Samitivej Hospital recognized with Covid Management Initiative award at the Healthcare Asia Awards
The hospital’s winning strategy focuses on protecting its people, reducing costs and extending services to people at home.
Samitivej Hospital is one of the leading international medical tourism hospitals in Bangkok, Thailand, with over 30% international patients and a $320 million annual revenue in 2019. As with most healthcare institutions, restrictions on travel and national lockdowns left a huge impact on hospital operation and stakeholders since the pandemic began. Samitivej Hospital geared up for tough times with their 4Ps&G strategy: Protect Job, Protect People, Protect Company, Protect Money and Grab Opportunities, which won them the COVID Management Initiative of the Year Award at the Healthcare Asia Awards.
Presented by Healthcare Asia Magazine, the Healthcare Asia Awards aims to honor hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers that have risen above the challenges and made a remarkable impact to their patients most especially amidst the massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Samitivej Hospital Protected Jobs by adding agile services in the new normal. The hospital started profit sharing and shifted from offline to online marketing. Profit sharing entailed negotiating with suppliers to lower prices and maintain discounts. Utilizing digital resources, the hospital implemented telemedicine as a way for physicians to check on their patients, and balanced demand and supply of nurses by using the digital dashboard. These efforts allowed the hospital to maintain its profit margin without terminating employees. Samitivej had the highest net profit among private hospitals in Thailand in 2020 and saved $7 million on costs for the year 2020-2021.
Next, Samitivej Hospital Protected People by communicating COVID safety guidelines to staff, customers, and doctors. The hospital assisted the Ministry of Health in administering a total of 160,000 COVID-19 shots. They also donated 200 Tyto devices, a medical examination solution that allows physicians to remotely connect with quarantined patients 24/7, to the medical council and public hospitals in Thailand. The hospital also provided free teleconsultation to Thais living abroad. With these initiatives, staff engagement scores rose from 82% to 86%.
To Protect the Company, the hospital implemented the 3Cut Strategy: “Cut cost but not cut future, Cut non-human > human, and Cut bad guy > good guy.” Samitivej Hospital protected its cash flow by using a selective investment strategy. Cutting costs was done strategically by cutting non-human costs first, and keeping talented staff on board by closing down non-profitable businesses and merging several businesses into one unit.
Protecting Money involved implementing solutions for customers such as drive-through Covid testing and vaccination, telemedicine, drug delivery, homecare, and digital technologies to service patients remotely such as telemedicine for patients during home isolation, and telemonitoring for monitoring blood pressure and blood sugar. These Covid-related services earned the hospital additional revenue of $10 million in 2021 alone.
Lastly, the hospital Grabbed Opportunities by following customer behavior changes. Samitivej Hospital promoted telemedicine and e-pharma to serve the customer at home. They also implemented automation systems in each function, creating jobs for staff to earn money instead of outsourcing. Staff earned an extra $120 thousand from the additional jobs birthed by these initiatives.
The 4Ps&G strategy helped the hospital not just to cope, but to thrive amidst the challenging times brought by COVID-19. For the past two years, Samitivej Hospital has been recognized by both the public and award-giving bodies for their continuous commitment to service and its people.