From the Heart Again: Health City Saving Lives of Haitian Children for Free
Not long ago, I was reminded about another facet of Health City Cayman Islands’s mission to make healthcare affordable to everyone: giving back to people in need whenever possible. This goal became a reality when the hospital performed heart surgeries for four Haitian children – all free of charge.
It’s just one of so many things that Health City Cayman Islands is doing that continually amazes me.
We featured Health City – both their Cayman Islands hospital as well as their campuses in India – in our recent documentary, From the Heart. The documentary focuses on the Health City system of care that may be a model for the transformation of U.S. healthcare. At its core, Health city’s business model succeeds because of efficient processes and large volumes that reduce cost, increase quality, and make healthcare more available to the entire world. And data drives all of their process improvements.
Dr. Devi Shetty, founder of Health City and a heart surgeon himself, told CIO India magazine that data is one of the keys to making and keeping care affordable. “We need the power of IT to reduce the cost of operations,” he said. In fact, Dr. Shetty’s management team receives daily profit and loss statements by noon every day so they know exactly how much charity care they can give away to patients on that given day. It is a revolutionary model with real potential for replication. Dr. Shetty also promotes data as a means of reducing medical errors, tracking time spent in the health facility, the cost of goods in the supply chain, cost of labor per department, profitability per patient, per procedure, per hospital, and as a system.
Dr. Shetty’s vision for making healthcare affordable to everyone is what powers Health City Cayman Islands. The organization isn’t in business to make anyone rich. Health Catalyst’s own VP of marketing, Chris Keller, co-produced the From the Heart documentary and said, “The culture of caring may very well be the hardest thing for a U.S. health system to replicate. It was remarkable to see Health City surgeons who average two to three surgeries a day every day and who are still pushing for more volume. Having shadowed them in their work, I am now a believer in the vision of Dr. Shetty and hope the documentary relays that sense of commitment for the health and wellbeing of all humanity.” The four young Haitian patients – who ranged in age from six to 16 – serve as a visible example of how this mission drives absolutely everything the organization does.
To treat the patients, Health City teamed up with Digicel, Have a Heart Foundation, and Haiti Cardiac Alliance. Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, a senior cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, and Dr. Sripadh Upadhya, a senior pediatric cardiologist, performed the surgeries at Health City.
While Health City Cayman Islands first approached Haiti Cardiac Alliance to see if there was a way that the healthcare organization could help, making these four surgeries a reality was truly a joint effort. The two non-profits were instrumental in lining up the right parties, identifying the patients who were most in need of treatment from Health City, while Digicel, a mobile telecommunications operator, provided transportation for the patients and their families to the Cayman Islands.
Said Dr. Chandy Abraham, Medical and Facility Director at Health City, “When we met with Haiti Cardiac Alliance last year in Haiti we realized just how great the need was for our services, especially among young people. Haiti Cardiac Alliance does a tremendous job in pushing hard to scale up surgical opportunities in Haiti and overseas, and we were privileged to assist them in reaching their goal of helping those in critical need of help.”
According to a press release from Health City, the Haiti Cardiac Alliance’s goal “is to ensure that more than 100 children access surgery in 2015.” I am sure that this won’t be the last time we hear about Health City Cayman Islands’s involvement in initiatives like this – and more like it.
Health City Cayman Islands’s model of care is only a few hundred miles away from the United States. And it’s inspiring to have such a close neighbor leading the charge to deliver healthcare that’s affordable to everyone – and ultimately ensuring that all people can get the professional, first-rate care they need.
You can learn more about the amazing work they’re already doing at Health City Cayman Islands and in India in this four-minute clip from our documentary, From the Heart. I sincerely hope you’ll watch, learn, and share.