HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - May 7, 2008
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Share or Else
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
I am constantly telling my children that they need to share a favorite toy; otherwise, neither will get to play with it. Turns out some rural and community hospitals may need to learn that same lesson. Although these organizations are fighting over physicians instead of dolls or stuffed animals, the end result may be the same—either they learn to share or neither may have success filling that vacant position. [Read More]
May 7, 2008
Editor's Picks

Hospitals collaborate in eICU
Six Maryland hospitals are addressing a shortage of critical care specialists by collaborating in the Maryland eCare program. Critical-care physicians based at Wilmington's Christiana Care Health System will electronically monitor ICU patients at the other healthcare facilities. I expect to see more examples of this type of collaboration in the near future as hospitals struggle to recruit specialists—especially in rural areas. [Read More]

Technology improves access to care
Here are three more examples of how technology is impacting the delivery of care in rural and underserved areas. Virtual office visits: Frank Dienst, MD, is among the first physicians in Central Florida to conduct online, reimbursed consultations with patients. Telebehavioral healthcare services: The Alaska Psychiatric Institute and Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network are now offering free monthly behavioral health videoconferencing for rural healthcare providers. The video consultations enable rural clinicians to ask behavioral health specialists about medication and treatment options for their patients. Cell phones as a diagnostic tool: A portable medical scanner has been developed that can be plugged into a cellular phone and transmit ultrasound or X-ray data to a remote computer processor. This will offer rural providers a more affordable way to provide medical imaging to their patients. [Read More]

Less red tape
Building a replacement hospital just got easier for Iowa's 82 critical-access hospitals. State lawmakers passed a bill that would enable these facilities to bypass the certificate-of-need process; however, the bill is still subject to a veto by Gov. Chet Culver. [Read More]

Find a partner
Here are two examples of how hospitals are partnering. Jupiter Medical Center announced an alliance with the University of Miami's medical school, which will provide its patients with more access to cutting-edge treatments. The partnership also gives UM greater access to patients for clinical trials and advanced services like organ transplantation. Likewise, Lawrenceville, GA-based Gwinnett Medical Center is partnering with St. Joseph's Hospital to open the county's first open-heart program, pending approval from the Georgia Department of Community Health.
Leaders Forum

Ensuring Neuroscience Services Become a Growth Strategy
Once a niche reserved for quaternary-care facilities, neuroscience services are becoming more common in community hospitals. While this change provides new opportunities for many hospitals, it simultaneously contributes to an increase in competition. Therefore, before investing in the development or expansion of your facility's neuroscience services, it is important that your hospital answer four critical questions. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Leavitt: Medicare 'drifting towards disaster'
Reuters/Yahoo News - April 30, 2008
C. diff rivals MRSA as the next deadly bacteria threat, experts say - May 5, 2008
Cancer center's location already benefiting Gwinnett County, GA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - May 2, 2008
Cuts coming to Somerville (MA) Hospital
Boston Globe - April 29, 2008
North Carolina denies Franklin County hospital's bid to move
Raleigh News & Observer - April 28, 2008
Vanderbilt, HCA seek permits for cancer center
The Tennessean - May 1, 2008
Illinois health bill would cap costs for the uninsured
Chicago Tribune - May 2, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Faith in the Hospital
In a shifting healthcare world, faith-based systems face a new set of challenges in their quest to stay true to their mission. [Read More]
Community Call
Discussion Board
Each week, Community Call will pose a question to encourage community and rural hospital leaders to share success stories and best practices. This week's question is "Are there any guidelines on how to close a critical access hospital?"
Audio Feature
Rapid Response Systems for Small Hospitals: In an upcoming May 14 audioconference, expert Kathy Duncan will break down the key components of creating an effective rapid response system, and provide suggestions for initiating the culture change necessary to ensure success. Listen for a preview. [Listen Now]
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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