With the main hospital accredited by Joint Commission International for its high-quality healthcare, Group Chief Information Officer, Brett Medel, discu...
Healthcare leader in the Philippines and the owner of the first private hospital in Guam, The Medical City (TMC) provides cutting-edge health services, housing centres of excellence in wellness and aesthetics, cardiovascular, cancer and regenerative medicine. The company has recently embarked on launching seven new institutes, which will cover a number of common health problems within the country.
With one flagship healthcare complex in Manila, four provincial hospitals, 50 clinic sties in Metro Manila and in select provinces in the Philippines, a clinic in Dubai and a hospital in Guam with a total bed capacity of almost 2,000 beds, TMC has looked to fully digitise its operations to adhere to its philosophy – ‘Where patients are partners.’
With over 30 years expertise in the IT space, Group Chief Information Officer, Brett Medel is set to take the organisation to new heights. Through its digital transformation, Medel will establish best practices and ensure TMC retains its position as the healthcare provider of choice.
“TMC has been serving the Filipino community for 50 years, and it is considered a legacy institution. However, it has been saddled with a traditional front and back office system. It needs to transform to cater to the needs of the new generation so it has invested heavily across its digital journey to significantly improve the patient experience,” he says.
“My charter is to make TMC closer to the Filipino community as much as possible; to positively impact the patient experience and improve on efficiency by building an interconnected ecosystem of stakeholders into a single platform.”
“TMC has been serving the Filipino community for 50 years, and it is considered a legacy institution. However, it has been saddled with a traditional front and back office system. It needs to transform to cater to the needs of the new generation”
Empowering individuals is something which TMC will strive to achieve through open communication and the use of new digital tools.
“From finding out the treatment for a particular disease, setting an appointment with a doctor of choice, to being informed of the choices available for the type of wellness required is aligned with our value proposition of ‘Patients as Partners,’” adds Medel.
“We see every individual not as merely as a clinical patient, but a partner who belongs to the ecosystem of wellness and health management.”
“TMC looks after the welfare of every individual even before they set foot in the hospital or clinic, as we believe that healthcare is all about providing premium quality of health; starting from prevention and awareness to ultimately improving the health of every individual.”
Providing a digital roadmap, TMC will partner with like-minded companies to drive essential change across its operations.
“I always tell my people and my partners, ‘implementing a system is not the end result,’” reflects Medel. “However, to me, the criteria of success of any technology project is getting users to adopt the system.”
With the aim to bring the entire the network of hospitals and clinics under one platform, TMC has implemented a robust cloud infrastructure that can not only cope with the demands of the business, but deliver resilience across its disaster recovery strategy. It will also work to ensure scalability.
“By getting all areas interconnected, we can maximise synergies across the hospital network, without placing increased investment at each site,” says Medel.
By appointing Orion Health Inc, TMC has also invested in a world-class hospital information and consultation system, which will integrate with its other ancillary subsystems.
Nonetheless, the organisation is facing a number of regional challenges.
“We have server-based and network-based applications, but capability is always complex,” comments Medel.
“To bring all of this into the cloud is the start of our transformation. At the end of the day, it's all about bringing different players into an interconnected ecosystem.”
With so many hospitals and clinics situated over a vast geography, connectivity will also present fresh challenges.
Strengthening the wi-fi within its hospitals and clinics will become fundamental for TMC to capture data across a number of platforms, particularly mobile, in order to draw insights, trends, associations, sentiments, psychographics and more, in order to develop new programmes and services.
“Our digital transformation is not just about automation, but a shift in mindset by introducing new business models to raise the bar of the customer experience. It is about strengthening the company’s value proposition to the next level,” adds Medel.
With this in mind, TMC is undergoing a significant initiative to build on its strong digital marketing strategy to bring the brand into the digital space. This will not only boost the organisation’s foot traffic, but further its digital footprint across a number of touchpoints, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We have shifted our marketing resources to put equal emphasis on digital marketing as to that of traditional marketing. This is a strategy that has never been before done in the entire history of TMC,” says Medel.
“TMC aims to top the charts on customer awareness across its products and services. We would also like to get the pulse of the digital community by conducting social listening and see how we are performing as a healthcare provider in the eyes of the digital community.
“Social media and mobile apps are sources of information that we can immediately collate and process, where either immediate feedback is given or immediate action is taken. This way, customers feel that they are valued and their feedback is taken on board.”
Engaging all parties
By deploying IT account managers across the organisation, TMC has built a culture of innovation among its employees and medical staff, where it has gained a greater understanding from various teams on what is required from a digital perspective to enhance the quality of patient care.
“We need to make everyone aware of the benefits and the value of digital, of being a part of the digital economy,” acknowledges Medel.
“Not only medical staff or users, but also our stakeholders. Education is essential while we undertake our digital journey.”
Moving forward, Medel remains keen to explore new avenues and unlock further potential which has yet to be explored.
“TMC will be on this digital journey for the next couple of years,” he concludes.
“We will be on top of AI, chatbots and of course, cloud. However, the most important aspect is having a robust community drive. This will remain the focal point for TMC.”