We at Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI) recently announced our newest collaboration, with Hospital Moinhos de Vento (HMV) in Brazil. We’re always proud when our growth takes us into a new country, and Brazil is a particularly important country to be involved with—in fact, it’s one we’ve had our eyes on for a few years. With a population of 200 million and the sixth largest economy in the world, Brazil’s influence is increasingly extending well beyond Latin America to the global stage. What’s more, with a strong and growing middle class, Brazil is already committed to widely accessible, high-quality health care, and is constantly raising the bar.
HMV is an especially impressive institution for us to collaborate with there. The hospital’s home base of Porto Alegre is only the tenth largest city, but it’s a major industrial hub and the largest in the southern part of the country. The city is already renowned for the quality of its major hospitals, and HMV stands out even among this group. That means that we’re not there to make an emerging hospital a good one—rather, our collaboration is intended to support an excellent regional hospital in its quest to become a world-class provider of health care. Indeed, while HMV already draws patients from all over southern Brazil, it has its sights on becoming a health care destination for patients from neighboring countries, including Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. We’ll definitely be working hard to keep up with HMV’s ambitions and sense of urgency, as laid out in a solid strategic plan that sketches out the hospital’s planned growth and improvement through 2020.
These admirable ambitions will see us working closely with HMV as it builds up its expertise in several specialties, including neurology and neurosurgery, imaging, cardiology and oncology. HMV will also be drawing on Johns Hopkins’ Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), widely regarded as state of the art in patient safety. (Peter Pronovost, who heads the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality here at Johns Hopkins, spoke at the signing of our historic agreement.) We’ll also be working together to set the highest possible standards for nursing at HMV—in most of the world, progress in making nurses full and equal members of the patient care team alongside physicians lags behind what top health care providers in the U.S. have achieved, and HMV is eager to close that gap.
We’ve found HMV to be aligned with Johns Hopkins when it comes to a number of critical challenges in health care today. Like us, HMV is increasingly focused on better managing chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, as a means of both improving population health and reducing the costs of health care. It also, like us, recognizes that high-quality patient care does more than treat physical disease—it also addresses other aspects of patient wellness, including patient comfort, emotional state and lifestyle.
And particularly impressive about HMV is that it shares our belief in the importance of academic medicine’s tripartite mission: patient-centered care, biomedical research and clinician education. HMV already has a significant research program—unusual for most hospitals outside the U.S. and Europe—and is eager to work with Johns Hopkins to expand the program to become a full-fledged clinical research center. HMV also intends to seek the type of academic accreditation that will enable it to bring in clinical residents and fellows, and plans to establish a school of nursing.
HMV isn’t wasting any time, either—they’ll have a team of nurse leaders here at Johns Hopkins in just a few weeks for close observation, and two of our top nursing experts, Jane Shivnan and Patricia Dawson, will be heading down to HMV. The clinical and administrative exchanges will be flying fast and furiously from now on, and we intend to supplement those physical visits with video grand rounds, among other forms of knowledge transfer. David Abreu, the experienced JHI Global Services director responsible for Brazil, tells me HMV is already jointly arranging with us to hold a multi-day program there in just a few months that will provide specialty-care workshops for physicians and nurses.
I was truly energized by my trip to Porto Alegre for the signing event—and already looking forward to spending more time with our newest colleagues.