What goes behind a hospital’s renaming and culture change journey

Following its acquisition last year, Manipal Hospitals Klang has since been renamed as Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre. Its Head of Medical Services, Dr Priscila Rajah, shares how they have navigated the culture change process

In November 2021, Manipal Hospitals Klang – a 171-bedded hospital established in 2016 with over 30 specialty services – announced its renaming as Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre (BTMC). This follows its acquisition by private healthcare provider Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (RSDH).

“Renaming the hospital to the neighbourhood it is located in is a strategic move, to create a distinctive identity and also to help the facility remain connected to the community it serves”, said RSDH Group Chief Executive Officer Peter Hong Kah Peng.

Formerly owned by Indian hospital operator Manipal Hospitals, the acquisition by RSDH (which is equally owned by Sime Darby Berhad and Australia’s Ramsay Health Care) meant that a full-scale culture change was in order.

Dr PriscilaThe onus was on the hospital’s senior management to communicate and explain the organisation’s new vision, mission, and core values, said BTMC’s Head of Medical Services, Dr Priscila Rajah. “We needed to explain to our staff what these changes mean, and how they should be integrated into our day-to-day work. We also needed to guide the middle managers in cascading these messages down to their team,” she noted.

BTMC now joins three other hospitals, namely Subang Jaya Medical Centre, Ara Damansara Medical Centre, and ParkCity Medical Centre, within RSDH’s portfolio of hospitals in Malaysia. With this comes a change in work style and operating structure, Dr Priscila explained. For example, she noted that the pace of work is now faster, and more decisions and activities are now conducted on the group level.

This extends to digital systems, such as the RSDH group-wide virtual consultation platform. “There are plans for BTMC to move over to the group-wide telehealth platform. We are working to ensure a smooth and safe transition, for example in terms of data privacy and security,” she added.

Managing transformation and change

As Head of Medical Services, Dr Priscila oversees some 11 hospital departments, including Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), allied health, infection control and quality.

Amongst her extensive work portfolio, she pointed to continued strict COVID-19 management measures as one of her key priorities for 2022. While Malaysia’s COVID-19 cases has dropped somewhat – at about 5,000 cases per day in February 2022, as compared to 20,000 cases daily during the Delta surge last August – the situation remains uncertain and volatile. Already, the country’s Health Minister has warned of an impending wave of Omicron infections.

“We cannot afford to let down our guard, and we will need to constantly review and strengthen our infection control measures,” said Dr Priscila.

BTMC will also be undergoing renewal for its MSQH (Malaysian Society for Quality in Health) accreditation. MSQH is the primary healthcare facilities and service accreditation body in Malaysia, and meeting its set of rigorous quality and performance standards is a well-regarded mark of quality for any hospital.

She also highlighted the hospital’s ongoing initiatives to care for both its staff and community.

“As part of the RSDH family, we share a common philosophy. RSD Cares is our commitment to sustainability, with key focus on our staff, our immediate communities, and the health of our planet. As such, we have lined up a series of CSR programmes, including free health checks for the community, school engagements, blood donation drives and residential health programmes. We are also working closely together with NGOs to reach out to a wider community and changing lives,” said Dr Priscilla.

“One of the pillars of RSD Cares is caring for its people, and is something that we emphasise on. Our staff are the heart of this hospital, and we put importance in caring for their wellbeing and providing a good working environment. Part of the programme that we will continue to organise this year is to have more employee engagements, mental health awareness among staff as well as a ‘Speak Up’ programme, where employees are encouraged to highlight their thoughts and suggestions regarding patient safety concerns through an effective platform.”

“In addition, we are committed to putting sustainability at the core and to deliver healthier people, stronger communities and a thriving planet, with the ongoing initiative to convert plastic medication bags to reusable medication bags in the effort to reduce plastic consumption,” she added.

Last but not least, she emphasised the goal to better connect to and serve the community around the hospital. “We are located in a residential area here in Bukit Tinggi township in Klang and serve a fairly large community. We hope to continue expanding our role in boosting community health moving forward.” This is in line with the RSD Cares pillars of “Caring for our people” and “Caring for our community”.

The hospital hopes to build more health awareness, whether through health talks or programmes at schools and workplaces in the area. There are also plans to ramp up its health screening services, through increasing capacity at its facilities or offering on-site corporate programmes.

“Prevention is better than cure – that’s why preventive care will be one of our key focus areas moving forward,” she elaborated. “I do feel that today’s younger generation is more health-conscious – for example, many of them understand the importance of exercise and do work out regularly. However, we should continue to build upon that and spread the message to more people.”

It is a time of transformation and change for BTMC, which is by no means an easy process. However, this also offers an opportunity for renewed focus and a fresh start, as it looks to grow from strength to strength and meet the evolving needs of its community.