Monday, April 21, 2014

HOSPITALS: Neighborhood versus patients?

Writing about the Mayo Clinic destination project reminded me that other hospitals could use a lot more integration into their neighborhoods. Mayo Clinic approached the city, and got  money earmarked for the area where patients need benefits. 

Are other hospitals afraid to sacrifice any power to the local political logjam?   Are they oblivious to the area's impact on the patients,  and vice versa?  Or are chaos, dreariness, and lack of convenience for doctors and patients the city's  fault? 

For a hospital near L.A. the local drivers and the lack of traffic police cause a dangerous situation.  I've mentioned the traffic versus doctors (and patients and staff) crossing the street from medical buildings.  Also in danger from local traffic are local workers needing to get lunch at the hospital. 

The hospital garden is nearly inaccessible, so patients and visitors do usually do end up on that street, driving away to get some peace and respite from unpleasant tests, treatments, and results.  

Maybe an overpass would have been impossible.  A few police plus an enforced pedestrian crossing or two would not have been impossible.  The shame is that there are pedestrian crossings in nearby shopping areas!

The hospital might have located some entrances better.  The town might have found property for a new restaurant or two.  Politicians and administrators (and donors) might have cooperated to provide a shuttle service so a patient with two appointments could even go to a nearby movie in between! 

I haven't even touched on hospitals in high-crime areas. 

Still, I'm convinced much area safety and pleasantness can be possible when we face the fact: no hospital is an island!

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