Strengthening Digital Hospitals Through the Cloud, AI
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Strengthening Digital Hospitals Through the Cloud, AI

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Horacio Garza - Christus Muguerza
Director General

STORY INLINE POST

Q: How does Mexico’s healthcare system compare to that of other countries in the international Christus Health network?

A: Christus has operations in the US, Mexico, Colombia and Chile. We have been making progress in digital transformation. The US is more advanced in this transition because it was already in the process of digitalizing clinical care and patient management. In 2017, we began our digital transformation and in 2019, we launched a fully digital hospital in Saltillo, which was the first in the country. In addition, recently, we launched a second hospital with digital platforms in Monterrey. In 2023, we will have three more in the city of Santiago de Chile. The gap between digital hospitals in the Christus network is shrinking and here in Mexico, we are getting closer to being on the same level as Christus in the US.

Q: The new Altagracia hospital will be Leon’s first digital hospital. How is the local community reacting to this development?

A: There has been very good acceptance of the project, even though there is little knowledge of hospital management by digital means. In addition to hospital management and patient care through digital platforms, we already have experience in performing surgery aided by augmented reality and a few months ago, we were recognized as the most innovative company in the country due to our predictive model of postoperative pain based on AI and machine learning. With this method of delivering hospital care, we can reach the next level, which is predictive. This is what we are bringing to the hospital in Leon. The experience in that city with this type of platform is non-existent but we will continue to demonstrate that this is the safer and most efficient way to deliver hospital care.

Q: How are you helping health professionals to adapt to the latest technological trends?

A: We are facing many generational gaps. It is much easier for younger doctors to venture into these platforms while the older generations need more support and training. We provide that training and accompany them in this process. Once they are convinced of the practicality of using these technologies, they no longer want to go back to the old practices. With technology, doctors can access the patient's clinical record, there is greater accessibility, they can modify the patient's clinical indications and view diagnostic results. We have active and enthusiastic doctors who want to use digital technology for the management of their patients.

Q: As you transition toward smart hospitals, how relevant has cybersecurity become to you?

A: The confidentiality of information in hospitals has always been very important to us. But now that there is a greater risk of cyberattacks, we have invested a great deal of resources into cybersecurity. We are aligned with US standards and we are adapting to the new way of interacting between man and machine. We are constantly adapting to guarantee the highest confidentiality and security.

Q: What have been the advances in the implementation of Oracle ERP Cloud and what benefits has the system brought so far?

A: We have had Oracle ERP on servers and now we are migrating it to the cloud. The advantage is that you eliminate many costs because you no longer need to have servers. The cost is distributed among many players and the updates of all the systems are done automatically. Additionally, operations become much faster and more integrated and we are able to make better decisions for the care of our patients and the communities we serve.

Q: You have been recently acknowledged as a socially responsible company. How have you made ESG goals a priority?

A: Christus Muguerza is founded in Catholicism and is 100 percent committed to the labor sphere and to giving workers more than what the law asks of us. Regarding the environment, we are observers of the norm and the laws linked to environmental control and we are constantly looking for the integration of materials that can be recycled. This is not easy because health regulations force the industry to confine waste that is considered contagious or radioactive. However, we continually look for alternatives. Aside from this, we support communities through the ministries of health and education. We have and sponsor a foundation called the Adelaida Lafont Foundation that manages and operates five primary care clinics for vulnerable communities. This year, we treated 124,125 patients. We also have 10 hospital care programs for people with few resources. On the educational side, we have two nursing schools and we subsidize up to 80 percent of the fee. People who aspire to become nurses usually come from families with limited resources and we help them reach their personal and professional goals because the only way to change Mexico is through education. We also offer postgraduate medical specialties and currently, 156,157 doctors are training with us. We also have a house where we receive pregnant women who cannot keep their babies and we give them medical and psychological care and teach them a variety of trades.

Q: What are your priorities for 2023?

A: We will continue working on the digital transformation in all our hospitals and on the opening of the Altagracia hospital in Leon. We will also be focused on the opening of a new hospital in the metropolitan area of ​​Monterrey and the construction of a teaching hospital within the University of Monterrey. We continue working on the construction of a comprehensive cancer care center in the city of Puebla, on the opening of a building for highly specialized clinics in Monterrey and on the expansion of the nursing school.

 

Christus Muguerza started operations in Monterrey in 1934 and joined the Christus Health network in 2001. In Mexico, the network has 11 hospitals, three ambulatory clinics, 13 outpatient medical centers and five social assistance clinics.

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