“Delivering Patient-Partnership in Healthcare“
With The Medical City’s unique value proposition of patient partnership, the patient-doctor dynamics was transformed to one where the healthcare receiver became the active participant in his own health decisions.
When Dr. Eugenio Jose F Ramos took over the role of President and CEO of The Medical City (TMC) Enterprise in late 2018, he was, in fact, taking over a healthcare network that was already declining due to management issues in the years before.
To immediately salvage the situation, he instituted wide-ranging reforms that streamlined and reorganized what used to be a vertical, hierarchical structure into a flatter, matrix organization.
That exercise demanded not just an organizational design change but an entire culture and attitude overhaul from within. Admittedly, it did not go smoothly. Dr. Ramos showed the way to new thinking by opening his doors to staff and leading by example. He also held monthly physical and virtual town halls and spent time with HR and informal team huddles to ensure the group applied the tenets of a matrix organization.
The result was an unprecedented double-digit growth for the hospital group by 2019. They also registered their highest-ever revenue among their Philippine operations in TMC’s history.
A Parallel Career
Dr. Ramos is a cardiologist by profession and runs his medical career parallel to a career in the corporate world. With over 40 years of medical and managerial experience, he has served in many top executive capacities in the pharmaceutical industry from 1988 while becoming the 45th national president of the Philippine College of Cardiology in 2009 and a fellow of the American College of Medicine in 2010.
About The Medical City (TMC)
The TMC Enterprise, which Dr. Ramos runs, is the largest healthcare network in the Philippines. It comprises one flagship complex in Metro Manila, four provincial hospitals in Clark, Iloilo, Laguna, and Pangasinan, and 50-plus ambulatory clinics scattered throughout the National Capital Region and some provincial areas. Outside of the Philippines, TMC owns and operates Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC), the first and only private hospital in Guam.
‘Where Patients are Partners’ Philosophy
After successfully reforming the organizational structure, Dr. Ramos trained his sights on cultural and digital transformation.
“In 2019, we established the Center for Innovation and Lifelong Learning (CILL) ─ an institution to legitimize the value of innovation in the workplace and optimize excellence in TMC’s personnel through continuous improvement programmes, and idea generation and development,” he said, adding that at the same time, he also launched the Red Coat Movement ─ a first of its kind in the country ─ that redefined the Patient-Partnership philosophy of the hospital.
“TMC is singularly focused on its value proposition of patient partnership called ‘Where Patients are Partners,’” proffered Dr. Ramos. “This philosophy drives the policies, processes, and procedures of healthcare delivery in the way the value of the patient is protected and enhanced ─ not as a problem to be solved or a charge to be treated ─ but as a partner in the care of his own health.”
He further explained that it is a philosophy that acknowledges the patient’s fundamental right to, and accountability for, his own health, supported by systems and tools and avenues that put a premium on education, open communication, and informed choice.
“This fresh perspective on the patient’s role in health care represents a radical departure from the traditional idea of the patient as a passive recipient of medical services,” he said.
“Where Patients are Partners” is today firmly entrenched in the TMC brand and won the hospital the Customer Service Initiative of the Year Award from HealthCare Asia in 2020.
To further establish their vision of leadership in healthcare, Dr. Ramos felt it was also important that TMC acquired competency in high-level clinical and biomedical research.
“We, therefore, established the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) that includes a Biomedical Research Unit to provide efficient and high-quality research management systems to cater to the needs of clinical trialists and biomedical researchers for the country,” he said.
With CTRI positioning TMC as an exemplary research institution that aims to bridge the clinical research gap from the laboratory setting to its bedside applications, the institute has gone far in getting international research grants and academe collaborations supported by the Philippine Department of Science & Technology.
During the Covid 19 pandemic, which overwhelmed the Philippine health systems, TMC came up with an adaptive and creative strategy ─ “TMC One Complex, Two Hospital Systems” to assuage public fears about the hospital being a safe place for all. The two-in-one hospital system delineated separate areas and pathways such as emergency rooms, diagnostic labs, hospital wards, and elevators for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 cases.
This out-of-the-box strategy became a Best Practice model emulated by other Filipino hospitals. It earned back-to-back wins for TMC in two awards at the 2021 PR Awards and COVID Management Initiative of the Year at HealthCare Asia.
Also, in 2021, the hospital received its sixth consecutive Joint Commission International’s (JCI) Gold Seal of Approval for attaining and maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety in healthcare organizations. JCI is widely recognized as the most prestigious accrediting body for international healthcare organizations.
Along with the JCI hospital accreditation, TMC’s Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) Program was recertified for the third consecutive time retaining its status as the first of its kind in the Philippines and one of only 15 around the world that is certified by JCI.
With Dr Ramos at the helm of TMC, the hospital group won HealthCare Asia’s Hospital of The Year awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022, as well as the 2022 Medical Tourism Initiative of the Year award. Dr Ramos himself has won the CEO of the Year award in 2019.
“Under his creative, visionary yet empathetic leadership, Dr Eugenio Ramos has forged excellence and recognition in the healthcare industry for the medical group he leads. Spearheading groundbreaking policies and bold reforms to inculcate a culture of unprecedented stakeholder engagement and partnership, he cemented his organisation’s rightful place as a world-class healthcare institution.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group