These ambulatory network hubs are enabling a vigorous population health strategy
Micro-hospitals are shifting the healthcare delivery landscape, as they become integral components of health systems’ ambulatory strategies.
With the healthcare industry's continuing move to value-based care, micro-hospitals are designed – both functionally and operationally – to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right cost. While larger, acute care hospitals rely on physician referrals, micro-hospitals are disrupting and reversing that dynamic, attracting patients who do not need referrals for specific services. Given the chronic shortage of primary care physicians in many communities, a micro-hospital can serve as a portal into the healthcare system for patients unable to readily access a primary care physician.
Micro-hospitals are typically composed of five key components to meet the community’s health and wellness needs:
Anchored by an urgent care department, and with highly focused service offerings specific to community needs, a micro-hospital can become a powerful influence in the well-being of the community it serves, by providing the necessary infrastructure to support population health goals.
Micro-hospitals are ideally suited for areas where there are service gaps, where demand is not yet sufficient to merit a full-service facility. Examples include high population growth areas where the infrastructure has not kept pace, and areas of more limited or stagnant growth where communities are under-served. In the latter areas, health systems have the opportunity through use of micro-hospitals to broaden not only their community outreach, but further enhance their brand and market share.
The goal [micro-hospital] is not to build a full-service stand-alone acute care hospital on a smaller scale, but to develop a patient-centric facility closer to home that is tightly focused on market needs, while leveraging the scale, capabilities and resources of a broader health system.”
Additionally, micro-hospitals can afford providers operational efficiencies and the patient populations they serve with ease of access and care on demand. With the increasing use of electronic health record systems and advent of technology-enabling virtualization of healthcare, "telehealth," micro-hospitals are at the forefront of these new opportunities. Virtualization of health could occur on several levels:
Learn more about micro-hospitals and whether one is the right fit for your organization.