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  • David Walcott

Successful Business & ESG Turnaround Of Multi-specialty Medical Clinic

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

How Novamed Led A Business & ESG Turnaround Of A Medical Center Serving Underserved Communities

Windward Medical Center was experiencing poor performance

In 2018, Windward Medical Center was experiencing poor performance with waning patient numbers. Its ability to serve the target low-income population and optimize outcomes is limited by challenges endemic to the primary healthcare system of Jamaica including low levels of resources, low purchasing power of the clientele and challenges with making data-driven healthcare decisions. Furthermore, patients have relatively low levels of health literacy and often make suboptimal health decisions based on an unawareness of proper health practices. These challenges lead to general underperformance of primary care (e.g. complication rates), disutility of care (e.g. overmedicalisation) mixed with patients’ inability to afford the needed healthcare services. The business was under threat.

Novamed stepped in to offer operational support

Novamed understood the need for providing healthcare to the underserved and sought to drive business transformation from within. Given the greater importance of ESG considerations in long-term sustainability of business, we opted to drive business transformation in tandem with optimising across environmental and social variables - which are particularly important in serving a low-income community.

The three pillars of business transformation included clinical excellence, operational efficiency and financial performance. We noted clear organizational gaps and extensive operational inefficiencies that hindered the organisation's ability to serve patients and caused losses through inefficient management of resources, poor customer service & ineffective market engagement.

Novamed embarked on an exercise to optimize the organizational structure, with well-defined roles, responsibilities & relationships. It then mapped and restructured the operating processes of the practice with incorporation of best-practice management tools, adoption of target metrics and greater adoption of technology. Providing healthcare to low-income populations is challenging, and our specialty in emerging markets has forced us to understand the delivery of healthcare to underprivileged populations.

Windward Medical Center is now a healthy & thriving business

With all resources channelled towards internal reorganisation and no capital expenditure on marketing, our interventions ultimately yielded an increase in revenues by 42% over 18 months with a return to profitability. Our carbon footprint has been reduced by over 40% and we have increased our staff complement by 20% by employing from the community.

Windward Medical Center has grown in stature to being the largest multi-specialty medical practice by patient volume in Eastern Kingston. It has been recognised for its growth by the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Ministry of Health & several insurance companies. It provides high-quality healthcare services to primarily low-income populations and vulnerable groups, with a client footprint that has seen a range of individuals approximating to 20% of Jamaica’s population. It now looks towards a new phase of growth and has embarked on a transformation exercise to increase its ability to effectively meet the increasing healthcare needs and become the first net-zero medical centre in the Caribbean.

We are convinced that it is indeed possible to solve for profit, purpose & ESG at the same time and are keen to replicate our model of ESG-first, profitable healthcare businesses for low-income communities across emerging markets.

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