Placing Ukraine on the Global Healthcare Map
Launched just over three years ago, Doctor Sam has evolved into a highly effective network of three ambulatory clinics. Furthermore, it is a place where quantity goes along with a quality that is globally recognised
Doctor Sam is one of Kyiv’s great options for the medical needs of children and adults in various fields, including paediatrics, therapy, gynaecology, cardiology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, psychology, and MORE, while also offering vaccinations and diagnostics. But that’s not the only reason this medical group is gaining favour in the local community.
Doctor Sam recently became Ukraine’s first Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited entity. A Gold Seal of Approval, JCI was founded in 1994 by The Joint Commission, the US’ oldest standard-setting body in healthcare.
“Right from the start I knew we would have to obtain this accreditation for all of our clinics, it was a must for us,” explains Dr Sam Aganov, PhD and MBA, group founder and CEO, who earned his degrees and experience in Minnesota and California. “In this past year, instead of opening more clinics, we devoted most of our attention, energy, and focus on getting ready to secure the world’s toughest, strictest, and fairest certification in medicine and healthcare facilities.”
Apart from professional self-esteem, Aganov says they feel a sense of national pride in fulfilling this ambitious task, which took more than two years of intense preparation. “Check the JCI site to see if a country you travel to boasts JCI-accredited facilities. The system reaches more than 90 countries. Some time ago, Ukraine was not on this list, which bothered me. We actually put Ukraine on the JCI map,” Aganov says, proudly.
Since most of the JCI standards were unknown to Ukrainians earlier, let alone implemented here, Aganov started educating his medical personnel on what it was all about and why it was so important. They then set to develop their general policies and procedure according to JCI standards.
“The written rules have a practical meaning and positive impact on what we do,” says Aganov. “Every one of our personnel – from doctors to nurses or cleaning crew – know the rules and adheres to them. For example, before we hire our medical staff we conduct a primary source verification. We get respective universities to confirm that a job candidate did obtain a degree there. This is unusual for Ukraine, but we do it.”
Doctor Sam staff underwent extensive life support and fire safety training and on a regular basis, they continue performing various emergency drills.
Before any invasive procedure, Doctor Sam always uses two patient identifiers (a full name and date of birth) to minimise mistakes and maintain patient safety. In this regard, little things that typically go unnoticed assume well-deserved importance. “It is no secret that doctors must wash their hands before examining a patient. However, as the JCI prescribes, patients should see them do it,” Aganov says. Thus, Ukrainian patients are also educated about what proper treatment stands for.
What’s in it for You
As advocates for a comprehensive approach to healthcare, Doctor Sam makes it easy for families to consult three or more doctors during one visit. Moreover, the clinics appeal to people who take care of their health and don’t wait until something bad happens. “Come to us not only when you get sick. Come to us in order not to get sick,” says Aganov.
Doctor Sam boasts innovative and advanced options like Teleconsultation that enables clients to get qualified advice from specialists without leaving home. All a patient needs is a computer, web camera, and internet access. “For this service, we use a specially-built platform that guarantees privacy and confidentiality of our clients’ data,” says Aganov.
A second opinion is good for those wishing to double check a prescription made by somebody else and get alternative advice.
“We don’t have a surgery department yet. However, we keep on expanding and plan to open a hospital in the future. Right now, we can arrange an operation abroad at one of our partners’ facilities,” Aganov explains.
Needless to add, the English-speaking community constitutes quite a part of Doctor Sam clientele. In case a doctor does not speak English – which is rare – the clinics provide an interpreter.
It has just Begun
Trained in the US, Aganov came to Kyiv for a specific American-run project, on the completion of which he launched his own project and has remained here. “Once the project was over, I found it morally difficult to catch a plane and fly away. I thought Ukrainians deserved something better in terms of healthcare. With the JCI accreditation, our work has just begun. I hope other clinics will also go for it. The first three clinics in Ukraine are now accredited by JCI. It will be interesting to see which one will be the fourth. In the meantime, we feel very fortunate to be in a position to enable change on a large scale in the country,” Aganov concludes.
For more details about the accreditation or the clinic, visit doctorsam.ua
“Come to us not only when you get sick. Come to us in order not to get sick”
Dr Sam Aganov