People come to the idea of treatment abroad in different ways. Someone purposefully searches for methods of treatment which are not available in his native country. Someone is disappointed in the medical system and wants to receive better care abroad. Someone struggles with the consequences of treatment performed by the local doctors.
After the decision to undergo treatment abroad, the second, even more important, step comes. This is the choice of the clinic and specialist. Doctor’s qualification is the guarantee of establishing the correct diagnosis and performing competent treatment. The level of medical equipment in the clinic is a basis for using the full range of modern techniques. Interdisciplinary cooperation of doctors and carrying out the comprehensive rehabilitation are also very important.
Dozens of factors need to be considered when choosing the clinic. Foremost, it is important to feel yourself confident in the huge amount of accessible data. There is a lot of information, but which one should be trusted?
Making hundreds of right decisions every day is our reality
Specialists of the company Booking Health constantly face multiple choices. Every day our doctors communicate with dozens of patients from all over the world and select suitable medical institutions and physicians for them. So, in one case it will be better to come to a large university hospital which is equipped with a neuronavigation system and powerful devices for PET-CT. In another case, it will be better to take your child to the comfortable private praxis where the leading specialist of the exact medical specialization (e.g., epileptologist) will provide you with consultation. In the third one, it will be the most beneficial for the patient to visit the hospital that participates in the ongoing clinical trial on in order to receive an alternative and innovative treatment.
Practical medical knowledge and experience in organizing the treatment of international patients are priceless in making such decisions. Nevertheless, we prefer to confirm our recommendations with the objective data and carefully monitor its relevance. The purpose of our doctors is to ensure individual approach to each patient and provide him with maximum benefits. This can be realized only when the specialist has a full range of information about the disease, as well as the capabilities of the doctor and the clinic.
Where does the detailed and reliable information come from? Every year medical institutions provide us with comprehensive reports on the results of their work. The documents contain data on the diagnostic statistics for certain groups of diseases and the success of the treatment methods. The reports contain about 400 points and provide extensive material for analysis. As an example, you can personally study such reports of leading clinics for previous years. This information becomes public over some time.
What underlies the objective choice?
Undoubtedly, our specialists analyze all the information in the reports and make a comparative rating on its base. The main 11 points out of 400 are listed below in order to make it easier for you to understand this system. These are the most important ones that we take into consideration while recommending a clinic to the patient.
- Profile of the clinic according to your disease. It can be profile department in the leading university hospital as well as any specialized praxis with competent doctors.
- Number of performed interventions (examinations). Without any doubt, theoretical education and constant professional development play an important role. But only practical experience gives the doctor clinical way of thinking and such skills which cannot be received at the university.
- The percentage rate of successful interventions (accurate diagnosis). One of the most important indicators which should be considered while making a decision. The success of diagnostics and treatment is exactly what the patient and the doctor are trying to achieve.
- Absence of complications, safety. A good safety profile is the absence of a serious side effects from drug therapy (e.g., when prescribing innovative chemotherapy medicines for cancer treatment) or complications after surgical interventions (e.g., bleeding, hernias, pain syndrome).
- The research work and implementation of new technologies. We turn to the latest developments in the cases when the proven traditional approaches of treatment can’t guarantee a decent result. The results of the clinical trial will be officially approved for the clinical practice in a few years, but its participants take advantage of innovative developments without wasting time.
- Equipment level. Upgrading the equipment is a prerequisite for providing the high-tech medical care. So, the robotic surgical interventions are possible only in institutions with appropriate technical basis.
- Absence of nosocomial infections. This parameter is especially important in case of invasive methods (surgical interventions).
- Doctor's services (whether he personally performs the operation and personally communicates with the patient at the preoperative stage). As a rule, the treatment is more successful when the doctor accompanies the patient from the stage of examination and preparation for the therapy, to performing treatment and selection of maintenance therapy or rehabilitation program.
- Services of the nursing staff and attention to patients. It is an important indicator because during stay in the clinic a patient sometimes contacts the nursing staff more often than his physician. Nurses help patients in everyday matters, train necessary skills, and support psychologically.
- The comfort of staying in the clinic. The level of comfort is certainly taken into account. Staying in an outpatient department or inpatient wards during diagnostics, after surgical treatment, or during rehabilitation should cause only positive emotions.
- Best choice of price and quality. The financial aspect is important for many patients and also for insurance companies. We always take into account the compliance of the cost and quality of medical care and services.
You can choose one or several essential exactly for you aspects and focus on them. Based on many years of practical experience, we take into account all these aspects, along with several additional ones.
Constant control of information updates
Before the clinic receives an access to the Booking Health website, it undergoes a thorough inspection for compliance with the quality of medical care standards. We look at the official documentation, personally visit outpatient departments and wards, and assess the equipment of operating rooms, diagnostic units, and laboratories.
It is important to understand that we don’t assess the clinic "once and for good". All new information is constantly considered, including annual medical reports, personal visits, feedback of our patients. If during the treatment or diagnostics it turns out that the services no longer meet the standards, we don’t offer this clinic to patients anymore and remove it from the portal.
Even well-known clinics often have to improve the quality of the service significantly in order to meet these requirements. This is quite natural, because new methods are annually implemented into practical medicine. Without upgrading of equipment and medicines, as well as without training of the specialists according to new techniques and protocols of treatment, the clinic can’t be considered as the leading medical institution. Our external independent assessment stimulates the clinics to keep up with the times.
Rapid actions in emergency situations
Our doctors communicate with each patient in detail and study his medical examinations. When developing a preliminary medical program we take into account the most peculiar details. Nevertheless, even such an approach can’t exclude unforeseen situations completely. For example, when the patient arrives and new facts are discovered or a different diagnosis is established during the examination. Eventually, it serves as the benefit for the patient, because he doesn’t come abroad to confirm an initially wrong diagnosis and to undergo the useless treatment.
At the same time, in such situations a patient requires urgent appointment in a new, more specialized clinic. The promptness of actions and the readiness of the medical institution to take responsibility for the international patient are very important in such case. In leading clinics, patients are registered on the waiting list and visit the doctor according to their order. The usual waiting period is 1-2 months. Of course, it is unacceptable for foreigners. Especially, when a patient requires emergency treatment.
Fortunately, the administration of clinics and personally doctors demonstrate understanding when it comes to the treatment of international patients. The patients of Booking Health receive medical care in a short time, without any waiting list. It allows the patient to save time and to go through the examination or treatment as quickly as possible. Also our patients are protected with insurance against complications during the treatment.
Assessment of long-term perspective of treatment in the clinic
In some cases, it is quite enough to come to the clinic once. For example, if surgical intervention completely eliminates the cause of the disease or drug therapy leads to persistent remission of a chronic disease.
In other cases, we take into account the possibility of carrying out the rehabilitation or prolonged maintenance treatment in the chosen clinic, as well as the opportunity to come for a follow-up examination or the next stage of the surgery. Usually we give preference to medical institutions which accompany the patient at all stages of recovery.
We also understand the importance of follow-up communication with the physician. First of all, this concerns the adjustment of the treatment program based on the results of the control examinations which a person performs in a native country. For this purpose, we use our own portal for medical document management. It significantly facilitates communication between the doctor and the patient and also protects confidential medical information.
Choosing a clinic and a physician is a delicate and meticulous work, which eventually influences the result of treatment. The mission of the company Booking Health is to help the patient to make a right decision, which will lead him to recovery and prosperity.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova