If you’ve been paying the slightest amount of attention to the business news lately, you know that the healthcare industry has been moving and shaking. New products, M&As, and partnerships touting the biggest names — Amazon, Apple, Verily (Alphabet), Aetna, Cigna, McKesson, JP Morgan, Berkshire Hathaway and CVS — promise to change the way you see the doctor.

 

Hospital of a Different Flavor

After all, it’s high time to change the healthcare recipe for a more palatable experience with a reasonable price tag. Major health systems are tackling the issue by shifting away from large regional medical centers to smaller hospital and outpatient facilities that are scattered throughout a region. Called neighborhood hospitals or microhospitals, these facilities reconfigure the traditional approach to healthcare. The Feb 26th edition of the Wall Street Journal recently discussed these facilities in the “The Future of Hospitals.”

The new arrangement works well for both sides. Patients benefit from the convenience and the cost-savings of outpatient surgeries, which circumvent hospital stays. According to the article, 92 percent of patients spend an average of 90 minutes receiving treatment.

Hospitals also save money by harnessing the latest technologies to monitor patients from a distance. In light of diminishing Medicare reimbursements, fewer inpatients frees up money to be spent on other needs. This could include transforming vacant hospital rooms, which already exhibit a 62 percent vacancy rate nationally, to provide revenue-generating services or other types of care.

 

Home Alone

Microhospitals and other recent developments no doubt improve efficiency and convenience. Everyone wins, especially when patients fare better. But let’s not forget: Recovering from illness and injury still requires patients — and their families — to follow a detailed program of instructions, treatments, drugs, appointments, devices..the list goes on. Get it wrong and recovery stalls.

Patients and their families need guidance. The dynamics of economics and the healthcare system force doctors and other healthcare professionals to take on more patients and spend less time with each. They simply can’t adequately address the multitude of issues that patients encounter between visits.

“We should be investing in people and processes, not hospitals,” says David Feinberg, president and chief executive of of a health system with 13 hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and a health-insurance plan, in the Wall Street Journal article.

Microhospitals can offer a new way to go forward. However, patients are still left in the same position. During the challenging period between doctor visits, patients remain stressed and anxious because they still have needs yet lack a good way to connect with medical advice.

In fact, with the microhospital movement emphasizing home recovery, patients will have more questions and needs while feeling a different kind of decision-making stress.

 

Your Village, Your Health

Enter Outpatient. It’s specifically built for patients and families amidst the harried pace of healthcare. As an app, Outpatient provides a convenient way to coordinate, communicate and create logistics to support the patient in your family.

Outpatient puts the it-takes-a-village approach into action. Patients are even more dependent on family, or others in their village, after leaving the hospital to recuperate at home.

With family support, patients can follow through with the necessary treatments. Family members assist patients in navigating what might seem like foreign territory, especially as the landscape of healthcare delivery changes. Outpatient reduces confusion, saves time and eases anxiety by solidifying every detail for everyone involved.

Medical treatment doesn’t have to be that nightmarish experience that you recount once you’ve survived. At Outpatient, we believe that you can regain your health in a positive way. No one celebrates getting sick or injured. Wouldn’t we love to celebrate the road to recovery? #GetOutpatient

Peter Yewell

Author Peter Yewell

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