Helsinki Hospital

Helsinki HospitalBy minimising the administrative costs to next to nothing, and putting the patient in the centre of everything. Helsinki Hospital is taking healthcare to the next level.

Three years ago, in the spring of 2014, Helsinki Hospital first opened its doors for patients in central Helsinki. Serving both individual and corporate customers, the private hospital is built around a vision of timely and compassionate treatment with the patient at the centre of all planning. Today, the vision can be regarded as having been successfully translated into reality - writes

Esa-Pekka Päivimäki, neurosurgeon and founding partner of Helsinki Hospital, was the chief engine for transforming the idea of a patient-centered hospital from dream to reality. He successfully engaged a number of respected doctors in the project, and soon Helsinki Hospital was running the largest private spinal surgery unit in the Nordics.

All departments in Helsinki Hospital are run with one key objective in mind: whenever possible, all necessary skills and services that a patient might need are to be found under the same roof. The wound care centre, for example, employs a plastic surgeon, an orthopaedic, a podiatrist and a wound nurse, who all consult each other on a regular basis. This is meant to maximise efficiency and minimise any potential hassle for patients.

“We treat our patients as if they are the only patient we have,” executive vice-presidentHeli Vähäsiltasays. Every day, the patients are given a menu with various foods fromnearby restaurants, but if the patient really feels like eating something that is not on the menu, such as pizza or kebab, it can usually be arranged. Once, there was a patient who really felt like eating beef tongue, so Vähäsilta arranged it.

Beyond focusing on patient experience, Helsinki Hospital works to ensure that all their medical procedures are conducted using the latest state-of-the-art technology. The recovery time for Helsinki Hospital’s patient tends to be shorter than usual because of the minimally invasive surgeries that the brand-new technology allows. Sixty percent of lumbar spine patients are, for example, discharged on the day of their operation.

The hospital’s reputation has attracted patients from as far away as the United States, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, as well as several top sports-people. Services can be provided in Finnish, Swedish, Estonian and Russian, and for patients with other linguistic backgrounds, interpreters can be arranged. The hospital can even sort out accommodation for foreign clients, as they have partnered with several hotels around Helsinki.

“Some of our international clients ask us about levels of hygiene and cleanliness,’ Vähäsilta explains. ‘What they don’t realise is that in Finland there is virtually no hospital bacteria and blood transfusions are highly secure. This is true for any hospital you would go to.”

Beyond cleanliness, Helsinki Hospital’s staff have a high medical ethics. Unnecessary tests or scans – potentially harmful – are not done unless they are absolutely necessary.

In the odd case that the patient has a problem that cannot be solved at Helsinki Hospital, the staff guides them to the right specialist and makes sure they get the best treatment available. One Russian patient, for example, had been told in her country-of-origin that she should have a big and complicated jaw surgery, but upon arrival at Helsinki Hospital, the doctors realised that she, in fact, needed a teeth alignment. She was immediately referred to an orthodontist and got the care she needed before her departure.

Another patient with oral cancer had been deemed untreatable in his home country. His daughter, who lives in Finland, brought him to Helsinki for a second opinion. The surgeons at Helsinki Hospital decided to perform a complicated surgery and rebuild his tongue. For a year prior to the surgery he could barely eat or speak, and now he is speaking and eating with an appetite. After losing all hope, he is now able to live an almost completely normal life.

There are no long waiting times for getting treated at Helsinki Hospital. An appointment with a specialist can, for example, be arranged within one to two days of booking, and if a surgery is necessary it could be performed within seven days of the appointment. •

Helsinki Hospital is located at Bulevardi 22 in Helsinki.

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