HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - May 28, 2008 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

Taking the Lead
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
Cost, disruption of workflow, skepticism of the technology, and security issues are just a few of the obstacles impeding the widespread adoption of EMRs. Yet there are some community hospitals and physicians who are looking for ways to bring this technology to their communities and share patient information. [Read More]
May 28, 2008
Editor's Picks

Mergers, mergers and more mergers
Declining reimbursements, difficulty accessing capital, the uninsured, and work force shortages are just some of the reasons that we are likely to see more hospital consolidation in the future. But just how much is anyone's guess. One thing that's for certain is: Small, independent community hospitals are a prime target for larger health systems. Some community hospitals view merging with a larger system as their only option to stay in business, while others view it as the best way to afford new technologies and capital improvements. Here are two stories delving into hospital mergers. The first looks at hospital consolidation in Illinois. The second, discusses whether or not Nashville-based hospital chains like HCA Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals Inc. are ready to take advantage of the buyer's market and start acquiring more facilities. [Read More]

Atlanta hospital struggles to regain the trust of its community
Southwest Atlanta Hospital has survived two bankruptcies and several lawsuits. But if the hospital is going to survive long term, it needs to regain the trust of its community. To that end, the hospital has brought in turnaround specialists, is working to rebuild its relationship with the Morehouse School of Medicine, and has added a new CT scanner and a fresh coat of paint. New equipment and paint is a good first step, but the hospital, which is currently operating about 20 beds, will need to clearly define its role as a provider of high-quality community services like treating pneumonia and performing outpatient surgeries if it is going to be attractive to patients with insurance—not just the area's poorer residents. [Read More]

New opportunities for community hospitals
Several prominent spine surgeons have moved their practice from New England Baptist Hospital in Boston to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. The move was in response to patients who wanted a more convenient location than Boston. What I found most interesting about this story, however, is that the medical group sought an affiliation with Newton-Wellesley because they believe community hospitals have a more secure future than specialty hospitals. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Is a Tidal Wave About to Wipe Out the Healthcare Sector?
Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have come face-to-face with the reality that factors largely out of their control, like insurance reimbursement and government funding, will ultimately determine whether they survive—perhaps in a different form with a new owner or in a downsized facility—or shut down. This environment creates huge challenges for chief executive officers to stay one step ahead of the executioner. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Residents of Sun City Center, FL, continue fight to keep hospital
St. Petersburg Times – May 23, 2008
Where have all the doctors gone?
Boston Globe – May 27, 2008
Hospitals gain reprieve in Medicaid lawsuit
AP/Yahoo News – May 27, 2008
Austin, TX, struggles to care for mentally ill; ERs see result
Texas Healthflash – May 23, 2008
Nurses at PA medical center vote to strike if new deal isn't struck
AP/Philadelphia Inquirer – May 27, 2008
NC hospital appeals state's denial of its request to relocate
Raleigh News & Observer – May 21, 2008
National nurse union joins fight against Virginia hospital
Washington Post – May 27, 2008
Day of admission dictates length of stay for heart failure
HealthDay/Washington Post – May 22, 2008
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Shared Success
  Crafting a true partnership—often with a perceived competitor—is a complex task. Here's how some hospitals are doing it. [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 "Any advice on how to scale back hospital services without jeopardizing the hospital's reputation in the community?"