As baby boomers age and patients increasingly seek care in non-hospital settings, micro-hospitals are emerging as a solution for providing essential healthcare at the community level.
Capable of meeting up to 90% of local healthcare needs, micro-hospitals fill the gap between emergency departments and full-service hospitals. They deliver more services than typical outpatient or urgent care centers, including diagnostics, labs and surgery provision. Plus they’re efficient and economical to build.
Micro-hospitals are a response to patients’ preference to choose their health care providers based on location and services offered. The commodification of healthcare means that patients are demanding hospitality-style approaches to healthcare delivery.
Flexible, versatile and with a smaller footprint than larger-scale hospitals, micro-hospitals can be strategically positioned for prime accessibility. Building costs are lower than those of full-scale hospitals, and services can also be configured based on local demand. Plus, they can bill at rates comparable to acute care hospitals, delivering excellent ROI.
Micro-hospitals are an affordable, efficient and effective way to provide the services of big hospitals in smaller communities that could not otherwise support a major healthcare presence.
What to Expect
Micro-hospitals typically span 15,000 SQF, and typically incorporate 5-15 inpatient beds for observation and short-stay use, as well as lab and diagnostic capabilities. Service provision varies depending on local needs but can include surgery, radiology, emergency departments and diagnostics.
Micro-hospitals operate on a 24/7 basis and expect to see between 30-100 patients daily, depending on the market.
The Story So Far
A response to “population health” initiatives, Micro-hospitals bring high-quality, “one-stop shop” healthcare to areas that are more convenient to the population they serve. They provide a new patient access point, as well as a new way of providing care – filling a gap in hospital-level services for communities outside major urban areas.
The demand is clear. Micro-hospitals can already be found in at least 19 states – with more than 50 nation-wide as of 2016 – and their popularity will greatly increase with both providers and patients as awareness and access grow.