Despite data proving that many emergency rooms are overcrowded, patient volume is down in U.S. hospitals overall, forcing administrators to consider novel business strategies, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan Transformational Health Team. Basically, patients are looking for outpatient, minimally invasive care—and finding it with “ambulatory care” providers in urgent care clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, and retail locations. Hospitals are responding by considering partnerships and collaborations with such providers. Transformation of the American Hospital: 2015–2020 predicts that hospitals will also employ ambulatory care providers to transition noncritical patients from the ED. Urgent care operators should be vigilant for opportunities to absorb patients with at least one chronic conditions who might otherwise head back to the ED for follow-up care.

Convenient Care Puts Pressure on Hospitals to Adopt New Business Strategies
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