Many of us remember when hearing that a friend was in the hospital and we thought, “What a shame.” Hospital admission was a serious matter. The next generation reacted to the same news with, “Is it serious?”
With hospitals investing in better equipment, training and capabilities, inpatient stays became the best solution to getting as many patients as possible well and on their way. But today’s patient cares about maximizing time for family, work, and leisure. We don’t want to just “get better,” we want to be as good as we possibly can without long hospital stays and long recovery periods. The care of healthcare has grown to include giving patients the best outcomes and experiences in a way that is minimally disruptive to their lives. Developing and refining ways to help keep them out of the hospital altogether is part of that.
Leaders like Beebe Healthcare have discovered the key to achieving this lies in going deeper into the communities we serve. There’s tremendous value in placing clinical services closer to where people live—and giving them the same advanced technologies and services they expect from hospitals in larger cities. It allows us to concentrate specific resources where they will do the greatest good for the most people. It gives patients and their caregivers faster, convenient access to the care they need.
Ironically, it also returns us to hospital stays being reserved for the most fragile patients and critical care needs. However, today this is due to opportunity versus necessity. By leveraging advances ranging from surgical robotics to telemedicine to greater specialization, healthcare systems like ours no longer need to confine the best services to an inpatient hospital setting. We can provide advanced care once reserved exclusively for inpatient stays in outpatient and short-stay settings—even at home.
Consequently, we have the capability to accommodate the needs driven by today’s rapid changes in healthcare nationwide, including advances leading to more patients being successfully treated in outpatient centers, and increased insurer demand for lower-cost care. We also are meeting the rapid changes occurring in Sussex County—including population growth projected to outpace the national average by more than double over the next five years. And as the population continues to age and live longer, this results in increased demand for health services, including oncology and surgical services.
Over the next several years, you’ll see Beebe become a pillar of this next generation of care and continue to pursue the paths that made us successful in reducing the number of overnight hospital-stays and shorten patients’ length of stay in the hospital. Our expansion project includes a new South Coastal Campus in Millville, with a freestanding emergency department and second location for our comprehensive cancer services; Beebe’s new Specialty Surgical Hospital on our Rehoboth Beach Health Campus designed specifically to support shorter stays and faster recovery times; and significant renovations at our Margaret H. Rollins Lewes campus, aimed at increasing efficiencies for patients, visitors, and caregivers.
Beebe’s next generation of care belongs to all generations. With continued vision and investment, it will evolve in its mission and vision to keep people and communities healthy, reduce the need for high-cost hospital stays and get patients well while preserving the quality of life they desire—before, during, and after care.