Global healthcare opportunity #4: Take Pressure off of Hospitals

Right now, many hospital systems put an inordinate amount of pressure on hospitals. Patients are staying for long periods of time because they have nowhere else to go, doctors are required to perform minor procedures that nurses are trained to perform and many governments don't want to admit that there are other options for those that can afford it. In Canada, approximately 7,500 people are living in hospitals (living is defined as having been there longer than 100 days) because they have nowhere else to go. That costs the system approximately $7.5m every day!!! Does that sound like an efficient system? We need a system where these people have a place to go where they get better care that is more cost effective. The hospital is the most expensive place they can be.

We need to develop local clinics and providers who can take much of this pressure off of hospitals. Hospitals should be a place where people go for emergencies and specific kinds of specialty care, not a catchall where patients stay because they have nowhere else to go. Develop local communities and homecare facilities to support those that need a place to go and be cared for, provide for better home care and give people options when it is time for them to be discharged from hospitals.

Like most businesses, much is lost in the transition from one system process to another. However, in most businesses this leads to lost money and profits. In healthcare, this leads to lost money and lost patients. There are lives at stake here so let's make a better effort to fix the problem.

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