Why Health Cube is Giving Hospitals a Headache

Sunday, October 05, 2014 Stef dela Cruz, MD 0 Comments

Have you ever paid any attention to those diagnostic laboratories and treatment centers sprouting like mushrooms? Well, me neither… until a few weeks ago when I saw Health Cube in Greenhills.

Health CubeI ventured towards Health Cube like a moth to a flame. Would I get burned?

“Don’t go to Health Cube!” my spidey senses were telling me, but I couldn’t help it. I knew curiosity killed the cat, but curiosity also made possible our wonderful GPS technology (and I bet even your current romantic relationship), so I gave it a shot.

I can’t wait to tell you what I found out.

6 Reasons Health Cube is Giving Hospitals a Headache

To satisfy my curiosity, I availed of one of Health Cube’s health packages. I’m sure you’ve heard of an executive checkup – it’s that all-in-one package that tests you from head to toe.

I then realized how Health Cube can be the thorn in the side of every hospital you and I can think of, business-wise. Here’s why.

1. Health Cube won’t make you wait long.

Let’s face it: Hospital queues are so unpredictable! You don’t know how long you’ll end up waiting. Should you cancel your appointments for the rest of the day, the same way you used to do whenever you had to go to the hospital?

I’m so used to spending an entire day at the clinic just for a checkup and an ultrasound. Maybe that’s why it surprised me that I had my blood extracted, peed in a cup, had a chest x-ray and an ECG, did a pulmonary function test, and finished a treadmill stress test before it was time for me to grab lunch.

Because I had time on my hands, I had a chat with Marites Mendoza, marketing head of Health Cube. “People don’t have to wait. When they come over, we customize their experience so that they save as much time as possible,” she said.

x-rayWhile I go to the x-ray room, you go to the ECG room. Nobody has to wait.

While I was getting ready for my next procedure, I noticed how the staff was directing patients to different rooms. If two people were on queue for both an x-ray and an ECG, one would have the x-ray, while the other would go to the ECG room.

2. If you must wait, you don’t have to do it inside Health Cube.

Notice how you have to wait at the clinic or you might lose your turn? That’s not the case at Health Cube.

If you do have to wait at Health Cube because your doctor has an emergency to attend to, you’re free to leave and come back later. The staff will text you updates so that you know when it’s time to head back.

compassionate healthcareHealthcare should be a pleasant experience for everyone, Health Cube’s brochure says. I second that.

Health Cube is located in Greenhills Shopping Center (the new Promenade Building across the cinemas). It’s therefore so convenient that if for any reason you have to wait, you can always go to the mall first!

“If our doctors are late, we give them a warning,” said Dr Marianito Mapue, the clinic manager whom I spoke with during my checkup. “Sometimes, they’re late because they have an emergency procedure elsewhere. But if that was the case, they have to inform us ahead of time so that patients aren’t left wondering.”

Wow! Good job, Health Cube! I have yet to see a hospital who gives their doctors a late memo!

3. You won’t have to deal with that dismissive front desk lady or that grumpy doctor’s secretary at Health Cube.

I don’t even have to explain this. I’m sure you’ve had your run-in with at least one annoying secretary or receptionist!

That didn’t happen to me at Health Cube. They were all smiles. They didn’t patronize me or say anything to make me feel like I’m being impatient.

Health Cube staffI didn’t even ask the staff to smile at me. When they saw me with a camera, they smiled on cue! I bet you that won’t happen wherever it is you go for your checkup.

Actually, Health Cube feels like a hotel more than a clinic!

They have two waiting rooms where you can catch up on your reading. They have magazines and up-to-date newspapers on the table, plus a giant multi-display TV screen on the wall if you’d rather watch than read.

Health Cube waiting roomWatch TV and have coffee on the house while you’re waiting for your turn. It’s like seeing your doctor in a hotel, isn’t it?

There’s a coffee booth where you can get your caffeine fix. You can get as much coffee as you want; it’s perfectly fine.

4. Health Cube’s staff is arguably as competent as your hospital’s.

I’ve always been afraid of those stand-alone diagnostic hospitals because I get the feeling their tech staff and operators aren’t as competent as those in hospitals. I was relieved to find out Health Cube is different.

The people who read your x-rays in the hospital are probably the same people who read your x-rays in Health Cube. Their employees actually work in different hospitals, too!

Health Cube clinicsLook at that health buffet! They have doctors from different areas of specialization.

“You get the same quality of healthcare here as in the hospital,” Dr Mapue said. True. But Health Cube seems to treat their customers better.

After all, in a hospital, I’ve never seen half the number of smiles I saw in Health Cube. It’s nice to see customer service and quality healthcare in just one place.

5. Health Cube will email your results to you – no need to come back if you don’t have the time.

That just saves you both time and effort, doesn’t it? After you’ve completed your procedures, you can go home and wait for your results via email.

treadmill stress testI jogged for 12 minutes during my treadmill stress test. I don’t have to run all the way back the next day just to get my results, do I?

Expect your results within three days. Full disclosure: I had to send them a message after six days to remind them that I haven’t received my results yet. Still, that’s better than driving all the way back to the lab to get your results!

6. You might save a buck or two by heading over to Health Cube!

I’m sure many of you think Health Cube offers expensive procedures. You can’t be more wrong.

Health Cube checkupYes, health has a price. But the price doesn’t have to be too steep.

Just so you know how much you’ll be saving from Health Cube, ask what their rates are for a complete blood count and compare that with hospital rates. You might be surprised.

Health Cube: Setting an Example for Quality Healthcare

Just yesterday, I wrote about how good doctors aren’t necessarily good people. That’s sad, considering how expertise is best coupled with compassion. With too many patients complaining about how their doctors are showing signs of compassion fatigue, what I saw in Health Cube gave me a lot of hope.

Health Cube

If you’re now curious about Health Cube the same way I was before, you can visit Health Cube online and go from there. They’re open from 7AM until 8PM and you can call them at (02) 650 1111. They’re located in Greenhills – drop by and check out their facilities.

I fervently hope that our hospitals follow the example set by Health Cube. Doctors and health professionals should both be competent and compassionate.

If there’s an emergency a doctor has to attend to, it would be compassionate to ask the clinic secretary to inform the patients what is going on. It’s better than making them wait indefinitely and making them wonder what on earth is going to happen next.

Let’s hope this rubs off. I do hope Health Cube is giving hospitals a headache. It just might trigger a change for the better.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!