A new era has dawned for the Philippine healthcare sector, marked by significant milestones achieved by two Department of Health (DOH) Hospitals: Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital (DJFMH) and Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC). These institutions recently completed their online revalidas, spotlighting their remarkable stories and recent accomplishments within the framework of the Performance Governance System (PGS).
Notably, DJFMH has successfully reached the Compliance stage of the Performance Governance System, resulting in the prestigious Silver Trailblazer award. On the other hand, QMMC was conferred the Initiated Status, garnering a Gold Trailblazer award in recognition of their commendable journey. These achievements were celebrated on September 25th and 29th, respectively.
DJFMH’s Medical Center Chief, Dr. Esmeraldo Ilem, presented the challenges and the initiatives they took to turn their strategic position into reality. In their pursuit of quality reproductive healthcare, DJFMH envisions itself as a 1000-bed national apex hospital for women, newborn, and children’s health with functional specialty centers in reproductive health by 2025.
Representing the QMMC, Dr. Evelyn Reside, also shared the Medical Center’s journey as they set foot on the first stage of the PGS. QMMC positions itself to become a 700-bed internationally recognized hospital with basic and advanced multispecialty and niche services and recognized as the national reference center for Neurosciences and Eye care.
Both DOH hospitals embarked on their transformation journey in 2019, during the Philippine Heart Center’s Governance in Healthcare Summit. During this time, DJFMH and QMMC have refined their outputs and aligned with the DOH strategy in contributing to a more responsive health system, better health outcomes, and financial risk protection for the underserved in the Philippines.
From their humble beginnings of a six-bed maternity house, and 75-bed “Labor Hospital” to the significant improvements in their specialty centers amidst the challenges of a global pandemic, their unwavering commitment to creating positive change in Philippine healthcare has led to the attainment of several breakthroughs and achievements.
Among their monumental breakthroughs is DJFMH’s successfully launched “E-plano: Family Planning Service Application” Project, which the Philippine Pediatric Society and Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service supported. These organizations pledged to support the initiatives under this program, which are also integrated into DJFMH’s Family Helpline and Telemedicine platform. Also taking a dive into the realm of digitalization, QMMC, has also adopted DOH’s IHomies Digitalization Platform, where their customizations on the platform’s pilot run enabled a speedier flow of information within the medical center.
“This is also one of the proud projects of our hospital because with regards to our digitalization plans, We have remained steadfast in supporting the Department of Health’s digital platform. We have been able to make strides as well in terms of making connections between wards, so information retrieval is faster and of course, sharing of information is also faster as well. And that is also the dream that we want to have for all the other areas that we are actually expanding,” Dr. Reside said.
In addition to this, the newly initiated medical center sees itself strengthening its specialty care for their patients, especially, women and children.
“We were very fortunate to have these kinds of experts in the field of obstetrics and gynecology who were always forward-thinking. It speaks, I think, of the creativity of our staff and our desire to meet the needs of our patients. These niche services actually just happened organically they just sprung out from our natural desire to help, to be of service,” the QMMC Medical Center Chief shared.
At the end of QMMC’s initiation revalida, Dr. Reside thanked her peers, panelists, and the Institute for Solidarity in Asia for their guidance and support.
“On behalf of the men and women who tirelessly made this possible, thank you very much to all of you who made this possible. Let’s push this forward. We have started this journey, let’s end this. Let’s be passionate in all that we do. Let’s be change agents so that we can truly say that we are proud to be a DOH family,” the Medical Center Chief shared.
However, alongside their developments, there were still challenges that DJFMH needs to address, which was underlined during the panel evaluation led by Dr. Timothy M. Ting. Aside from having limited specialization in internal medicine, Medical Center Chief, Dr. Ilem shared that they are tackling their problem by creating their own resource-stratified framework and adding additional specialists to their roster of healthcare providers.
“I know we have a lot of things we have to do and we need to first come up with resource stratified framework to be able to do this. There is a process so we have to increase the number of specialists. Before we only [had] one specialist for the entire hospital, now we have added a lot of specialists and sub-specialists in internal medicine and surgery so that we will have people who will manage different cases in medical or surgical. Slowly we’ll be able to reach the apex of reproductive health,” the Medical Center Chief shared.
Following DJFMH’s conferral of the Compliant status, Dr. Ilem received the Silver Trailblazer award. On behalf of the DJFMH, Dr. Ilem extended his gratitude to external stakeholders, the panelists, and all their employees.
“Thank you for recognizing, again, the efforts of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital and giving us the Compliance certificate, and the much-coveted Silver Trailblazer Award,” the Medical Center Chief said in his acceptance speech.
“We know that our vision for a reproductive health center is quite ambitious, given its complexity, but we are determined to do it […] Above all, thank God for the love and protection. Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat at maraming marami pong salamat.”