Saturday, April 26, 2008

Consoles vs Components: A Healthcare Perspective

[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]

Back in the day, home stereos came in huge wooden cabinets, as much furniture as sound system. Their appeal was obvious: rich sound without dangling wires, all neatly packaged together. The downside wasn't so obvious until the tuner knob or turntable arm broke: the whole thing went to the shop for repairs, leaving only the sounds of silence.
Then came components: speakers, turntables, tuners and tape decks all separate, easily upgradeable and if the speaker blew, it was a simple matter to swap in a new one.
If that sounds weird coming to you from a medblogger, consider this:
Several months ago, when I had my little lesson in the effects of ice and gravity, the provider I chose was such a facility: a dozen or so state-of-the-art exam cubicles, but no hospital rooms. For a relatively minor injury such as mine, this was ideal: there was little chance I'd need overnight accomodations.
We've talked before about minute-clinics and surgi-centers, and how many urban hospitals are cutting back on services, and I think I see a trend: much as stereo cabinets gave way to hi-fi components, it seems to me that previously hospital-based care is moving more and more to out-patient facilities unconnected to the sprawling complexes we've come to know as "hospitals."
Is this a "good thing?"
Only time will tell, of course, but I think the trend is encouraging. Specialty facilities can offer more expert care more quickly, and (perhaps) more cost-efficiently than traditional hospitals. They lack, of course, extended stay options; when my mother was recently hospitalized, she was taken first to the same facility as I had been, but had to be transported later that day to a "regular" hospital. Still, we couldn't have known that at the time, and it seemed a reasonable choice.
Something to keep an eye on.
blog comments powered by Disqus