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"The main trend is patient orientation"
The success story of a multidisciplinary children's clinic in Primorye
The Children's Health Center company (operating under the brand name Alenka Clinic) was established in Vladivostok four years ago, and has now opened its own division in Moscow. One more branch is about to be launched in Khabarovsk. The plans include an "exit" to Kamchatka. In terms of the scale of work and in terms of revenue, the Children's Health Center, a resident of the free port of Vladivostok, is one of the 150 largest clinics in Russia. The Alenka Children's Health Center is a laureate of the Star of the Far East Prize and the Development Award 2019 competition for the best investment project. The General Director of the company Alexander Shumatov spoke about how the clinic was created and how it works today.
HOW TO SURPRISE COLLEAGUES, OR THE BENEFIT OF A RESIDENCE
According to Alexander Shumatov, he has a lot of experience in private medicine: he collaborated with the Russian representative office of a Western medical company, about 20 years ago he created his own private clinic.
“But it was such a small family business,” says Alexander Shumatov. - And its rapid growth began four years ago, when we decided to become residents of the free port of Vladivostok. The corresponding status was received in September 2016. This allowed us to attract solid investments and reduce a number of expenses. We wanted to create something really big in our region, taking into account international trends in healthcare. The clinic, as we conceived it, began operating in 2017. Now many colleagues who come to Vladivostok from different clinics of the country are surprised: how did you manage to create an institution of such a level in the Far Eastern region?
Just three years ago, 30 doctors worked at the clinic. Now - 250. All of them are permanent employees of the Children's Health Center, there are no part-time workers among them. And in private clinics this does not happen often.
- I am convinced: a doctor should work in one medical institution. Then he adheres to the values of the company, forms its culture. And if he runs from place to place in search of earnings, this is no longer there, - says Alexander Shumatov. - Of course, we cannot prohibit our employees to earn extra money somewhere else. But their permanent place of work is with us. People are the main thing for us. Even during the quarantine restrictions, we did not cut rates, did not make reductions - we kept the team.
The staff of the medical center can be further expanded, including by expanding to other regions. But, as Alexander Shumatov notes, this will be possible only if the personnel issue is resolved without problems and in advance: “We consider it unworthy to entice specialists, and we try to raise our employees from the student's bench.”
The clinic "Alenka" employs specialists of various profiles: pediatricians, allergists, anesthesiologists, nephrologists, gastroenterologists, gynecologists, genetics, dermatologists, cardiologists, speech therapists, chiropractors, oncologists, orthopedists, ENT doctors. The list can be long: the clinic is a huge multidisciplinary medical center.
- Now we have opened a surgical hospital, we carry out operations for children aged three months. A loan of 29 million rubles for its opening and technical equipment was attracted at reduced rates as residents of FPV under the “Affordable Loans for SMEs” program. Our surgeons have been trained by the best specialists in the country, - says Shumatov. - In this sense, medicine is a difficult area. It requires serious expenditures on modern technology and staff training. But even a private clinic does not dare to call the language a business: costs are costs, and people's health is the main thing.
What international trends have been adopted in "Alenka"?
- The main trend is patient orientation. It starts with the interior. I want the child not to have the feeling that he is in the hospital, - says Alexander Shumatov. - A few days ago we were at the Skolkovo Foundation - we were working on a joint project so that our little patients, going to the operating room, put on virtual reality glasses and see more pleasant things rather than a frightening operating table.
Another "trick": work with a patient in the medical center does not end with his discharge. Doctors constantly monitor the health of the child, from birth to 18 years of age. In the future, the clinic should become a center for family medicine, that is, it should accompany not only small patients, but also adults.
“We are trying to introduce such a direction as life management,” Shumatov says. - In our country, doctors cannot treat healthy people. And in the West, you can come to an appointment at a clinic to get advice about nutrition, sports, and so on. There are no such specialists in Russia yet. And we will.
In addition, the company is working to convert the maximum number of processes into electronic form. And not only work with documents - doctors conduct consultations remotely, and in some cases, diagnostics. In the current epidemiological situation, this is especially important, the clinic emphasizes.
YOU WILL NOT BUY HEALTH?
We can say a lot about the fact that even for specialists of a private clinic, finances are not in the first place, the main thing is the health of patients. But even so, a private clinic lives only from the fact that it earns itself. But besides considerable current expenses, there are also initial investments in the project - 350 million rubles. These investments must, as they say, "beat off".
Can you do it? And is there a demand for the services of a private medical center in these difficult times?
- When we opened, we certainly analyzed the demand for services. By the way, we have not raised the prices for two years - we are trying to keep them at the level of a non-premium clinic, - says Alexander Shumatov. - In the new year, in some areas, primarily in surgery, we want to start providing compulsory medical insurance services. Large companies have been cooperating with us for voluntary health insurance for a long time. Including this allows you to combine high quality services with their availability.
When asked what, from his point of view, is the main achievement of the company, Alexander Shumatov replies: "Perhaps, positive feedback from patients and colleagues."
- We work a lot, develop, outline plans and adjust them. We do not set any grandiose tasks for ourselves: our goal is to work well, to enjoy work and from helping people.