MVP hospital group shares learnings from COVID-19

The Philippine Star
MVP hospital group shares learnings from COVID-19
A screenshot of the virtual learning session with MMC medical director Dr. Saturnino Javier.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Makati Medical Center (MMC), one of the 17 hospitals under the Metro Pacific Group led by business titan Manuel V. Pangilinan, recently shared their learnings in dealing with the pandemic during the early stages of the lockdown in the PLDT, MVP Group Annual Corporate Governance session.

With more than 400 of the MVP Group’s directors, advisory board members, key officers and leaders streaming the three-hour virtual learning session, MMC medical director Dr. Saturnino Javier breaks down the challenges of the hospital group as the surge of cases tested the limits of their resources and the conditions of their healthcare workers.

“From the first patients of Cardinal Santos Hospital and MMC, this immediately set into motion many of our pandemic response protocols which we last used many years back when we had SARS and MERSCOV,” Javier said.

“We reinforced and implemented strict prevention control protocols. We expanded bed capacities. We came out with infrastructure revisions and adjustments. We sought accreditation for laboratory for COVID-19 testing. We enhanced our communication platforms, adapted teleconferencing and telemedicine. We pursued collaborations but most of all we protected our healthcare workers. We also included stockpiling of materials, procurement, security precautions and recruitment.”

He said is a crucial aspect in managing the pandemic as misinformation can easily spread with just a swipe of the screen or the flick of a finger, making it imperative for the group to address any misinformation or disinformation going their way.

“It is worthwhile to remember that this COVID-19 pandemic is the first of its kind in the age of social media,” said Javier. “We had to come up with regular advisories and bulletins. Our messaging frameworks consisted of facts and truths. We presented the community with numbers in terms of recoveries, deaths, and admissions.”
Javier emphasized that the safety and lives of personnel and staff take precedence over revenues. An important aspect of the managing the pandemic was supporting and taking care of their healthcare workers, making sure that transportation and accommodation were provided. Even for employees who had to be optionally admitted, despite the limited capacity, they made sure that they were taken cared for by their own hospital. They also provided for hazard allowances and risk exposure allowances, and psycho-social counselling helping them deal with the stress confronting their healthcare workers.

“We kept in mind that we did not want to transfer anyone to any other outside facility. We wanted to take care of our own,” he added.

They also put in place effective systems and various measures of managing COVID-19-related spaces to secure other functions of the hospitals from exposure to the virus such multiple layers of screening and questionnaires, enhanced decontamination and disinfection protocols, dedicated elevators, wards, and marked pathways.



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