Francisco Villareal
Medical Director
Swiss Hospital
View from the Top

Specialized Care Attracts Patients from Afar

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 13:41

Q: What is the origin of Swiss Hospital?

A: The original concept behind Swiss Hospital was to create a specialized environment that focused on specific services. We first targeted and attracted our clientele based on previous evaluations that helped us foresee the ailments in highest demand. It was decided that Swiss Hospital would be a small, secondary healthcare hospital focusing on certain medical surgery specialties. We kept away from tertiary healthcare practices that include cardiovascular and oncological surgeries and neurosurgical care. Swiss Hospital wanted to retain the best doctors in the region in well-defined specialty areas including orthopedics and traumatology.

Q: What are the results of Swiss Hospital’s specialist approach?

A: By becoming a center of excellence in its fields, both the hospital and its physicians could be a reference point in Mexico. From an orthopedic standpoint, Swiss Hospital attracted the best spine, shoulder, knee and hand specialists.

Given the success of our specialty approach we were able to attract other types of surgeons, such as bariatric specialists. We added this service to our operations and expanded the demographics of our patients, which only boosted our success rate. In fact after only two and a half years in the market, we broke even and started profiting from our operations. This is especially remarkable for hospitals, as the initial investment and subsequent financing is extremely high. Months later and after further evaluations, peripheral and central vascular surgery followed. Finally, we complemented our services with urologic and otolaryngology (ENT) surgery. We needed the right infrastructure to support our specialty areas, which led us to heavily invest in our intensive care unit and other complementary services such as blood banks, laboratories and our imaging department.

Q: How did Swiss Hospital attracts and retains the best specialists in the area?

A: Monterrey has differentiated itself from other cities around Mexico, leading to its status as “the city of health.”

It has multiple universities with thriving health faculties, such as Monterrey’s Technological Institute of Higher Education (ITESM), Monterrey’s University (UDEM), the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL) and the University of Montemorelos. For many years the city has developed important medical human capital for the whole country, but most importantly for Monterrey.

Q: Swiss Hospital provides its patients and family members with a warm experience, based on innovation, safety and excellence. How have you ensured these three principals?

A: We are constantly re-evaluating the infrastructure we have and making investments and refurbishments if need be. In terms of patient safety, our indicators speak for themselves. For example, over the last four months, we have seen 0 percent post-operative infection rates. In 2016 as a whole, we have had 0.6 percent. As such, we have been entrusted by patients and doctors that our epidemiologic vigilance is of the highest standard. Swiss Hospital has never had a post-operative thromboembolism, and minimal surgical reoperations. On average, the hospital sees 160 surgical interventions per month in a total of four operating rooms. Swiss Hospital is equipped with 24 beds with an occupational average of 70 percent, which is the industry norm. Most of our services are ambulatory but hospital stays are on average 2 1/2 days.

Q: How close is Swiss Hospital to reaching its goal of being a specialty reference in the region?

A: We are receiving more and more patients from peripheral states. San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas demand our orthopedic services the most. Our obesity specialists see most of their patients coming from Monterrey and Texas. Even though there are highly specialized hospitals in the US, we have detected an important area of opportunity. Take MD Anderson Cancer Center for example, one of the best oncology hospitals in the world. They do not refer patients to Swiss Hospital but we have seen Mexicans initially seeking treatment at this cancer center to whom we offer follow-up services.