Let's Talk Medicine

Costa Rica’s JCI-Accredited Hospitals – Part 3

Before continuing our tour of Jordan and its 6 JCI-accredited hospitals, I had promised to cover the last remaining JCI-accredited hospital in Costa Rica. We had covered this Central American country last week and oversaw two of the accredited hospitals by the Joint Commission International:

  1. Hospital CIMA > Reviewed last week
  2. Clinica Biblica > Reviewed last week

  3. Today, we tour Hospital La Católica in San José, Costa Rica

~ Bienvenido al hospital la Católica en Costa Rica ~

I personally haven’t been there and cannot comment from my own experience. However, I will do my best to explain what is provided via the internet. The most striking thing when visiting the hospital’s website is the word “Hotel” next to Hospital. The slogan says:  “A new concept in medical services and Hotel.” 


Virtual Tour: 

For prospect patients or someone like me who would like to research and write about this medical center, Hospital La Católica has provided a short educational video which acts as both a marketing piece of equipment as well as an instructive mechanism for prospect patients and involved candidates in medical tourism. Essentially, an informative video segment is recommended on the website of any given medical center. Here is how Hospital La Católica’s video looks like. 

Click on video to go to the website . Virtual Tour > right side


“Patient Guide” Tab:  

**Needs content addition and improvement. Two very short paragraphs indicate service offerings for both the hospital and the hotel. In my opinion, removing this tab will be as efficient as adding it and confusing patients. 

Medical Tourism at La Católica:  

The MT tab on the hospital’s website indicates that this industry is indeed operational at this venue and invites patients to find out more. However, I found out that there was not much information provided other than a few paragraphs of text.  

The following bullet points are provided on their website regarding Medical Tourism:  

  • Cosmetic and Aesthetic Surgery
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Surgery
  • We also have an exclusive oxygenation system, one of its kind in the county, with three Hyperbaric Chambers
  • I would have liked to see much more information such as pictures, related videos and interviews with chosen practicing doctors who perform those specialties at this hospital and patient testimonials and other links to other websites. There must be more incentive for international patients to be attracted to this venue or any other venue for that matter other than just plain words and a few bullet points.I have already discussed this aspect when I talked about bad facilitators on Costa Rica last week.

    For more information on Medical Tourism however, a form is available allowing prospect patients to fill out and submit. Here is how the form looks like: (Click to enlarge image). 


    Finding a Doctor at La Catolica: 

    The Hospital’s website provides a table with most medical specialties in family medicine, surgery and interventional specialties. Each specialty can be clicked on and a list of physicians, if more than one MD practices at Catolica that is, will pull in that area. You’ll see the table in the following image in orange.

    Further drill down on the practicing Doctor once the specialty has been chosen can be done to find out more in detail. I did not find this particular search engine to be sufficient enough to satisfy the need of prospect patients willing to meet their future doctor.

    If I were a patient visiting Costa Rica, I would like to know a lot about the physician / surgeon who will handle my case: 

    • At least a picture of him/her
    • Videos and interviews with the doctor
    • Patient testimonials
    • His/her areas of specialy
    • Publications by the MD
    • Much more…

    Here is what I did:

    I went through the medical specialties and picked “Hematoloy”, pretending to seek information in that field. One (1) Doctor came up > Dr. Villalaz Irma. Once I clicked on her name, some information about office hours, language abilities and her academic degree were displayed. That’s about it.

    I don’t think this is enough information for prospect patients when searching for international medical provider through a simple website.

    **So much more improvement needed here on this tab and main driver for Medical Tourism  


    International Insurance: 

    The name of Mr. David Moreira and his email address is provided in case prospect patients have questions regarding insurance. The website suggests that patients contact Mr. Moreira well in advance of visiting the facility. 

    David Moreira  Tel/fax: (506) 2246-3147

    The Hotel at the Hospital: 

    • Name: Hotel Posada Convento
    • 34 rooms
    • Physical therapy Room
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Beauty parlor
    • Chapel
    • Medical Services
    • Parking
    • Accessible Rooms
    • Airport transportation
    • Money exchange
    • WiFi
    • More…

    Click on image to enlarge 



    Patient Testimonials: 

     I was expecting to read patient testimonials about the hospital staff, quality and safety of the treatments received or maybe a few words on the Doctors. However, there were 2 testimonials written mostly on the hotel rooms at Hotel Posada Convento. Read it yourself, it’s handwritten letters that were scanned and projected.

    1. Priscilla Ferrara wrote on 09/29/2009
    2. Michon O’Connor wrote on 10/05/2009

    Suggestions: Please add patient testimonials about the Hospital / Medical Providers. People do not go on a hospital’s website for Hotel reviews. 

    Informed Consent 

    This was the best part of the website in my opinion. Similar to finding a Doctor, a table with all medical specialties is projected. You pick your specialty. Depending on the specialty, there are a variety of informative documents and forms available to print / download (pdf version) regarding the specialty of choice and the consequences of surgery. In other words, this tab prepares patients with useful information regarding upcoming medical events and the risks / benefits involved. This is helpful for the patients especially that these documents are translated in English.

    I picked “Plastic Surgery” as an example: Here is what was displayed (4 specialties and 4 related documents – 1 each)

    This concludes our tour of the 3rd and last JCI-accredited hospital in Costa Rica. We continue on Friday with a focus on Jordan’s JCI-Accredited hospitals. We started talking about the Kingdom of Jordan on Monday and there is still lots to cover on this flourishing Medical Tourism hub in the Middle East.

    Until then, thank you for reading and talk to you on Friday.



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    This entry was posted on April 21, 2010 by in Destinations, Joint Commission, Medical Tourism.
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