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Interview with: Douglas McLaughlin, Chief Operating Officer

Douglas McLaughlin is one of the Speakers at the marcus evans Medical Cities Conference and will be delivering a session on "Implementing a Patient Focused Design and a Healing Healthcare Environment".

Below is the full interview with Douglas on his views and insights on Medical Cities.

As one of the speakers, what is your view and expert opinion about the upcoming conference?
DM:
The face of healthcare is changing very rapidly. There are several reasons for this - leaps in technology; raised patient expectations; demands from government authorities and third party payers. Another aspect is the change in hospital design to both consumer demands and also the drive towards sustainability and respecting the environment. With such changes occurring, this conference is very timely- particularly as the venue is Dubai which is a major hub in a region witnessing a huge expansion in health care facilities.
 
Can you share with us about your experience as Chief Operating Officer on the importance of the design of a hospital?
DM:
The principles of hospital design often hold true in many hospital environments. To provide some examples, the Radiology and Imaging department should be in close proximity to the Emergency Department. Ideally, the operating theatres should be close to the Intensive Care Unit and the Maternity Unit should have designated theatres close by for emergency deliveries. We should not forget the outpatient visitors - when payments are required, access to point of sale equipment/cashiers must be nearby without patients having to traipse through the hospital looking for a place to pay the invoice.
 
Why is the design important for a hospital?
DM:
The design of a hospital is fundamental for the delivery of clinical services, patient satisfaction and the general efficiency of day to day operational activities. Besides this, an aesthetically pleasing hospital can assist in patient recovery time and helps to reinforce the perceived quality of the hospital "brand".
 
What are some of the opportunities for expanding in this market?
DM:
The shift from mainly government provided healthcare to a system of health insurance/third party payers over the past generation has made the GCC region a fertile one to stimulate demand and broaden the market. This has been greatly fuelled by the economic impetus the GCC countries are benefitting from at this time.
 
For healthcare companies entering the market now, there is a wonderful opportunity to provide niche and segmented services to health consumers, whether individuals or insurance companies. One example is bariatric surgery but there are many more.

Any final words of advice to Hospital Developers/Owners/Operators?
DM:
Currently, it appears to be an opportune time for health care providers. The sharp shock of the 2008/9 financial crisis has been ridden through and the region is enjoying levels of growth comparable to before the downturn. A basic requirement of a maturing society is both choice and access to quality healthcare. This region is providing both the economic platform and receptive patient population for an expansion of healthcare on a grand scale to happen.


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