Changes in how health care is delivered have had to occur due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Healthcare systems are adjusting the way they triage, evaluate, and care for patients via methods that do not rely on in-person encounters. Telehealth services help provide necessary care to patients while minimizing the transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to healthcare workers and patients.
Suresh Madan, President, and CEO of MyHealth Centre had anticipated the growing need for telehealth in the future and founded MyHealth’s telehealth division in 2017. According to Suresh, many doctors were hesitant about telehealth in the past, and patients weren’t always comfortable if a doctor didn’t see them in person. However, the sudden advent of COVID-19 has motivated an explosion in demand, and Suresh believes the service will continue to be popular beyond the pandemic. He has taken major steps in enhancing the service by incorporating innovative solutions in their telehealth division right from video consultation, health monitoring tools, access to patient’s data, and unique ways to offer the best of care to patients in their homes.
MyHealth Centre has begun providing telehealth services nationwide and is preparing for a “brick-and-click” future, featuring a greater marriage of online and in-person care. “You can’t do everything remotely,” says Suresh. “You can’t take a biopsy or an X-ray. But you can do a lot we’re not taking advantage of now. And this can do even more to reduce wait times, and improve efficiency and patient care, especially for patients in remote areas. This is the next big growth area.”
In 2013, Suresh saw an opportunity in healthcare, where public-sector hospitals in the Ontario province of Canada were operating inefficiently. The hospitals could not cope with patients’ intake, creating long and unsustainable patient waiting times, the constant rescheduling of appointments due to poor equipment, or the extremely limited availability of physicians and para-medical staff. This is where the MyHealth Centre concept was born. A unique and collaborative partnership of radiologists, cardiologists, and healthcare professionals, MyHealth Centre, is focused on delivering outstanding quality and innovation through its Independent Health Facilities (IHF).
“The idea was to create a chain of accredited cardiology and diagnostic imaging clinics which can operate efficiently, maintain costs, and provide the services that patients need,” says Suresh. Today, boasting 41 locations across Ontario, with more on the way, MyHealth Centre operates under the provincial health system, with more than 10,000 doctors referring patients to its locations. The organization is truly on a growth journey. For Suresh, throughout this journey, the business must remain committed to providing efficiency in its operations and exemplary patient care. Still, this service level can only be delivered through the quality of its greatest asset – its people. “The quality of our service can only be as good as the quality of our team,” he says. “As a healthcare service delivery company, it requires physical interaction with the personal touches and care from the best possible people. This is only possible if you have that high-quality team.”
It is pertinent to mention that the company has incorporated a robust analytics system that is used to predict the spikes in demand for different healthcare scenarios throughout the year. “There is strong seasonality for a lot of procedures,” he says. “So, when there are high demands for certain illnesses, the entire staff will know how to handle the situation and arm themselves with particular medicines or services which can curb the demand. When demand is lower, the resources can be shifted to other areas that are in higher demand.” The analytics functionality helps understand the demand curve of various healthcare situations and can prepare the staff, including the doctors and nurses, to be prepared and reduce wait times.
As MyHealth Centre continues its journey into expanding its market share, acquiring more clinics, first and foremost in its province and then beyond the wider realms of Canada, Suresh stresses the need to remember it is the patient that defines the organization’s growth, not the other way around. Suresh elucidates, “we believe that with the increasing adoption of telehealth, a plethora of opportunities have opened up and more healthcare companies are trying to expand considerably. With this, they will be able to cater to the most remote areas and offer their services to those who need their assistance.” The company aims to expand towards offering additional healthcare verticals, including diabetes, pulmonary, kidney care, and joints care, which would benefit from their brick & click strategy. “Over time we will become a one-stop-shop for primary care doctors to send their complex patients to, since we are all to provide the best in advanced care for patients with a complicated medical history.”