Designing, building and operating any enterprise as complex and closely regulated as a hospital is bound to require a significant amount of attention, so readers of Health Facilities Management (HFM) can be excused for not always staying up-to-date with some of the broader issues driving public perceptions of the nation's health care organizations.
Still, as members of the health care community, the words and deeds of HFM's readers are vital when defending the important mission of hospitals from unwarranted attacks as happened last month in an article by Time magazine called "Bitter Pill."
Disregarding the financial realities that make health care delivery systems one of the most complicated organizations in human history, the article made unsubstantiated assertions with regard to profitability, compensation and pricing, among many other areas. A full list of corrections as well as other materials describing the financial conditions of health care organizations can be found on the American Hospital Association's (AHA's) "Setting the Record Straight" Web page at www.aha.org/presscenter/recordstraight.shtml.
HFM's readers are encouraged to delve into these details as they discuss health care's economic struggles with families, friends and colleagues. And, perhaps even more importantly, our readers should be inspired to continue on the course of improved efficiencies that they've set for their facilities.
"You are under tremendous pressure to improve the quality and safety of care, play an ever-expanding role in community health and bend the cost curve," AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said in a recent open letter to the health care field. "The good news is that you are making real progress in all these areas."