Bigger, Bolder, Better at 49
The history of humanity has been deeply ingrained in the practice of faith and healing that the twain’s encounter and eventual union has been recorded since many centuries ago —- giving mankind its immense lifelong blessings. Such has been the story of Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC), was originally founded as St. Paul’s Hospital of Manila by the religious Maryknoll Sisters before World War II. During the war, it was severely damaged and destroyed that it had to be rebuilt under the financial compensation grant by the United States-Philippines War Damage Commission after the war. More funds were, however, needed that it was not until the monetary infusion from the Roman Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM), headed by the first Filipino Cardinal and then Archbishop Rufino Cardinal Santos, that the hospital began its operation on August 15, 1974 thereafter already known as Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital. The hospital was re-baptized as Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC) on August 1, 1988 and was ushered into the management of Metro Pacific Health Group on August 15, 2008.
Centers of Excellence
Then and now, CSMC has consistently wound its way up to its rightful place in the country’s healthcare industry. Equipping itself with the leading edge technical, human, infrastructural and operational resources, in no time did it reach, slowly and surely, the frontline of the health and hospital sector. For the past decade and a half, it trained its guns in harnessing its potential in most, if not all, of the specialized fields in medicine. Today, it ranks among the reputed bests in the fields of Cardiology, Oncology, Neurosurgery, Gastroenterology. and Rehabilitation Medicine which it heralds as its Centers of Excellence (COE). All these, while keeping its stronghold of being one of the leading institutions and time-tested experts in Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pulmonary Medicine, Nephrology, Urology, and Minimally Invasive Surgery.
CSMC matches this technical evolution with an aggressive drive to better its facilities that in the same period, it increased its bed capacity from 200 to 300 today. It has expanded its services by opening up 32 specialized areas including the Gamma Knife Center, Pathology and Laboratory Services Department, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Nuclear Medicine, Cardiac and Vascular Rehabilitation Unit, among many others.
Like its stellar spot in medicine, CSMC is also known for its exceptional management and leadership, the reason why it is where it is now. As a testament to this distinction, it earned from the Asian Hospital Management Awards (AHMA) the Gold and Excellence Awards in Bangkok, the Gold Award in Hanoi, Vietnam and the Talent Management Excellence Award in Bangkok, Thailand. CSMC also coveted the prestigious international award for Excellence in Leadership and Management by the Investors in People (IIP) in London, United Kingdom that was followed by a Project Gold Award from Hospital Management Asia.
The endemic visionary leadership runs long and steady in the organization that CSMC is known to persistently cultivate its core values of “Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence, Caring for Others and Servant Leadership.” Its organizational theme “You are Family” binds doctors, employees, patients and community together into one cohesive unit who works for the singular mission of providing the Filipino patient equitable access to superior healthcare. Because of this, it has become the hospital of choice not only of the patients, but also of the doctors and nurses to practice their profession in, and employees to spend their productive years with.
The reputation of any hospital is shaped, to a large extent, by the caliber of its pool of doctors and therein lies much of the CSMC prestige. The hospital’s medical roster is populated with the names of the most experienced, best-trained and highly-trusted doctors who serve their patients with the help of competent team of nurses, allied healthcare professionals and employees. They comprise the family of people who fulfill their missions: (1) To be responsible for our patients, physicians, partners, and people, (2) To proactively respond to the health needs of the communities we serve, and (3) To achieve sustainable growth and create value for our stakeholders. They are committed to realize the hospital vision of making “Cardinal Santos Medical Center the hospital of choice in providing excellent health care and world-class medical training.”
During the past 15 years, CSMC has grown the number of interns who completed its sponsored post-graduate courses three-fold, the tally of doctors who accomplished training two-fold and the count of physicians who finished Fellowship Training quadrupled in 30 fields of specialization.
