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Poramaporn Prasarttong Osoth | M.D. President | Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services: Benchmarking High-Quality Healthcare

As seen during the pandemic, no other industry has a grip on humanity as much as the sector of Healthcare and Wellness. When it comes to the well-being of humankind, all other services are overlooked, and the one sector that everyone knows is thriving with immense potential is the Health Sector.

The continuous dedication of frontliners, combined efforts in facilitating innovation and an adaptation of the latest technological advancements during the pandemic have collectively aided us in tackling the adversities of the deadly virus. However, innovation and technology took time before they could be deployed to save the population. Hence, prior to the deployment of elective treatments, it was solely in the hands of hospitals and healthcare workers who took care of the population with the equipment they had available.

In the end it came down to the effectiveness of the healthcare system. Everyone wanted to ensure that they and their loved ones had access to the best healthcare providers.

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS) is a provider of world-class medical care and is one of the most prestigious hospital networks in the Asia-Pacific region. BDMS provides care to around 2 million international patients annually, complemented by the latest medical technology and more than 11,000 highly qualified doctors. BDMS manages 56 hospitals, many of which are internationally accredited.

Their collaborations with leading academic medical centers in the US, Western Europe, and Japan drive the quality of their services. BDMS mission is to ensure patients receive world-class care from the moment of their first appointment to the moment they leave and after they return home.

Insights Success had an interview with the team of BDMS to get an in-depth experience of the healthcare industry and the story of how they became one of the preeminent providers of world-class care and service.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

What was the initial idea behind the inception of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL?

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Company Limited (BDMS) has been committed to continuously providing high-quality medical care with moral principles to provide medical services to diversified patients of all races, religions, and ages.

Together with clinical quality assurance programs, the principles of clinical ethics and moral determinants of Health have always been an important part of improving the professional knowledge and the skills of doctors and medical personnel across the past 50 years.

The name, BDMS, was registered in 1969, and commenced in providing medical services in February 1972. From the renowned reputation of high-quality medical services at the Bangkok Hospital Headquarters in Bangkok, the group has expanded through business partnerships and acquisition of shares in various well-known hospital brands. Today, BDMS comprises over 50 hospitals across 7 major hospital and clinic groups – Bangkok Hospital Group, Samitivej Hospital Group, BNH Hospital, Phyathai Hospital Group, Paolo Hospital Group, BDMS Wellness Clinic, and the Royal Hospital Group in Cambodia, making it the largest private medical system in the country, and one of the top 5 private hospital operators in the world by market capitalization.

What are the primary objectives and philosophy of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL?

Our vision is to be a medical hub of Asia Pacific, moving towards smart healthcare by providing advanced technology and integrated clinical care with Thai hospitality to achieve excellent patient experiences. This is done through providing complete continuum of healthcare from preventive to curative, and rehabilitative care for both Thai and international patients, and an unwavering commitment to quality has earned the group a reputation as one of the most prestigious hospital networks in the world and a major player in supporting Thailand to become the top medical hub and destination.

Our BDMS VALUES are in place to ensure the utmost customer satisfaction. B for Beyond Excellence. D for Deep Empathy. M for Moral Commitment and S for Service with Thai Hospitality.

As part of the standardization of the highest quality of the services across the organization, we place academic knowledge and sharing at the forefront as a contribution not only to our internal staff but also to external professionals. BDMS and our network hospitals collaborate with some of the world’s most renowned medical institutions in various specialties to exchange knowledge and learning. We further share such academic knowledge with the governmental and public sectors in form of academic forums and CME training.

What are your top-notch offerings that have a strong foothold in the industry?

With over 8,400 beds, 11,000 qualified doctors, and 8,000 nurses working for BDMS’s medical teams, we receive an increasing number of international patients who come to our medical facilities to receive a diverse range of treatments We offer 13 Centers of Excellence (COE) hospitals that affiliate with other world-class medical institutions and are equipped with advanced technology in highly specialized fields such as IVF, orthopedic surgery, hip and knee replacement, advanced pediatric care, bone marrow transplant, and pediatric heart surgery. Our COEs produce world-class medical outcomes in diverse clinical areas, including trauma, orthopedics, cancer, cardiovascular, and neurology.

Apart from quality services, BDMS has various patient focused programs to improve the patient experience. Our complete international standard continuum of healthcare, from preventive care to curative treatment, serves over 2 million overseas patients and over 10 million domestic patients annually.

We serve a diverse patient mix with different medical needs from preventative care to tertiary care through a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model coupled with an established patient referral system that helps create efficiency through scale. We serve patients with different purchasing power in locations all across Thailand as well as in Cambodia.

