The Medical City South Luzon pioneers the future of remote healthcare in the Philippines
COVID dampened face-to-face consultations and treatments, but this did not deter quality health services from TMCSL.
The year 2020 inundated hospitals and healthcare facilities with COVID patients and endless work, but many hospitals still found themselves in a bind. Business was not as usual for non-COVID cases, and hospitals knew this only meant that patients were not getting the care they needed.
Around the world, patients avoided hospital and clinic visits for fear of catching the virus. The Medical City South Luzon in the Philippines devised a plan to bring healthcare to patients and help them weather the pandemic safely. First, the hospital launched a Virtual Clinic where patients could consult through various telehealth platforms. They rolled out a call center with a call concierge feature, complemented by a Telehealth Hub where doctors can have private sessions with their patients. One example of a program under the Telehealth Hub is the TeleRehab Service, which enables patients to initiate and continue physical therapies at home.
A step up from the hospital’s previous customer service program, the new call center is run by agents who are also trained to answer basic medical inquiries and if needed, refer callers to the proper doctor or service facility. Both the call center and the Telehealth Hub facilitate easy and efficient doctor-patient interaction as well as access to other hospital services, such as laboratories.
In addition to virtual consultations, The Medical City South Luzon also considered it important to adequately and accurately inform its patients and followers. Misinformation about the coronavirus fueled a lot of anxiety and fear seen online. With Social Media Doctor (SMD), The Medical City South Luzon provided its social media followers with a licensed doctor to respond to medical queries and refer them to specialty doctors upon request.
“It is important to have agile leadership that sees what people need, especially in a pandemic where movement is limited. We knew we had to provide healthcare and we also already knew that the future is remote health, which means going to the patients instead of them coming to us. Interestingly, COVID-19 sped up innovation in the healthcare sector, something that we only imagined pre-pandemic,” said Dr. Cesar Ramon G. Espiritu, President & CEO of The Medical City South Luzon.
The Medical City South Luzon was also one of the first and few facilities in Metro Manila to provide a drive-thru service not only for COVID-19 tests, but also for other services such as laboratory blood work, electrocardiogram (ECG), X-ray, and pediatric vaccinations. The hospital also re-launched home care services for patients who still refused to go to the hospital for their nursing, physical therapy, nutrition management, and diagnostic needs.
According to Dr. Espiritu, the hospital further augmented its home care service by launching its Mobile Clinic early in 2021. This was conceptualized, designed, and constructed during the second half of 2020. The Mobile Clinic caters to the needs of patients who require laboratory examinations, eye clinic consultations, physical and medical consultations, and x-ray examinations, all in the comfort of their homes or workplaces.
As of December 2020, The Medical City South Luzon has served around 2,500 individuals using their new services.
Hear from the hospital's president and CEO, Dr. Cesar Ramon Espiritu as he explains two of the most important roles of a well-trusted health facility: to deliver essential health services to their patients despite the health crisis and to enhance employee engagements to maintain a positive and balanced workplace.