If you had a choice, you would choose this hospital

February 02, 2012

In our current cost conscious healthcare environment, some people are still looking for ways to preserve high quality while controlling costs. One such effort is going on in Phoenix at the new Oasis Hospital, on 40th Street and the 202.

Oasis Hospital is a spine and orthopedic only hospital, owned and run jointly by Dignity Healthcare and a group of the elite orthopedic and neurosurgeons in the Phoenix Valley.  It is new, beautifully appointed, and feels more like a boutique resort rather than a stale hospital.  A resort chef was even hired to prepare meals for patients and their families.  Just pulling into the parking lot, the visitor has a distinctly different impression. The design, the glass and stone, everything from the spacious and comfortable lobby to the large high-tech patient rooms, was created to comfort and impress.

The care experience is also exceptional. Every nurse, therapist, secretary, and administrator was hired because of their commitment to the highest quality care and a fundamental desire to make patients happy. Unlike other hospitals in the Phoenix Valley, Oasis employees are not distracted by the latest meaningless nursing initiative or administrative rule. They get to do more of what they were trained to do: take care of patients.  Surgeons enjoy having highly motivated and caring team members looking after their patients. Patients love it because they are made to feel special.  Patient satisfaction surveys far outpace survey results from other hospitals where the same doctors do the same work. How is that possible? The overriding care ethic for Oasis Hospital is embraced by all who work there. The laser focus in on patient care, and nothing more.

Empowering surgeons (who control hospital governance) to make decisions as to where the dollars are spent has transformed the experience for patients.  For once, those providing the care are incentivized to look after the costs.  Waste, overcharging, and extraneous services are gone.  Insurance providers for once are less at odds with the people they insure, and the people who provide the care.

Obamacare currently prohibits physicians from owning any part of a hospital, a deal the Obama administration struck with the Hospital lobby in exchange for their support for Obamacare.  Oasis Hospital was under construction when healthcare reform passed, and the physician group currently does not own any part of the hospital. A waver may be passed exempting Oasis from this rule, but for now, the physician owners feel incentivized by the new found benefits of hospital governance.

 So, how would you like your next hospital stay to be in a place where your doctor had a hand in choosing everything that happened to you? How about a place where all possible interference was removed from diluting what nurses and therapists do best? A place where even the chief was carefully selected for excellence.  How would you like to stay in a boutique hospital where you were actually treated special by the admission secretaries and the people who clean your room? If you could choose a hospital for your spine or orthopedic care, you would choose this one.

Posted in Expert Blog, Dennis Crandall MD

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