What are the roadblocks that Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL faces in the ever-changing landscape of the business world?

The Healthcare industry did not escape the effects of the Covid pandemic. At BDMS, we took that as an opportunity to drive healthcare innovations and solutions for both patients and professionals.

We saw it not as a roadblock but as an opportunity. We reviewed our business strategy and identified how we can strategically and operationally grow in the new normal situation. The New Strategic growth includes the Digital healthcare Ecosystem that will enable BDMS to be Smart Hospital.

It includes a digital transformation process that incorporates shifting patient perception on emerging and scale-up technology tools such as AI for diagnosis, Tele and virtual health consultation, home drug delivery, cloud computing for data health and more. The challenges include the ability to visualize corporate architecture, facilitate connections across the department, and maintain a positive attitude to remain resilient by both internal and external parties involved in the process. We have been agile and flexible in creating the BDMS Health Ecosystem that integrated various digital work with the business stakeholders for the patients’ benefit.

BeDee application, a new platform powered by BDMS, is a good example of a digital healthcare tool that has been developed to offer comprehensive health services such as teleconsultation, tele pharmacy, and Health Mall.

How is your company adapting to market orientation?

We have recovered from the covid pandemic since the beginning of 2022 from domestic patients who come to our network hospitals for non-covid medical care. Since mid 2022, we have been receiving a good number of international patients, particularly from the Middle East, CLMV and Europe.

We hope to gain a larger number of patients through our value-based pricing strategy to gain patient referral cases and we continue to work harder together with third-party payers such as insurance partners to give faster, better and more efficient services for patients.

Before the pandemic, BDMS has taken non-hospital businesses seriously in areas such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, laboratory services, and pharmacy business. The Savedrug pharmacy chain under BDMS operates more than 80 branches nationwide.

What is your stance on implementing innovative technologies?

In addition to the innovative technologies in healthcare mentioned, BDMS has developed a culture for staff to be innovative and to demonstrate initiative. We create innovative and research programs and training. We encourage professionals to write medical journals and share them via digital platforms. We create an environment via a quality and innovative assurance team to offer our BDMS Innovative Awards annually so that people in our value chain opt to make their innovative ideas become known. All of these programs are done in most of our network hospitals all over Thailand so that staff everywhere in our network, not only in Bangkok and key cities, can learn and share innovations.

Recently BDMS invested in the genomic business with the objective to become a leader in utilizing genetic testing to enable better prevention and treatment for each individual patient across our BDMS network. We think this is a real game-changer.

As part of our focus on sustainable growth, we recognize innovation by investing in start-up innovations so that we can be a part of shaping Thailand as a leading medical hub.

In what traditions is your company contributing to the communities?

In 1984, a charitable organization was established under the name of the Vejdusit Foundation with a firm determination to improve the quality of life of the Thai People with its objectives of providing free medical care to low-income patients, providing the Thai government assistance in the field of public health.

The Vejdusit Foundation has been in collaboration with other charities and foundations dedicated to public services such as a heart valve replacement project, a Gamma Knife radio surgery treatment project, a kidney transplant project and many more. The Vejdusit Foundation regularly provides scholarship to help fund medical services, nursing care and public health annually.

To celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2022, BDMS and our network hospitals have been committing to a nationwide knowledge training program to train people of various ages, communities, and occupations, including students at a young age, to be familiar with the CPR technique, which is crucial for an emergency that requires immediate assistance before the time that a medical team reaches the scene. We have trained over 40,000 people and have received feedback that they have been able to use the knowledge and skill in their daily lives.

What is the next chapter for Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL?

At our core hospital business, we plan to expand our major hospitals to serve the demand in the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor) areas and will be opening a new cancer hospital named Bangkok Rayong Cancer Hospital.

We have been continuously preparing the BDMS Healthcare Ecosystem on the path to being a Smart Healthcare system. The AI and data analytics technology system aims to provide the highest patient satisfaction and convenience together with optimum medical efficiency from our medical specialists by continuously focusing on patient needs.

The system covers online teleconsultation services and online appointments and includes online healthcare applications that cover patients’ health data, online healthcare knowledge, products and tele-pharmacy services. BDMS sees the importance of wellness preventive care such as anti-aging services, genetic tests and personalized medical care.

We recognize Thailand’s shift to an aging population and are busy developing our BDMS Silver Wellness and Residence, which is an upper-scale center and residence for the silver age group.

Provide a few client testimonials that rightly exhibit BDMS’ excellence in the market.

At our network hospitals, we conduct the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey to obtain the patients’ perspectives on hospital care. We provide a positive patient experience in all of our BDMS hospitals.