In this short video, Daniel Cater will discuss how microhospital can fit into your strategy using our Healthytown™ model.
I’m Daniel Carter, and I want to talk a bit today about how Microhospitals fit in a Healthytown strategy. For those of you who have followed our Healthytown strategy discussion over the years, perhaps on this website or maybe in a presentation that we’ve done, or maybe even as part of your own strategic planning process, you’re probably familiar with one of the core concepts —that is that in the future in Healthytown, there will be less inpatient utilization than there is today. That raises the questions of “Do Microhospitals fit in that strategy?” and “Is there a need for the type of facility represented by Microhospitals in Healthytown?”
Before getting into that, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to catch my blog on Microhospitals and defining what they are, but as a brief overview of that, I’ll just show you some of the key differences between Microhospitals and full-service hospitals. I think the most important differences are the type of patients that they serve, being lower acuity, short-stay patients as opposed to the patients that are in a full-service hospital. And obviously, a smaller physical plant, which means less capital cost for developing that Microhospital. This also means less services provided on site, as opposed to what is provided at the main hospital that is connected to the Microhospital.
Before we get into really thinking about if Microhospitals fit into your strategy, particularly if you’re trying to develop a Healthytown-based strategy. There are five key questions you need to answer affirmatively before you can consider Microhospitals as part of your strategy.
The first one is do you have a need for additional beds or replacement beds? In other words, if you have got a brand new physical plant that you just built that has the number of beds you’re going to need for the foreseeable future, you may not want to think about investing in spending more capital, even if it’s for a Microhospital.
The second question is, is there a core market somewhere with a concentrated population of patients that is sufficient to support a facility like a Microhospital? In other words, is there a part of your market that you want to serve that has enough population to support 15 to 30 beds of short stay, low acuity patients, but also has significant enough outpatient volume to support the outpatient services of a Microhospital? And is that market currently not served by an acute care hospital?
The third question is that market we’ve just been talking about a moderate distance from your existing facility? You don’t want it so close to your existing hospital that it may cannibalize some of that volume. On the other hand, because you’re going to have to support that Microhospital with some of the services from the main hospital, you don’t want it so far that it creates infrastructure problems going forward.
And that leads to the fourth question, can you provide support services for the Microhospital from your main hospital? In other words, do you have the capacity in the main hospital to provide the additional services needed, and not just at the main hospital, but at a Microhospital some miles down the road? And are you set up or can you develop the infrastructure to deliver those services on a regular routine basis to that Microhospital, sometimes, multiple times a day?
The final question that you need to consider is if you develop a Microhospital, can you ensure that it fully integrates within your system and that it will have the high operational efficiencies that are really the hallmark of Microhospitals? If this is just going to be like your main hospital, but smaller in size, having the same patient population, many of the same services, and you’re not going to operate it any differently, then I would suggest that you do not advocate for a Microhospital for your system. On the other hand, if you think you can develop this as part of your strategy and really operate it in the way that it is intended to be as a Microhospital, then it may be something that you want to consider moving forward.
If you have any questions about that, certainly reach out to me, I’m happy to talk about this, your specific situation, and your strategy moving forward.