Ever wondered if there was a better way to do things in a hospital?
Ever knew there was a better way and wondered if it was doable?
Check out a dozen little medical facilities around the world that could…and did:
1. Hospitals within hospitals
The 12-bed model at Miami’s Baptist Hospital is ideal for anyone who’s ever feared getting lost in the system. A 24/7 administrator is in charge of every doctor, nurse, and social worker taking care of you. Not only does this person serve as a mini-hospital administrator but their picture and business card are prominently displayed for each patient.
2. Home-cooked food
Imagine a hospital with food so good that locals go there to buy lunch: That’s the case with the home-cooked individually-made entrées served up at the only hospital in the remote Canadian territory of Nunavut. Staff at the 34-bed facility often drive to work in snowmobiles…just another way this facility does things a little differently.
3. A children’s hospital designed by parents
More than 200 parents, medical professionals and community leaders helped create Westchester’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. This “family-centered” facility – which features the world’s largest doll-house, a sports arcade, a performing arts stage and a walk-through aquarium – sees parents as “not visitors but partners with the staff in the care of their children”.
4. Rate this hospital…
Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut plays soothing music and personally welcomes each patient. The psychiatric unit is furnished like someone’s house to eliminate anxiety. What’s more, Griffin is among a small number of hospitals that report quality information and patient satisfaction ratings on its website, via its ‘Performance Indicators’ section.
5. Free treatment, all from private donations
At Sai hospital in Bangalore, India. World class specialty treatments are carried out with world-class physicians, thanks to one add-on your might not expect: The hospital is run completely through private donations. All treatments – each and every one – are completely free.
6. Can’t pay in cash? Pay in grain..
India’s Shri Krishna Hospital in Gujarat has started accepting grain instead of cash from those without land and other disenfranchised labourers PLUS is has developed its own health insurance set-up for the poor.
7. Floating hospitals for the developing world
Believe it or not, this idea has been in practice for 30 years. Among other things, the vessels acquired by Mercy Ships allow ophthalmic surgeons to perform free, critical eye surgeries: 90% of the world’s blind live in developing nations like the ones visited by these mobile hospitals.
8. ‘Take-out’-style medical treatment
The ‘Hospital at Home’ program is a Johns Hopkins initiative in which eligible older patients in the Baltimore area are taken home by a multidisciplinary team that provides state-of-the-art care. The program targets patients with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, cellulitis, or pneumonia.
9. Putting computers in charge of bed allocation
Hospitals in Brisbane, Australia have started to use a GIS (Geographic Information System-based program called eBeds to deal with the bottleneck of patient allocation and the availability of beds. This could solve one of the biggest problems in many hospitals: knowing when a bed is empty, being remade, or ready for the next patient.
10. Part-time Bubble Boy
The intensive care unit at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital consists of a large rectangular area surrounded by a hallway. One side of the hallway is glass, allowing visitors to talk to patients as long as they like through phones, dramatically decreasing the risk of infection.
11. Taiwan’s Hello Kitty!-themed maternity ward
One person’s ‘bizarre’ is another person’s ‘happy, soothing time’: In Japan, such themed-maternity wards even offer everything from aromatherapy treatments to laser hair removal.
12. Madrid’s paperless hospital
Portable computers, networked diagnostic tools, and pneumatic chutes are all part of a tree-hugger’s dream-come-true at Madrid’s Fuenlabrada Hospital. The paperless facility is the result of years of planning and input by staff, who receive a two week IT course before being allowed to work with the innovative computerized information system.