12 Mar Beyond Hospital Walls
In recent years, healthcare organizations have been increasingly expanding into the community with outpatient facilities located in shopping malls and mobile clinics. This makes healthcare more convenient and easily accessible to the general population, as well as moves costly hospital patient care outside of the hospital setting. However, this is only one piece of the solution to offer accessible healthcare as we’ve seen on the mainland and here in Hawaii by many of our healthcare providers. A larger opportunity with greater impact on overall health is the reinvention of the healthcare campus into a community hub that influences an overall wellness-focused lifestyle.
The hospital does not need to be a formidable tower that people visit only when sick or injured. Instead, it can be an anchor of the community where people gather for health education and wellness activities, a place where a farmer’s market can be held, supplemented with healthy cooking classes. It can have mixed-use components such as retail and restaurants. There are opportunities for partnerships with senior centers and schools for collaborative events and wellness programs. A hospital campus can become so much more than a standalone facility, but rather an integrated part of a flourishing community.