Celebrating its 54 years of service, The Medical City (TMC) has become a pioneer in providing excellent, high quality healthcare for the people it serves, which the institution has over the years called its patient partners. TMC continues to pursue its vision, “To always be a leader in shaping how Filipinos think, feel and behave about health.” This commitment of TMC has enabled the institution to be responsive and rise to the ever-evolving challenges of the industry.
TMC is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of service for its patient partners. In 1996, it pioneered the setting up of outpatient clinics in key locations in Metro Manila and its environs. Since then, it has opened over 50 clinics, expanding outside of the metro to include other areas in Luzon, as well as one in Iloilo — perfecting its approach to clinic organization and operation, and reaching more patients.
These clinics are part of the TMC enterprise composed of one flagship healthcare complex, The Medical City Ortigas in the business district of Pasig, Metro Manila and four provincial hospitals – TMC South Luzon, TMC Clark, TMC Pangasinan, and TMC Iloilo. The TMC Network has also taken its brand onto the global stage, through the ownership and operation of the Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC), the first and only private hospital in Guam. These efforts turned TMC into the country’s largest health network today.
When the entire country was plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals all over the country found themselves busy in dealing with suspected and then later confirmed cases of people infected with the virus. When the cloud of uncertainty surrounding the then novel coronavirus settled, it became clear that, while COVID-19 was definitely a priority, other diseases could no longer take the backseat. For TMC, it became a matter of continually providing for the needs of its patients.
“The focus was on that, but I think this is a function of resilience,” Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos, president and CEO of TMC, tells the Manila Bulletin “As you go through the fear, my responsibility was making sure that we were taking care of the patients but at the same time we were also trying to navigate the uncertainties, making sure that our doctors and nurses were also safe.”
It was, he adds, a matter of taking care of patients who have trusted TMC for a very long time. To this, the premier medical institution had to adapt to the ever evolving healthcare landscape. “What are we going to do with the patients who do not have COVID?” Dr. Ramos says, referring to sick people who were reluctant to visit the hospital out of fear of contracting the virus.
The solution – bringing healthcare to wherever its patients are through innovative solutions such as TMC Care, Anytime, Anywhere.
“There is no going back to how things were before,” Dr. Ramos continues. And for TMC, this means developing a healthcare model that puts primacy on what he calls is the frontline of true care, which is the home. TMC Care, Anytime, Anywhere is a model that combines teleconsultation as well as actual home visits to patients by some of its doctors.
“We have partners here,” Jose Xavier “Eckie” B. Gonzales, chairman of TMC, explains to the Manila Bulletin. “There’s ActivCare, which is oriented toward hospice, if you’re very sick but you don’t want to stay in the hospital over time because you want to be with your family. Then we also partnered with Home Healthlink Innovations Inc., which is primarily oriented toward COVID and step-down care from the hospital. Those things have enabled us to deal with this new surge and provided a more structured way of handling COVID.”
“Now we have a unified hospital system anchored on a very robust IT [information technology],” Gonzales continues. “The new system was launched close to the middle of the year. It has done very well in moving the hospital into a seamless information exchange.”
The new hospital system was an integral part of the latest phase of TMC’s digital transformation journey. It introduced improved features and functionalities in TMC’s core IT systems and implemented a more robust, flexible, and efficient system to enable key hospital processes and services.
Beefing up the TMC’s capacity to handle information through cutting-edge technology was key in implementing a healthcare system ready to take on the challenges of the so-called new normal, where a hybrid of physical and virtual care has helped make sure that every patient is cared for. This model TMC calls Brick and Click and it combines the best elements of in-person and virtual care.
“We need to maintain our excellent quality of service, that’s the most important thing,” Gonzales says. “From our mission and vision, the key phrase there is to always keep patients on center stage and to deliver to them service of greater worth—this is what patient partnership is all about.”
With all of these innovations in place already, patient partners can only expect the best in the coming years from The Medical City. The future of the Philippine healthcare landscape will always be rosy and full of optimism with major players like TMC doing its best in providing expert care, cutting-edge medical technology, and constant innovation for its key stakeholders.