BusinessDay

The evolution of medical care: An introduction to Medical Concierge Services

Health is paramount to human life and remains a top priority to all individuals and families alike, so it is no wonder that the medical field has seen such rapid adoption of technology and development to make positive changes and improvements. Whether it is the rapid development of new vaccines through nanotechnology or the use of artificial intelligence for the early detection of sepsis, the medical world is taking giant strides to provide solutions to the illnesses and complications that have plagued us for so long.

Through the pandemic, the limits of the medical world were tested but came out strong as it showed the world its resilience and ability to bring innovations to the market quickly. The advances in technology have also brought about some negative consequences, such as a radical shift from the community doctor approach to retail hospital chains which focus on seeing as many patients as possible. This approach has led to an inability to form meaningful relationships with patients, overbooking issues, and unbearable wait times over the years.

The pandemic also had a humanitarian effect and has forced the healthcare industry to re-evaluate and explore the changing human needs and requirements. This was brought on through the use and establishment of isolation centres, where people had to be treated away from their loved ones, often spending a lot of time alone and without human contact until they tested negative.
Thousands of people around the world were forced to quarantine within their homes without physical contact with their loved ones for long periods. This created a strong desire and value for relationships and saw more medical professionals forming more personal relationships with some of their patients.

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The changing world allows individuals to seek more reliable, convenient, and personalised options for their healthcare. Asides from relief from ailments and illnesses, humans require a more personalised approach and a higher stake in the decision-making process as it concerns their healthcare needs.

For this to happen, a partnership must be built with patients and their healthcare providers on the foundations of communication, trust, reliability, and expertise. What we are accustomed to in Nigeria is the traditional Health Management Organisations (HMOs) that provide a health insurance service through participating doctors and hospitals for a monthly or annual fee. Though these organisations have impacted the patient’s approach to controlling their healthcare in Nigeria, they haven’t quite been able to attain the level of personalised treatment and reliability that many individuals currently seek.

Healthcare organisations have been tasked to evolve their offerings to cater to customers’ changing demands, as patients increasingly seek immediate access to their doctors and care providers without delays. People also want a seamless and hassle-free approach to navigating their health care, this is where the medical concierge comes in.

A medical concierge is an intermediary organisation between patients and their desired health services whose purpose is to determine and organise access to necessary and desired healthcare promptly. The typically subscription-based service allows patients to control their health care journey with medical providers by granting unlimited round the year access to top healthcare specialists within a jurisdiction or globally.

Patients are given a personalised experience based on their requirements and needs through a dedicated relationship manager, enhanced communication with their healthcare providers, and access to healthcare professionals at any time they require. Rather than adhere to standard medical protocols, clients who use a concierge service receive personalised attention and improved care options designed to help them maintain the best health.

An added benefit to using a medical concierge service is that it further helps in preventing health issues rather than treating them. This is due to regular comprehensive health screening. Check-ups are provided to clients as well as useful lifestyle tips. These interventions make a dramatic difference to patients as it provides medical professionals with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of individual health issues and provide actionable medical advice and intervention.

One of such concierge services recently launched in Nigeria is, SANTIS by Paelon Medical Concierge, a luxury membership-based concierge service. Santis hopes to introduce convenience and seamlessness to the health and medical experience for Nigerians.

The Medical Concierge hopes to provide access to the best medical services its customers require at any time. They have adopted the Beaver concept to provide essential services that allow others to thrive by providing their clients with a range of services that help them navigate the complex healthcare industry. Unlike an HMO, a medical concierge grants clients top of the line and unlimited access to health professionals, by paying a flat annual fee. Payment for medical care and treatment is best assured through clients’ international health insurance.

A concierge works to build relationships with medical facilities, specialists, and super-specialists with access to international facilities as well. Although they are two different functioning bodies, HMOs can provide their clients with access to a medical concierge if it falls under the band covering that they are subscribed to.

With Santis, patients are assured 24/7 access to healthcare and beyond, which includes but is not limited to, annual executive health assessments, preventative medical care, emergency care, personalised health calendars, physiotherapy, access to a nutritionist, corporate health talks and a gym membership.

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