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The Warsaw Voice » Business » July 29, 2009
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Patient Safety Is Our Priority
July 29, 2009   
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Interview with Loic Frétard, director of the Medicover Hospital in Warsaw.

It has been two years since you started the construction of the Medicover Hospital. Now you are admitting the first patients. What does it take to launch such a technologically advanced facility?
First of all, I would like to congratulate the hospital team on completing the entire hospital project within 24 months. The construction of such a complex facility that occupies 16, 000 sq m and applies advanced technology is quite a challenge. All hi-tech equipment had to be implemented and tested before it could be put into operation. The construction of hospital buildings is among the most complicated construction works, requiring many technical skills. The most difficult were the last three months when two teams had to cooperate with each other-the project team (workers, engineers, designers) and the hospital team (managers, doctors, nurses), the first one wishing to complete their construction works in a timely manner, the second wanting to have their medical departments ready to go. But we made it!

What is distinctive about the Medicover Hospital and how does it stand out from similar medical facilities?
The Medicover Hospital differs from other facilities in many ways. It is the first multi-profile private hospital in Poland. The facility will have seven clinics: a Children's Health Clinic, a Surgical Clinic, an Internal Medicine Clinic, a Cardiological Clinic, an Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Clinic as well as a Maternity Clinic and a Women's Health Clinic. Care of a patient will be entrusted to a dedicated nurse and the assisting team. Patients will be systematically informed about their condition and treatment methods which will be consulted with them. It is important to note that the Medicover Hospital was built from the scratch. It is a completely new building and not an old building adjusted to function as a medical facility. This is crucial as it provides a more efficient organization flow, minimizes the risk of infection and improves medical safety. Our hospital provides a vast array of inpatient services but it is also offers outpatient services. Patients who come to the hospital for one-day surgeries can be sure that they will get the exact same level of medical service and safety as inpatients.

If you were to start building the hospital from the beginning, would you do it in exactly the same way?
Definitely yes. The design of our hospital was carefully prepared on the basis of the experience of many professionals in the area. The Medicover team has been involved in it since the beginning. They visited many facilities around the world to find inspiration and consult their ideas with other professionals. Thus, the hospital was designed according to international standards and medical experience as well as patients' expectations.

You used to manage hospitals abroad. How are you going to draw from your experience when managing the Warsaw Medicover Hospital?
In France, I managed private hospitals. They follow a semi-private healthcare model that combines private and public funding, are regulated by the same norms and rules as the public sector but engage contracted independent doctors. I also managed a private French hospital in Vietnam, which was entirely based on fee-for-service model, with doctors partially employed and partially contracted, as a result on the accreditation process. These two experiences helped me to implement our model of cooperation with doctors and also to immediately understand the concept of the fully private multi-profile hospital developed by Medicover. What was also important to me is the local cooperation of the Damiana Hospital (which is a part of the Medicover Group), representing a significant model of well developed hospitalization with a well established position on the market. I would also like to implement high standards of customer service, drawn from my previous experience. Customer-oriented philosophy in the area of hospitalization in Poland is still quite a new approach, but a very important one.

It is commonly thought that private medical companies perform procedures which are not too complicated. How about your hospital?
First of all, there is no easy procedure. A private hospital must be organized to handle all medical cases. However, it is partly true that the private healthcare market is perceived as offering mainly simple medical procedures. Our goal is to change this perception. We want to be recognized as providing the most advanced procedures with new techniques, modernly equipped operating rooms and intensive care units. Patient safety is our priority.

But you have to admit that even the best equipment will not replace professional care provided by highly-qualified personnel. What were the criteria for selecting the hospital's employees?
We paid a lot of attention to the recruitment process. Our team includes experienced professionals. The specialists were employed according to the standards defined by international experts that accredit and certify the necessary medical knowledge and practical skills. We also considered employees' aptitude with regard to patient care, customer services and communication skills together with the ability to develop themselves in a demanding, patient-oriented environment.

Who will be able to use hospital services and how much does it cost?
Our hospital is open to Medicover card members, patients covered under Medicover Insurance, and also individuals seeking hospital treatment for payment. We are open not only to Polish patients but also foreigners and visitors from abroad. Prices for services are set on the market level. The percentage of private hospital users is constantly growing while the purchasing power of Polish society shows that our services will be available to a large part of the population. Polish patients are starting to understand the benefits arising from high-quality treatment as a long-term investment.
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