A hospital in Texas has created a short-stay center to address the increasing demand for outpatient services and a surplus of inpatient beds. This is a move that other hospitals across the country may also start to consider.
According to experts, inpatient volumes will continue to decline and care will continue to shift to outpatient settings. In addition, factors like tepid elective admissions, continual pressure to keep readmissions low, care integration with an eye toward prevention and safer outpatient care due to increased technological innovation will also play a role in this shift.
That is precisely why Port Arthur, Texas, Christus Southeast Texas Health System has decided to abandon the traditional hospital model and will be converting St. Mary Hospital to a short-stay center in early September. It will be transferring five of its departments to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont and will be doing the same with high-risk or long-term patients.
There have been apprehensions regarding the possibility of this facility shutting down, Wayne Moore, vice president of operations for Christus Southeast Texas facilities points out that as the demand for outpatient services increases, the need to redefine hospitals will also become necessary which will include more outpatient facilities with very limited inpatient space. "That's how we're changing to fit the needs of our patients--and it's based on the model they've prepared through the services they use every day."
After this conversion is completed, St. Mary will begin providing outpatient emergency services, radiology/laboratory services, chemotherapy and infusion, and surgical capabilities. However, there will be no change in emergency services and ER. The hospital will retain about 251 of its 413 current staff.
Source: The News Port Arthur