How this healthcare service provider from Kerala is empowering both doctors and patients
In 1988, a father-son duo in Kerala had a vision – to provide the best of healthcare services to the rural community in a financially responsible manner. It was this vision that led to the birth of Muthoot Healthcare.
A year later, George Kurien Muthoot passed away and his son, Georgie Kurien Muthoot, both doctors, took over the reins as the Medical and Managing Director of the company. Today, Muthoot Healthcare has two multi-speciality hospitals, a cancer centre, 24 diagnostic centres, dental care boutiques, and an education unit with colleges and schools of nursing and allied health science and management colleges.
“We aim to be the one-stop healthcare solutions provider with our services covering a wide range of healthcare solutions. Our pan-Kerala diagnostics centres are leading the charge for sustainable healthcare by empowering doctors to make the right decisions for their patients at the right time, and allowing people to have improved control over their health and well-being,” says Kevin Binu, Corporate and Digital Communications, Muthoot Healthcare.
Muthoot Healthcare’s educational institutes help it train the next generation of compassionate healthcare workers and provides them with real-world expertise. Its homecare services offer post-procedure respite care to patients in the comfort of their homes with a trained medical team always available at close proximity.
With a team size of 1,000-1,200 employees within the Muthoot Healthcare division, its NABH-certified hospitals ensure that patients receive the best possible care with its panel of specialists, complemented with its NABH Nursing Excellence-awarded team of nurses.
Jumping on the WhatsApp bandwagon
Muthoot Healthcare was one of the first healthcare providers in the region to use WhatsApp Business App primarily for managing doctor appointments, health check-up package bookings, MRI, CT scans, and mammography bookings. Now, they also use the app to communicate with customers to provide immediate responses to their complaints, concerns, and feedback.
“Through our WhatsApp service, we are able to not only provide our healthcare services to our catchment area, but also provide vital services such as our drug information centre consultation free of cost to people around the world,” says Kevin.
Patients can reach out to talk to their drug information centre officer who can assist them with drug enquiries. They can also request and download their lab reports using the app. Since Muthoot conducts various medical camps, it finds WhatsApp’s ‘Send Location’ feature helpful for attendees.
“The Auto Reply and Quick Reply features are also helpful when we face a mass influx of patients,” says Kevin.
Stepping in to aid the rescue efforts in Kerala
Remember the deadly 2018 Kerala floods? Muthoot Healthcare was able to make the best use of WhatsApp for disaster management. It coordinated rescue efforts using the group functionality, and was also the point-of-contact between anxious patients in their care and their loved ones. Post the flood, it was able to initiate clean-up efforts and schedule medical camps at various locations, stepping in to provide relief to government health services.
Creating positive customer interactions
“Automation makes dealing with a lot of customers easy, but what separates a good interaction from a run-of-the-mill one is personalisation, which can leave a lasting impact on customers,” says Kevin.
Citing an example, he recalled a geriatric patient in intensive care whose grandchildren were living abroad. They had expressed interest in seeing their grandfather as they were unable to get time off from work to fly down to meet him. Muthoot Healthcare made it possible, thanks to the ability to make video calls on WhatsApp. “We were lucky to bear witness to that beautiful moment between a family who were so far, yet so close to each other,” he says.
Kevin adds why Muthoot Healthcare has become the service provider of choice for a lot of families in their catchment area. “We have started to see a higher influx of NRI patients returning home expecting the world-class services they used to receive. We’re able to cater to their needs at a considerably reasonable price without compromising on quality and patient satisfaction.”
‘Freedom from Cancer’ initiative
As the number of breast and cervical cancer cases in Kerala continue to rise, the ‘Freedom from Cancer’ initiative was set up as a means to offer free medical and surgical oncology procedures to 150 deserving patients.
To help the patients say goodbye to cancer, along with its physical and digital outreach programmes, it turned to WhatsApp to raise awareness about the detection and treatment of cancer. It was able to register patients for various detection camps and share patient testimonials from patients who have benefited from the service using the Broadcast feature.
“Through our outreach, we are on the path to help well over 150 cancer patients receive a new lease on life,” says Kevin.