What has Médica achieved in the last year?
It was certainly a chaotic time, but every crisis offers an opportunity and in this case it was to save and improve lives. In March 2020, when the pandemic hit Mexico, patients avoided going to the hospital for fear of catching the virus. We decided to dedicate ourselves to redesigning the hospital, adapting it, and expanding it in order to be prepared for the new needs of our patients and physicians. We also worked to get PCR plans approved as a company and indeed we were one of the first institutions to be approved by Cofepris and INDRE. We created a separate emergency area for COVID-19 patients and worked on reinforcing the hospital's isolation measures. We were pioneers in implementing auto-express PCR tests with excellent results. We made changes to the protocols that we thought were necessary. We adjusted the hospital, laboratories, facilities, and information for people, so that when patients arrived we were prepared. Financially for the company, the business profile has improved as well, though it is important not to lose sight of the human side and the number of lives that have been lost.
The company achieved 20% growth despite challenges in the first half of 2020. To what extent will digital innovations continue to be used beyond COVID-19?
In 2020, we also launched a digital platform to keep in touch with patients and bring them closer to physicians. This advance also allowed us to generate data and share it, bringing services from the hospital into the home. Of course, there will always be services that need to be carried out in a hospital, such as surgery. We are trying to get the hospital to handle 100% of the data digitally every day. One part is the delivery of results and another is the delivery of imaging studies such as X-ray results.
To develop your digital care, did you purchase a start-up or is it an app that you had already developed?
This platform was developed together with a company called Adicare. We developed this platform based on our specific requirements. We implemented the monitoring of patients in wards with their doctors and their observations. Another development of ours was a robot that can go into the rooms and provide interaction between physicians and patients. This robot is already being used in our hospital and has an iPad to monitor and track the progress of each patient, thus reducing human contact.
What will be your main goals for the rest of 2021?
We aim to continue our efforts in terms of the digital strategy, keep up on COVID-19 care, as well as all regular services we provide with the same high-quality clinical standards, divest non-strategic real estate properties, and on diagnostics We are currently conduct testing at 12 airports operated by GAP which will process 50,000 tests per month..
What is the differentiating aspect of Médica Sur?
We are the only hospital in Mexico that publishes its medical or clinical indicators, such as the rates of mortality, incidence, and so on. These indicators are public. A patient goes to a hospital based on a recommendation, but they do not know whether the hospital meets the necessary requirements to treat them. Therefore, since 2014 we have been certified by a US agency in an attempt to provide greater patient safety. It recently awarded us our third recertification. Newsweek recently published a list of the world's best hospitals, and among the 54 Mexican hotels, both public and private, we were first. This demonstrates all our efforts to improve patient safety over our 40-year history. Now, our responsibility is to remain in such an esteemed position.