For people who find hospital halls gloomy, HealthFirst outpatient clinic offers basic medical services such as consultation, diagnosis and treatment in a hip and welcoming facility. It also offers psychological and psychiatric services for people who are too shy to have these in regular hospitals.
The main HealthFirst clinic isat SoHo Central in Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City. It occupies the second and third floors of the building, providing a spacious clinic area within a mall-like setting. The two other branches are at Eastwood and Cubao in Quezon City.
HealthFirst medical director Dr. Jesse Baylon and chief of clinics Dr. Julie Que Cheng took us around HealthFirst SoHo during thelaunch; both doctors specialize in internal and occupational medicine.
The second floor has six centers: Medical Consulting Center, Medical Exam Center, Laboratory, Imaging Center, Oral Health Center and Pharmacy.
The third floor has the Ambulatory Surgery Center, Physical Therapy and Rehab Center, plus HealthFirst Executive, a private center where patients can have their executive checkups done in comfort.
Dr. Baylon says patients have been choice-conscious over the years, so stuff such as parking areas and waiting time are always considered, aside from medical expertise and cost.
“At HealthFirst, walk-in patients can have ambulatory surgical service, elective surgery or diagnostic endoscopy at a more affordable rate than big hospitals,” he said. “Parking is easy, and waiting time is minimal.”
He credits the quick service to a “smart queuing system” similar to those found in banks, and points out that each clinic center has a counter manned by a staff member who ushers inincoming patients.
HealthFirst honors all cards issued by health maintenance organizations (HMO), and for cases that require further care, the clinic has partner hospitals for referral. Next year, HealthFirst will start offering IV infusion chemotherapy, Dr. Baylon adds.
HealthFirst is a convenient, one-stop clinic where people can have things done at the same time. The SoHo clinic has a spacious area where families and groups can be accommodated without overcrowding, with extra room for children to play in, making doctor visits less terrifying.
The interiors are simple, bright and clean.
Going around, Dr. Cheng showed us how technology is used: “We keep track of patients through electronic medical records; there are no physical charts and we are mostly paperless. Test results are stored digitally via image archiving and laboratory information service which can be easily retrieved for reference.”
HealthFirst has been around since 1999, initially as a clinic for Unilab employees. Now HealthFirst services corporations such as Del Monte Philippines, NutriAsia, IBM-Daksh/Concentrix, Intellicare, Philam, Sun Llife of Canada, Sun Life Grepa and AsianLife Insurance.
Dr. Cheng says majority of their patients go to them for pre-employment medical and annual physical exams. In these partner offices, HealthFirst sets up caravans to lecture on stress management, overcoming obesity and maintaining proper posture to avoid back pain, since many employees sit in front of the computer for hours.
HealthFirst also has a number of pediatric patients, Dr. Cheng adds. “We have a general pediatrician, a child psychologist and pulmonologist, a pediatric ophthalmologist and a pediatric dentist who specialize in children’s needs.”
Collectively, there are over 80 doctors working in shifts servicing an average of 200 patients a day in all the branches.
They also have special-care specialists such as sleep-medicine doctors who address snoring, dermatologists for cosmetic care, psychologists and psychiatrists for professional guidance.
HealthFirst Clinic is at Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City. Visit their website here.