Which is the first place you visit in case of a medical emergency? It is the hospital. The existence of hospitals has been there for a long time now in most developed countries.
However, developing countries often lack the availability of the modern hospital and medical requirements. In some instances, the number of patients outweighs the availability of medical capabilities and diagnostics.
But, with modern technology, the treatment possibilities are also expanding. This has made the medical industry flourish and gain momentum in the way they operate. It has further lead to the upcoming development of the modern hospital.
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The classification of hospitals can be done based on several criteria. These are:
Ownership and control
Services rendered by hospitals
Length of patient’s stay or by size
Facilities and hospital administration
In most countries, the government owns and operates the hospitals. However, other forms of ownership include universities, religious groups, public-spirited individuals and such owners.
For instance, in Great Britain, the National Health Service runs the hospitals. Alongside, a few of them are operated by religious orders serving special groups. While, in the US, most hospitals are not owned by government agencies.
Most modern hospitals in the world contain a maximum limit of 800 beds, as was considered at the beginning of the 21st century. A key reason behind this was the satisfactory administration from a single medical unit.
Another key index among this is the average occupancy rate. This means the percentage of the beds available every day or month. In most developing countries, the occupancy rate exceeds 100 per cent. This situation can also happen in developed countries in case of medical emergencies or a pandemic.
The next key index is ALOS (Average Length of Stay). This will vary according to the nature of the hospital. For example, the hospitals which cater to the demands of chronic illness will have increased ALOS.
The mechanism through which the financing of the most modern hospitals in the world takes place also varies. It happens because some hospitals may be not-for-profit while others are for-profit. Throughout the world, hospital contributions are met through government contributions.
The operational costs are met by different methods. These can include private endowments, funds collected through insurance carriers, among others. Many countries also have private health insurance corporations. Alongside, they also provide alternative health financing mechanisms.
These can be entities owned by communities or can be academic health facilities. Most modern hospitals in the world admit all types of patients, inclusive of medical and surgical cases. Their major focus is on patients suffering from acute illness, who require short-term care.
The bed number of community general hospitals varies. They all have a professional and medical staff that is well-organized. Along with this, they also possess basic diagnostic equipment.
The community hospitals can additionally have a laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy departments among others.
The larger hospitals can also cater to other medical departments like a nursery, dental services, ICU and even home care programs.
The complexity in the general hospital itself signifies the advancements in treatment and diagnostic technologies.
A hospital board is usually responsible for the efficient management of hospitals. They establish policies and also have a medical advisory board. They possess complete control over the finances and are responsible for the maintenance of professional standards.
In the modern hospital, there is also specialization for a certain type of illness. In large universities, where they carry out postgraduate teaching, the specialized health services are like a department of general hospitals.
With the changing conditions, some types of specialized institutions have increased in number. These include mental hospitals, cancer centres, tuberculosis centres among others.
There have been several instances during the past and even in modern-day, where the integration of hospital networks was done with the health services.
For example, Sweden. Here the organization of hospitals was done on the basis of primary, secondary and tertiary. Most of the modern hospital facilities had about 1,000 beds. While small community centres were not necessarily considered a part of the system.
Another example of regional planning implementation was in the US. They incorporated a satellite system. They did this by applying principles of progressive patient care. While the less serious cases were handled by the outer system. The most serious cases were tackled by the inner system.
During the early 2000s, the provinces in Canada were shifted towards regional health authorities. They are responsible for the planning, allocation, and application of government health policies.
Q1. What is Extended Health Care?
Ans. As medical science advances, the concept of extended and progressive health care is becoming attractive. It mainly comprises of five categories, including:
Organized home care
Self-care facilities mainly involve those patients who need only diagnostic services. They are mainly given accommodations similar to a hotel. The patients can freely go about in the hospital.
While on the other hand, home care treatment is given to patients who just need certain facilities, but not a complete treatment. The patients can avail home care when:
There is an established treatment plan
There is no requirement for inpatient hospital facilities
The physical environment of the home is such that the patient gets adequate care
The patient is not stable to visit a clinic but does not need extensive hospital care
The family environment provides a therapeutic effect
Q2. What are Long-term Care Facilities?
Ans. Earlier, these were the places for the elderly, and the ones who were suffering from irreversibly chronic illness. While now, the long-term care facilities in the most modern hospitals represent an extension of the healthcare system. It protects the patients from facing expensive facilities and helps in getting the right treatment.