Several local-news stories about marked shifts in hospital operations, which seem to focus on hospitals “de-hospitalizing”, morphing into unusual, if not outright new, configurations for defined types of health treatment:
Great Bend Hospital to Eliminate 130 Jobs (KTKA News 49, Topeka KS 2/13/11)
The Central Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend has notified 130 employees that they will lose their jobs May 1, when the hospital becomes a same-day surgery center….the hospital’s name will change to St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center on May 1.
New Emergency Room Stands Apart (Sharon Salyer, Everett (WA) Daily Herald, 2/13/11)
A 2010 study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only about 16 percent of patients treated in hospital emergency rooms are actually admitted to hospitals. “….60 percent…need emergency-room service but don’t need to go to the hospital,” [Swedish Health Service ER supervising physician Dr. John] Milne said. “That’s really the target market we’re looking at, that gap in the middle.”
Swedish Health Service is based in Seattle WA.
The companion story in the Herald,Emergency Rooms Compete For Customers, (Sharon Salyer, 2/13/11) notes
Swedish/Mill Creek is the third satellite emergency room it has opened since 2005, and the first outside King County…..Based on the experience at its Issaquah satellite emergency room, which opened in 2005, only about 7 percent of patients need to be transferred to hospitals….
Meanwhile, nearby Providence Regional Medical Center’s ads for its new ER focus on its attachment to the hospital:
Providence, opening a new $460 million medical tower in June, and an emergency room that will take up its entire first floor, isn’t waiting to publicize what it sees as its advantages.
Its ads promote its award-winning emergency room service and ask: “If you need an emergency room, wouldn’t you rather there be a hospital attached?”
Emergency Room Stands on its own in Chaska (Tom Meersman, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 2/12/11)
A new medical center with ER, urgent care and specialty clinics but no hospital is a move toward alternative care venues….
The doors opened last week at the Two Twelve Medical Center in Chaska.
They’ll never be locked.
The four-story building, along and named after the recently rerouted highway, features the state’s first free-standing urgent care and emergency department.
Like other ERs, it’ll be open 24/7. Unlike other ERs, it’s not connected to a hospital….
….A similar facility called the Urgency Room opened last fall in Woodbury. It also markets itself as an alternative to hospital emergency rooms and offers faster service and cheaper rates, with staffing by ER-trained doctors and nurses. However, it is not open all night and does not accept ambulances….
The Doctor Will See You NOW (Jeff Nemetz, HBG Health, 2/8/11)
This one confuses us a bit, inasmuch as its more about EDs than doctors, and has a sort of “I don’t know if scheduled ER visits make any sense, but it’s new, so gee whiz” vibe to it, but anyway:
In another example of the relentless march towards the “consumerization” of medicine, and a world where doors are not only open, but may not even exist to bar access to healthcare, I point to InQuickER. Southern California hospitals are ahead of the curve with this online appointment system for the ER, which not only gets you in, but assures you’ll be seen….
….Of course, the development raises some concerns. Specifically, what will this do to the convenient care model of CVS MinuteClinic and others, whose primary value is touted as alleviating stress on emergency rooms?
Really? That’s the chief concern scheduled ER visits brings to mind?
Link to one of the recent ‘news’ stories (presso-driven?) on ER reservations:
Restaurants Take Reservations, Now So Do Some ERs(KING 5 Seattle, WA 2/4/11)