Juan Galindo
Medical Director
Christus Muguerza
View from the Top

Social Program Brings Healthcare to the Entire Population

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 18:24

Q: What are Christus Muguerza’s strategies to reach as many people as possible?
A: We are looking to grow our presence in other parts of the country. At the moment, we are very interested in Merida, a growing hub for health. A new hospital there would serve not just the Yucatan region but people from the whole southeast. This makes it an attractive location. Another part of our plan is to continue investing in smaller clinics for more remote and marginalized communities. Clinics of this kind are rapidly growing around the country but often without a comprehensive or well-thought out plan. We can assist them in building a sound infrastructure so they can thrive.
Q: Can you tell us more about your work with foundations to provide surgery to patients without resources?
A: We believe in the idea that the more you give, the more you receive. Therefore, as part of our social responsibility program, we have several campaigns in which we work with nonprofit foundations. Generally, the foundation will come to us with a proposal and we provide the facilities and medical team. We are the only private healthcare provider in Mexico with a partnership with Operation Smile, an American charitable organization focused entirely on cleft/lip palate operations.
Over the course of our five-year collaboration, we have operated on more than 800 children for free. With the support of the International Children’s Heart Foundation, we are also part of a campaign called Bombeando Milagros, through which we have provided surgery to less privileged children who have been diagnosed with heart problems.
At our clinics in Chihuahua, we operate on kids with spine problems and have worked with a renowned gynecologist to provide surgery to women with a range of issues associated with childbirth. We also offer services in several areas to underprivileged patients, foregoing an upfront payment. Instead, we assess their economic situation and come up with a financial agreement that makes the medical intervention possible.  
Q: What are Christus Muguerza’s priorities in terms of research and innovation?
A: At our headquarters in Monterrey, we have a center for excellence and innovation that falls under a separate entity within our company called Christus Health. This center’s focus is on healthcare services that can be provided outside the hospital, like diagnostics and monitoring. This goes together with the opening of our first ambulatory clinic in Monterrey in July 2019.
Last year, together with Skye Group, University of Monterrey and local tech partners, this center participated in the launch of a new initiative called Polaris HealthTech. The initiative looks to foster startups in the region that provide innovative solutions for important health problems.
Q: How has your work on an electronic patient database advanced?
A: We have an electronic patient file system from Philips, which has revolutionized the way we work. This platform has allowed us to codify all patient information into a clear system, pulling together a patient’s different conditions to create a panorama of their health situation. At the same time, it considers the costs of our hospital operations. This results in fewer errors and smoother cooperation between different teams. Ultimately, it will also help us to read the health industry better because we can more easily analyze data.
At the moment, the system is only available at our hospital in Saltillo but we intend to replicate the idea at each of our hospitals over the next three to five years. Although we are still working with commercial partners to install the system, we hope that eventually we can run everything in-house and continuously adapt it to our needs.