Pioneering a Physician Network Model in Indonesia

Dr Hananiel Prakasya Widjaya, co-founder of Kortex Indonesia, shares about the merits of a Physician Network model in healthcare.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

I remember a quote from Wayne Dyer which happens to be especially relevant in healthcare these days.

Healthcare is facing a big transformation in many aspects due to various driving forces, such as shifting disease pattern from acute to chronic, education and expectations of patients, technology and medical care knowledge advancement, financing system change, and quality awareness.

The factors above have pushed hospitals to change their values from Doctor-Centric to Patient-Centric, and place more focus on quality and patient experience. This is especially after Covid-19 pandemic’s influence globally, impacting the process of healthcare delivery to be even more patient-centric and technology-driven.

One of the biggest challenge that needs transformation lies in hospitals. With the significant improvement in technology adoption, the hospital industry has pushed to give more specialised and disease-based, high standard evidence-based best treatment, and more comprehensive care. As a general hospital, it is no longer sufficient to give “general” services without developing Centres of Excellence. It is predicted by the experts that some basic roles of hospitals can be performed in clinics or even at home in the near future.

Physician Networks are the collaboration of some doctors affiliated to give the best practices for patients. Hospitals often have problems fulfilling patient needs and expectations due to different vision and lack of controls by the doctors. The specialist has limited time and commitment in a hospital, subject to their availability. Most of the time they are also not fully updated on the latest evidence and trainings, not facilitated by sufficient equipment by the hospital provider, and not managed in a good management environment.

Responding to these needs, we founded the brand Kortex, pioneering the Physician Network which partner with the hospitals to serve the community in a more patient-centric way. From a generic Brain & Spine Centre in a small private hospital in Surabaya 15 years back, some neurosurgeons started with a humble beginning. They focused on spine cases with total care and relatively high success outcome. Starting 2019, this has been converted into the brand Kortex, which rejuvenates the vision combining latest evidence-based practice, technology, and comprehensive services; and with the existing market profile of 4,576 surgeries and 52,952 patients, spread across 35 regions in Indonesia and 11 countries.

At the moment, Kortex handles mostly spine treatment, and cases like spine surgery, brain tumour, trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, as well as movement disorders like Parkinson’s and epilepsy under an affiliate brand SNEI. It consists of a team of 30 super specialists well known in the field, and equipped with latest medical technology to perform minimally invasive treatment.

Founders of Kortex Indonesia dr. M Sofyanto Sp BS, dr.Agus C Anab Sp BS, , dr. Gigih Pramono SP BS, Adj Prof. dr. Hananiel Prakasya W, MM, CIA

The services have been expanding in some hospitals now – not only in neurosurgery, but also laboratory network, wellness, and pain -spread across some locations across Indonesia. This forms a significant synergy to increase services as well as creates competitive advantage.

As a Physician Network, we collaborate with hospitals to provide specific services that have been outsourced to us. This is not only providing services with the team of doctors, but with standardised services, skills and training needed; latest equipment such as MRI, minimally invasive or robotic surgery; and also digital platforms for patients to enjoy comprehensive services such as cloud-based health records, patient assistance apps, and patient community. 

There are some benefits with the Physician Network from the hospitals’ side, namely:

  1. Simplify hospital management to manage and monitor operational level by outsourcing the service to the Physician Network.
  2. Overcome biggest constraint of the hospitals – the lack of full-time specialist resources.
  3. Add value for hospitals to develop their Centres of Excellence as part of their growth strategy. Many hospitals play the role as general hospitals without having flagship or specialty services, which means they may not be competitive in the future.
  4. Synergy in marketing. Many hospitals are not ready for digitalisation and social media, and their marketing programmes still rely on conservative marketing strategies and are not ready for change.
  5. Increase brand awareness. Imagine if we want to go to a mall, we have to figure out the type of shops inside the mall. This is similar to when we are searching for a hospital.
  6. Sustainable model. Previously, many hospitals prefer to find specialists with good reputation to join their hospitals. It is more sustainable to rely on corporate branding rather than personal name value of the doctors.
  7. An innovative solution for hospitals that could increase quality and build patient-centric care.

The goal of Physician Networks is to meet the Quadruple aims of healthcare. The first pillar is Clinical Experience to give best medical outcome; second pillar is Cost Reduction with innovation and technology to deliver more affordable services; and the third pillar is Prevention Health. Patient Satisfaction will increase by focusing on these three pillars.

From the investors’ point of view, healthcare and digital have become two industries with very good growth opportunities expected in the future, and many institutions want to invest in them. However, one of the challenges is having strong human resources to deliver the services. They would need Physician Networks and operators to grow the business swiftly despite building the brand from nothing.

We believe this new relationship model (between Physician Networks, hospitals and patients) will be impactful and commonly applied in modern healthcare, and be beneficial for patients.

Dr Hananiel Prakasya Widjaya is the Director for Kortex Indonesia, an Indonesian physician network and leading Centre of Excellence in Neuroscience. He was formerly Chief Executive Officer of National Hospital; a top referral and leading digital-based hospital in Surabaya.

Dr Widjaya will be speaking at Digitise Healthcare Indonesia 2022, a conference held by Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, in collaboration with Hospital Management Asia (HMA) and Indonesia Hospital Association (PERSI). To find out more and register, click here.