HOSPITALS

Costa Rica 2018 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | B2B

Costa Rican hospitals are innovating and internationalizing without forgetting their original purpose or roots—to treat the sick, the traveling, and the poor.

Juri Navarro
JURI NAVARRO
Director
Hospital la Catolica
Clifton N. Orme
CLIFTON N. ORME
Directing General
Hospital CIMA

Which populations do you serve and how?

JURI NAVARRO Together with a small group of doctors, in 1963 a group of Franciscan nuns decided to create an outpatient clinic that later resulted in Hospital la Catolica. In the last 40 years, the hospital has improved its facilities and equipment and has highly qualified personnel. Moreover, the convent of nuns still remains in the hospital facilities. Our philosophy allows us to give to people who have less. We offer an atmosphere of warmth and assistance that cannot be found in all hospitals. About a decade ago, the hospital created a PPP to develop our commercial and surgical centers in order to provide surgical solutions to state hospitals. It has allowed us to diversify our services by having experience to solve surgical treatments of medium and high complexity.

Clifton N. Orme We have an increasing number of contracts with foreign governments and self-insured companies in the US, and see significant volumes of foreign residents who live in Costa Rica. Foreign patients prefer CIMA. In 2017, 42% of our patients were foreign born. We promote CIMA among international medical travelers in a variety of ways. For example, I recently went to Washington DC as part of a delegation from PROMED, the Costa Rican Chamber for Healthcare. There we participated for the second year running in the Latino Coalition's annual conference. Because October was Hispanic Heritage Month in the US, we celebrated by going to the White House and were received by Latin members of the President's Cabinet. Attending conferences all over the world and talking about what we do is just one of the ways we promote our services. The word is getting out in the international community that Costa Rica, specifically CIMA, is a great option for care. Another important component of attracting patients to CIMA and Costa Rica is direct contracting with self-funded employers in the US and with foreign governments.

What medical problems and challenges are most frequent in Costa Rica?

JN In Costa Rica, we mainly have two epidemics that lead to most health problems: cardiovascular problems and traffic accident-related medical problems. We have well-trained, experienced, and educated talents, as well as fully equipped surgical rooms. All devices, equipment, and machinery that we have exceed the expectations of any public hospital, to the extent that patients and doctors prefer to be treated at our institution. Hospital la Catolica is a general hospital and its areas of expertise are focused on solving health problems of medium to high complexity at the surgical level for orthopedics and neurosurgery. Our cardiovascular center is the most modern in the country. There is also a global-standard intensive care unit, and we are one of the few private hospitals that provide kidney dialysis service 24 hours a day.

CNO The major changes at Hospital CIMA San José have been improvements in infrastructure and our ability to care for more patients more efficiently with what we call “Carelosophy.” Carelosophy, our philosophy of how we care for our customers, is based on three conceptual pillars. The first pillar is “360-degree Vision,” which encompasses our ability to see everything, know what is going on at all times, and care effectively for our patients. The second pillar is “empathy,” which means we put ourselves in the shoes of our patients. The third pillar is “involvement,” which means we meet the needs of our patients as a team. When we started talking about these concepts it took time for the principles to sink in, but with the help of a talented management team and some outside facilitators, we finally got there. When you talk to people at CIMA about what empathy means in the healthcare setting it is obvious that everyone at CIMA gets it and has put this new knowledge into practice. Other changes include our new services: a day hospital, a chemotherapy service, electrophysiology, and more cardiology services than ever before. Our strategy is to evolve, grow, and continue to offer the highest acuity and best private hospital services in the region.