Sunday, March 05, 2006


Who'll Take Care of You in the Hospital?

Considering that the most complicated bone/joint surgeries are performed in hospitals, the latest news from the Hospital CEO Forum provides little reassurance if you're the person getting operated on. The five top challanges facing hospitals, according to the forum's vice presdient Gerry Brinkman, are stagnant bottom lines, increased competition, lack of public confidence and more lawsuits. And this: "low staff satsifaction." That means the very people who will be taking care of you might NOT be the happiest of employees.

Accdording to a summary in OutPatient Surgery E-Weekly: "The nursing shortage is expected to exceed 1 million by 2010 and significant shortages in pharmacists, lab technicians and other technical employees are also expected. The report cites the hospital work environment as a key contributor to burnout and staff turnover rates. Physicians aren't immune to dissatisfaction, either. 'In the report, on a scale of 1 to 100, the average physician rating on their hospital's strategic planning was a 48, whereas most other factors were scored in the 70s,' says Mr. Brinkman. 'This may explain why, according to Trendwatch, physicians own 70 percent of surgical hospitals and 83 percent of ASCs (ambulatory, or out-patient, surgery centers).' "

Other think-twice findings: 35% of patients surveyed said they probably wouldn't return to the same hospital and 41% said they wouldn't recommend the hospital to their family. By 2012, U.S. hospitals might face a shortage of 150,000-200,000 beds nationwide, says the report.

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