Monday, May 9, 2016
How a Mid-Sized Hospital Survives in Today’s Competitive Environment
I live in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, located in Middlesex County, where Middlesex Hospital is located. I am retired and have no affiliation with Middlesex Hospital.
Middlesex has 237 beds a medical staff of 445 physicians. It competes successfully with two giant hospital systems, Yale Grace New Haven and Hartford Hospital, two giant integrated hospital systems with revenues of over $1 billion.
How does Middlesex Hospital do it? Its highway billboards proclaim its hallmarks are innovation and collaboration, and its actions affirm its words.
It has a four-star nursing program, conducts a primary care residency programs, builds handsome and functional outpatient and emergency room centers removed from its main campus, has close relations with its medical staff, and is among 35 hospitals across the country affiliated with the Mayo Clinic Care Network. In addition to these activities, it has established centers for cancer, advanced surgeries, joint replacement, weight loss surgeries, and has instlled a da Vinci Robot-Assisted surgical unit.
Of particular interest to me is its affiliated with Mayo. This affiliation allows Middlesex doctors and patients to connect electronically and by phone with Mayo clinic specialists for help with complex cases. This is evidence to me of the power of the Information revolution. The revolution is reshaping health care by making the latest medical information available no matter where physicians practice or patients live. In the words of the late Milton Friedman, “It is today possible, to a greater extent than at any time in world history, to locate anywhere, to use resources from anywhere to produce a product that can be sold anywhere.” In the Middlesex-Mayo case, the product, the latest in medical knowledge, is not sold. It costs the patient nothing but is available through a subscription through collaborating organizations.
In the age of information and telemedicine, location is no barrier. Cybermedicine, combined with innovation and collaboration, transcends locality.