University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

One Hospital–Five Doors: A Model for Critical Access Hospital Sustainability

Henry J. Simpson, MD; Dean B. Eide; Richard A. Helmers, MD; Jason E. Craig; Bailey G. Salimes

WMJ. 2023;122(1):44-47.

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Background: We wanted to assess whether a regional approach to bed management and staffing could improve financial sustainability without reducing services in rural communities.

Methods: Regional approaches to patient placement, hospital throughput, and staffing were coupled with enhanced services at 1 hub hospital and 4 critical access hospitals.

Results: We improved the use of patient beds in the 4 critical access hospitals, increased hub hospital capacity, and improved the health system’s financial performance while maintaining or enhancing services at the critical access hospitals.

Discussion: Sustainability of critical access hospitals can be attained without a decrease in services for rural patients and communities. One way to achieve this result is to invest in and enhance care at the rural site.

Author Affiliations: Mayo Clinic Health System – Northwest Wisconsin Region, Menomonie, Wisconsin (Simpson); Mayo Clinic Health System – Northwest Wisconsin Region, Osseo, Wis (Eide); Mayo Clinic Health System – Northwest Wisconsin Region, Eau Claire, Wis (Helmers, Craig, Salimes).
Corresponding Author: Henry J. Simpson, MD, Department of Family Practice, Mayo Clinic Health System – Northwest Wisconsin Region, 2321 Stout Rd, Menomonie, WI 54751; phone 715.233.7485; email; ORCID ID 0000-0001-9093-7267
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
Acknowledgment: Randall J. Fritz, DVM, Mayo Clinic, substantively edited the manuscript. The Scientific Publications staff at Mayo Clinic provided proofreading, administrative, and clerical support.
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