CSMC thrust to constantly improve patient safety has shown a significant degree of effectiveness in recent years. It has been reputed to be one of the country’s prime advocates in risk management that puts premium in the organizational practice of protecting patients from adverse events in the full contexts of safety, security, ease and peace of mind. It has been relentless in instituting in its various departments the world standard in clinical and non-clinical patient safety practices ensuring optimal guarantee in the prevention of patient harm and the effectiveness of clinical actions based on accepted scientific evidence as well as its own empirical data.
It is for this reason that in 2022, CSMC earned an Excellence Award from the Asian Hospital Management for its Clinical Effectiveness Improvement. This was followed by another recognition in 2023 from the ACI of Canada for the People-Centered Care Commitment Award which was a first in Asia.
As creating a positive patient experience has become more important than ever, the past decade highlights CSMC’s firm resolve towards improving patient experience in response to the increasingly demanding patients and customers. Simply put, today’s patients are more stickler to the likes of waiting time and turnaround time and value convenience and quality care more than anything.
Thus, CSMC initiated, even revolutionized, systems and mechanisms to achieve the ends of its patient experience goals for better health outcomes. Among the notable strides made in this area includes the communication, service convenience and feedback systems resulting to a makeover of the entire patient journey, from inquiry, to doctors’ encounter, to treatment, to post care experiences. This strategy is aptly encapsulated in its tagline “Caring Cardinals” defining the unique brand of a compassionate care that synergizes the warmth of human touch with the convenience of modern technology.
Decisive, Unwavering Stewardship
With unprecedented circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, CSMC remained resolute in its commitment to serve the community and its own people. Amidst the catastrophic handicap that the virus wrought upon the entire population, the hospital’s frontliners and brain trust stepped up to the plate and provided extraordinary care to those who were afflicted with the virus—right at a time when they desperately needed it the most. Thus, despite extreme fear and uncertainties hovering at the onset of the virus spread, it accommodated two of the very first recorded patients, #5 and #6. Such an obliging stance to respond to public health exigencies that went on consistently throughout the whole course of the pandemic.
Moreover, Management moved mountains to secure accommodations for suspected, and COVID-positive employees at comfortable quarantine hotels. It went further above and beyond providing basic employee welfare by putting food on the table of affected employees’ families, why, even gifting their children with toys if only to alleviate their anxieties during those trying times.
Indeed, it has been the worst of those times that brought out the best in the CSMC community—a moving testament that “You are Family” is not just a mere tag line; but a real enduring covenant intrinsic between Cardinal Santos and its patients — and its employees as well.
Charity and Community Service
As CSMC is deeply rooted in the benevolence of its religious Catholic clerics and lay founders, it behooves upon itself to never waver in its commitment to give back to the community and spread the blessings of faith and healing. The torch of its Corporate Social Responsiveness has not only been held lit and up since its inception but also raised brighter and higher in recent years.
The four-pillar of Out-Patient Charity Services, In-Patient Financial Subsidies, Outreach Programs and Community Health Services have been carried out unabated through the years. During the past decade and a half, these programs helped almost 100 thousand poor beneficiaries with outpatient services and supply valued at about 50 million pesos and in-patient subsidy worth about 140 million pesos provided to the less privileged. The outreach missions, on the other hand, were able to assist 17,000 during the same period. Staying true to its origin, it aims to further upscale the impact of its charitable programs to uplift the health plight of more beneficiaries and contribute to the national effort in making quality healthcare accessible to all Filipinos.
One may wonder what can still be done when volumes have already been accomplished. Bigger, bolder and better that it has become after 49 years, all augurs well for an even brighter CSMC.
The hospital has set the ten-year timetable to sail with a four-pronged grand plan laid out: Compliance and Accreditation, Area and Zoning Improvement, Facility Upgrade, and, New and Upgraded Medical Equipment. In the ensuing months and years, patchworks on these four focus areas will be unraveled one by one until the big picture is revealed in the end. But then, the growth coming from the time-molded bedrock of compassion, care and competence knows no end that surely thereafter, the story of Cardinal Santos Medical Center shall stream steadily so that lifelong blessings may also continue for the patients and the Filipino people.