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Poland’s player in rehab

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Medi-System has evolved since its establishment in 2001. At that time, Founder Marcin Zawadzki, himself a surgeon, set up a small outpatient clinic and also began providing physical therapy in nursing homes. “We were successful from the start and grew rapidly,” he recalls.

Today he is President of the Board after having spent 13 years as CEO of the company. Within the first year, Medi-System shifted its focus to long-term care, realizing that it was a more promising business sector.

The first such facility offered 75 beds for its core operation in addition to an outpatient clinic. Physical therapy remains important to the company on an inpatient basis.

“In total, our five centers offer 600 beds,” Dr. Zawadzki highlights. The newest site, located near the Polish capital, has 150 beds for private, long-term patients requiring neurological, cardiological or general rehabilitation.

“Our patients have often had some sort of major health event,” Dr. Zawadzki explains. “For instance, a patient who has had a stroke requires neurological rehab. We also see a number of patients who have had revascularization, such as a vascular bypass or an angioplasty. The quality of service at each center is excellent.”

The centers in the Medi-System family all implement the Patient Care Management System. This system incorporates the doctors, medical care and physical therapy, and other aspects of the patient’s recovery into one virtual location to establish a schedule for the patient.

“The system makes us completely transparent,” Dr. Zawadzki adds. “The information is made available to the patient’s family. They can log in and see when the patient was fed, what he or she had to eat, even who fed the patient.”

The family, who is involved in creating the care plans with Medi-System, can track the patient’s progress. The Patient Care Management System also serves as a safety net against mistakes.

Medi-System is the largest network provider of long-term care and inpatient physiotherapy in Poland, a country where long-term medical care is lagging behind its western counterparts. “Many other institutions cannot offer the quality of service we have, and the market is very fragmented,” Dr. Zawadzki notes.

In the company’s early years, it worked closely together with the public health insurance companies and was paid from national health funds. After the reforms of the health sector in 1999, the budget for public health insurance grew, and Medi-System grew with it.

The planned budget increases ended in 2009, and now growth is linked to changes in GDP. While 65% of the services the company offers are paid for from national funds, private health insurance is taking hold, and some Medi-System centers see a majority of private patients.

The company aims for expansion in the future, and two acquisitions this year, taking the bed count up to 800, will aid Medi-System in reaching this goal.

“Our organization model lets us grow, making it easier to set up new units,” Dr. Zawadzki says. “We are looking at a few locations near major cities. In the long run, we want to offer services for less severely ill patients for more short-term care.”

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