Patricio González
Director General
View from the Top

One of a Kind Hospital Targets Overlooked Niche

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 11:53

Q: How is the Hospitaria business model different from other hospitals in Monterrey?

A: There is an overlooked niche for mid-priced hospitals in Monterrey. Most hospitals in the city either focus on the high-income population or are public hospitals that target the low-income segment. There are almost no hospitals that specifically target the middle class.

Our prices are highly competitive in comparison to other hospitals in Monterrey. Hospitaria is profitable, although its operating market is smaller than that of other private hospitals. The government should support smaller hospitals since their existence helps improve the quality of life of this population segment.

Q: How is the hospital ensuring the quality of its services?

A: We are a primary and secondary care hospital focused on general medicine. The hospital is certified by the General Health Council, which is a comprehensive certification that reviews national and international standards. While we did analyze acquiring the Joint Commission International (JCI) certification, the General Health Council certification is even stricter regarding procedures and patient safety. We are analyzing the incorporation of the ISO certification, which we hope to have by 2019. The hospital is also investing in our imaging area by updating our six-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner to a 128-slice CT scanner and our 0.3T nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machine to a 1.5T NMR. This equipment will give us unmatched capabilities in the area in terms of imaging. Radiocare is our strategic partner and is helping to implement these changes. Our medical center handles a high number of emergencies, with about 120 rooms and 250 doctors.

Q: What are the hospital’s expansion plans and what alliances are necessary to achieve them?

A: Our long-term goal is to have 10 hospitals across the country, while in the short term we will focus on consolidating this hospital. We are working on two business areas with insurers: major medical expenses and emergency care. At this point, we are working with insurers to help them develop the market for car and school insurance.

Q: How is Hospitaria attracting new patients?

A: We see between 5,000 and 6,000 patients per month and most of these are referred to us by other doctors. Especially in the case of surgeries, doctors choose to send patients to a hospital according to the margin of benefit that they can obtain once they subtract the hospital’s costs. In these cases, the quality of the hospital is a secondary consideration. For that reason, it is necessary to enforce regulations regarding hospital certifications.

Q: What are the main challenges in implementing electronic clinical files?

A: The electronic clinical file is necessary and would be beneficial for both doctors and patients, although there is some reluctance to implement it. The collection of information for the electronic clinical file often takes a long time and doctors, who already feel pressured, are often unwilling to take the additional time to fill them out. In most cases, the doctors are not hospital employees and they only rent a space in the facility so it is difficult to convince them to fill out these documents. Moreover, because of Mexican regulations, doctors still must print the file to sign it, which makes electronic clinical files essentially pointless.

Q: How is the hospital adapting to Mexico’s epidemiological profile?

A: We are planning to continue growing our number of beds. We now have 50 and we plan to have 20 more within the next two years. Escobedo, where the hospital is located, is full of young people so it needs strong obstetrics and pediatrics capabilities but within the next 10 years the region will need to deal with more highly complex diseases. For that reason, we are planning to develop a hemodynamics unit within the next two years.