Shantou University Guangzhou Huaxin Orthopaedic Hospital succesfully held Sino-German Video Conference on Orthopaedics Specialty Construction on the afternoon of April 14, inviting Prof. Mayer, the former medical director of Schön Klinik München Harlaching.
In the beginning, Prof. Li Xu, President of Shantou University Guangzhou Huaxin Orthopaedic Hospital, gave a welcome address to Prof. Mayer and all the participants and gave a brief introduction to the hospital. President Li believes that although the hospital is developing steadily, in the face of challenges and competition in future development, the hospital needs to cultivate a team with more excellent doctors. The doctors are all passionate about scientific research, but how to balance clinical practices and scientific research has become a huge challenge.
At the same time, he indicated that talents are an indispensable part of the development of the hospital and talent cultivation is inextricably linked with team building and individual development. Only by focusing on the cultivation of management talents can we keep pace with the development of the hospital, and only in this way can we attract more young doctors to join our team, making contributions to orthopaedics specialty construction jointly.
Prof. Mayer showed appreciation for the steady growth in annual surgery volume during the Covid-19 pandemic and had in-depth discussions on the development of the hospital with President Li and other attendees.
As former medical director of Schön Klinik München Harlaching, Prof. Mayer shared his experience in conquering difficulties after taking over the hospital in its bankruptcy.
Prof. Mayer suggested that building up credibility and reputation is crucial to a private hospital, the core of which is to provide high-quality medical services, stay active in scientific research and attach importance to talent cultivation.
In terms of scientific research, he suggested doctors could find the research direction through clinical practices, promote clinical research in their daily work and keep digging deeper into scientific research value. Prof. Mayer stressed that the development of clinical research should not be accompanied by too much additional workload of medical workers. For example, in Schön Klinik München Harlaching, doctors and nurses share the burden of scientific research. To be more specific, doctors collect information during physical examination, while nurses collect information by questionnaires. The key is to simplify the procedure of data collection and analysis and avoid duplication of work.
In Schön Klinik München Harlaching, the number of pediatric orthopaedic operations is about 2,000 every year, and the daily work involves the treatment and rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy and related scientific researches. It also took some time to get rehabilitation services of the pediatric orthopaedics department on track. At first, the hospital hired qualified therapists from other institutions to help rehabilitation on children with cerebral palsy, and at the same time promoted the rehabilitation training of the surgeons in the hospital. Later, a rotation system was established in the hospital, whereby surgeons were required to rotate to the rehabilitation centre and take charge of the rehabilitation treatment of the patients.
With the high standard of pediatric orthopaedic surgery, surgeons know better about the postoperative situation of the patients than therapists and can better arrange rehabilitation treatment plan for patients. Therefore, the pediatric orthopaedic surgeons rotate to the rehabilitation centre regularly. Meanwhile, the chief of the pediatric orthopaedics is also responsible for the rehabilitation of pediatric orthopaedics, because the director of the department and the surgeon-in-charge are most familiar with the surgery and postoperative rehabilitation.
Schön Klinik München Harlaching also faced the difficulty of lack of patients because the hospital is far from the city centre with inconvenient traffic, and most patients came to our hospital by recommendations from peers and general practitioners. In terms of children with pediatric orthopaedic conditions, apart from recommendations from colleagues, word-of-mouth advertising between their parents can also attract more patients.
Prof. Mayer also shared a strategy to increase recommendations from peers, which is a small detail with a significant effect. The strategy is to call the doctor who makes the referral and inform the doctor of the postoperative situation. The phone call may take less than a minute, but with the unexpectedly good outcome. It allows the referring doctor to understand the patient's situation. Receiving feedback on the good treatment of the patient reassures the referring doctor. In terms of increasing trust from peers, it is important to significantly expand the visibility of the hospital. In Germany, doctors are not additionally paid for referrals, and patients are always grateful for the referrals for effective treatment. After accepting patients, the hospital will normally consult the patients whether they need to notify their family and friends, etc. This is also one of the details helping the increasing visibility of the hospital.
In terms of follow-up, Schön Klinik sets up a statistics center to collect and process follow-up data on patients’ postoperative situations for many years. The data is not only of high value for scientific research but also can be used to prove the high-quality medical services of the hospital to the public and the government.
It is very important and difficult to prove to the government and the public that our private hospital can provide high-quality medical services for patients and have high-level scientific research capabilities as the public hospital can. Schön Klinik München Harlaching also faced the problem of having low credibility at the beginning. In addition to providing high-quality medical services, Prof. Mayer recommended doctors "go out" and participate in national and international academic activities. The doctors could prove the high-quality medical services of the hospital with the collected data to gain academic recognition from the medical industry. The hospital could carry out more “health care talks” to introduce some diseases and their treatment plan. Meanwhile, we could use social media platforms to promote awareness and inform the public and the government that hospital is capable of providing high-quality medical services.
When Schön Klinik München Harlaching was established, the government granted a financial support of 10 million euros, but it still took six years to break even. Therefore, running a hospital well requires perseverance, which is a process of quantitative to qualitative change.
At the conference, Prof. Mayer shared three key events that drove the development of Schön Klinik München Harlaching.
A doctor from the University Hospital Munich came to München Harlaching to receive spinal surgery, which was quite shocking at the time. The fact that a professor from a public, university hospital came to a private hospital for medical treatment proved that our orthopaedic treatment is recognized by our colleagues and that our hospital could provide medical services which were the same as or even better than that of a university hospital.
Over the years, Schön Klinik München Harlaching has operated on a number of national and international celebrities, economic leaders, royal dynasties and politicians. These VIP patients would create a celebrity effect to help increase the visibility of the hospital.
Sports medicine is also an important specialty to promote the hospital, which is thriving in Germany. Schön Klinik München Harlaching cooperates with many sports societies and clubs, for instance, the hospital was certified as “FIFA Medical Centers of Excellence”, which gives us more opportunities to treat top athletes to helps raise the hospital’s fame.
Prof. Mayer said that these are milestones during the hospital's growth. The success of the hospital is not achieved overnight. He hopes to provide new ideas for promoting the hospital by sharing their stories.
Doctors from Shantou University Guangzhou Huaxin Orthopaedic Hospital actively participated in the discussion
At the end of the seminar, President Li expressed his sincere thanks to Gloryren. Prof. Mayer also expressed great pleasure to participate in Sino-German Video Conference on Orthopaedics Specialty Construction 2023. President Li and Prof. Mayer both expressed that they look forward to meeting each other in September at the Third Sino-Euro Global Forum on Hospital Management, Specialty Construction & Talent Cultivation 2023.
At the end of the meeting, President Li commended Dr. Chen Shu and Dr. Zeng Linfeng and expressed encouragement to young doctors.
Busy clinical work is our daily routine, President Li said, but life is not only about the present but also about the bigger picture in the future. While still young, we must dare to try and firmly seize the opportunity. We must constantly improve our medical skills to become the backbone of China's medical industry in the future!
The 41st Annual Meeting of the European Paediatric Orthopaedic Society (EPOS 2023) was held in ICE Krakow Congress Centre, Poland from March 28th to April 1st, gathering top specialists from all over the world. Doctors from the pediatric orthopaedics department of Shantou University Guangzhou Huaxin Orthopaedic Hospital are chosen to have a speech and present am E-poster at the conference. President Li Xu, Dr. Zeng Linfeng and Dr. Chen Shu went to Poland to participate in the conference.