Arnst, C. (2010). Hospitals: Radical Cost Surgery. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_03/b4163040943750.htm?campaign_id=rss_null
A hospital that slashes costs—and delivers high-quality care as it innovates? Yes, it exists.
Walk into most hospitals, and you’ll see patients scattered about the halls on gurneys or wheelchairs. They’re waiting to be moved from intensive care to a standard ward, or to an X-ray room, or to physical therapy. Each journey adds to the patient’s discomfort and increases the risk of infections and other complications. Tally up a single patient’s migrations over 24 hours, and they may consume as much as half a day of staff time.
Walk into Providence Regional Medical Center, in Everett, Wash., and you will see a hospital trying something different: It brings the equipment to the patient. In 2003, Providence opened one of the few “single stay” wards in the nation. After heart surgery, cardiac patients remain in one room throughout their recovery; only the gear and staff are in motion. As the patient’s condition stabilizes, the beeping machines of intensive care are removed and physical therapy equipment is added. Testing gear is wheeled to the patient, not the other way around. Patient satisfaction with the “single stay” ward has soared, and the average length of a hospital stay has dropped by a day or more.