The article “Potential relief valve for acute-care hospitals: specialty facilities” represents an interesting consideration. Unfortunately, there are possible flaws in the assumptions.
The first, and certainly the largest assumption is that there would be an adequate number of nurses available to provide 24/7 care in these outpatient surgical centers or hospital-based surgery/recovery beds. Those departments typically are staffed at a fraction of what would be needed for 24/7 inpatient care. Another complication could be state or union-negotiated minimum RN staffing levels for patient care. All of these assumptions also ignore the reality that the current supply of caregivers will not remain constant because many could well become infected and ill themselves.
The second flawed assumption is that free-standing surgical centers would voluntarily cancel all surgeries and make themselves available for medical patients. A significant number of these centers are investor-owned, so that ownership model creates the first possible impediment to a change in a facility’s business plans. Another impediment is the reality that the physicians who operate at these facilities have mortgages, tuition, student loans and multiple other financial needs that, for an uncertain number, might preclude them from a willingness to virtually eliminate their income stream.
The Leader’s Board