ERDMAN E-News – The Rise of the Microhospital

ERDMAN-E-News

NEWS FOR DELIVERING HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES

The Rise of the ‘Microhospital’: 7 Things to Know
Becker’s Hospital Review, July 21, 2016

 

Hospitals and health systems are challenged to provide more convenient, lower cost access to patient populations in their markets and the concept of the microhospital is one solution being deployed. While the microhospital may vary in offerings and makeup from one market to another, the broad definition is a hospital that is composed of a limited number of beds, often from eight to twelve, that seeks to provide mostly ambulatory and emergency services in areas where access is limited. The strategic thinking behind microhospital deployment is that the facilities can be built and operated at a lower cost and serve as a spoke to a larger hub hospital than can handle more specialized care. The hospitals generally have 15-30 thousand square-feet of space and can be built from $7-30 million. Christus Health in Texas is a pioneering system in the microhospital movement, but other systems are beginning to plan and deploy the concept in recent months. Thinking of the microhospital as a step up in offerings from a freestanding emergency department, health systems should take note of the idea when strategizing to reduce costly excess capacity and think to solve population health access challenges in the transition to value-based care systems.

New 5G Wireless Network Standards: Strategic Impact for Health Providers
Dr. Michael Silver, ERDMAN

 

The FCC’s recently created 5G digital communications network rules will have widespread impact across the lives of Americans. 5G wireless technology allows for greatly improved communication between devices and sites, which will allow for rapid and more seamless data transfer between healthcare providers and facilities. The network will allow faster data transfer, better interoperability between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and optical cable systems, and smarter network management. To illustrate the speed of the network, an MRI image file or an entire 8 GB microscope slide data set will take just 10 seconds to transfer between facilities.

In a healthcare market focused on continuum of care excellence, value, performance metrics, cost containment and standardized care guidelines, 5G will be a boon for leading healthcare providers focused on market performance differentiation through robust analytics, distributed care, and health ecosystem management. Transmission of large continuous datasets between facilities will now be more feasible for health systems. 5G will facilitate fast performance of activities related to facility operations and design, the development of telehealth services, supply chain management, emergency department (ED) and trauma services, primary care strategies, service line operations, clinical and business decision support, diagnostic service integration across an entire integrated delivery network (IDN), plus it may facilitate new players in new regional and national markets and new strategic partnerships with vendors and rural providers.

When 5G technology is expected to become available in 2020, it will present a significant technology adoption challenge that will enable multiple new health ecosystem strategies. The higher frequency bandwidth used in the 5G network will poorly penetrate buildings and dense structures, which means special antennas will be needed to transmit the signal within buildings. New healthcare facility plans should account for this challenge and look for cost effective integration solutions.

The 5G network will provide a great opportunity for improvement of healthcare, but existing providers must plan ahead for effective integration. Disruptive competitors will also need to be accounted for in plans, because there will be opportunities for new vendors and businesses to compete in providing services currently managed by health systems. Stay tuned for our perspective on the deeper strategic implications of adoption of this technology for health providers.

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