bigger barrier is the lack of awareness and education in our country, then the costs. Organ transplants are highly expensive. Beyond the transplant itself, patients will require expensive medications for the rest of their life to fight against organ rejection. These patients also need monitoring and comprehensive follow-ups.

Q: How is Christus Muguerza expanding its footprint in the country?

A: In the short-term, we will build our fifth hospital in Monterrey. We are also developing a series of centers in urban areas that will be dedicated to outpatient surgeries.

We are also building centers for cancer treatment, of which we will build two within the next three years in regions that do not have clinics of this kind. Our growth strategy takes a two-prong approach. The first is the construction of a new hospital, but this strategy is highly time-consuming and regulations in Mexico change significantly from state to state, making the construction process even slower. For that reason, we prefer a second approach that involves allying with local partners that represent us in the local community and teach us how to operate with the locals.

Q: How can hospital cancer centers innovate in the treatment of patients?

A: The design of these centers was inspired by some of the most advanced cancer clinics in the world. In addition to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, our goal is to provide a comprehensive service that includes a psychologist, a nutritionist and other support professionals. The centers will also provide patients with a concierge who will lead them through every step of their treatment, from scheduling appointments to treatments and clinical tests.

Q: How is Christus Muguerza developing and implementing technology at its hospitals?

A: After two years of analysis, we will soon launch our electronic medical records across all operations within a hospital. We are building a program specific to the Christus Muguerza network to avoid any errors. We are working with Philips’ TASI software and within the next five years the software will be implemented at all hospitals belonging to Christus Muguerza.

Q: How will electronic medical records be shared with hospitals in different networks?

A: The information belongs to the patient. Our partner, Christus Health, operates three electronic medical records within its hospitals. Having different systems allows the network to learn to bring together that information. Mexican hospitals are reluctant to share information, which greatly complicates patient care. To address this, in the second phase of this project we will create a platform for patients that will give them access to their medical files.