We usually think of nosocomial infection, one contracted from the environment or staff of a healthcare facility, in terms of the impact on patients.
But what about those infections that consume the facility itself?
OK, I’m not talking about bacteria, but I am talking about viruses, viruses of the administrators’ minds and of the facility’s business model.
We plan our business ventures to succeed and that’s a good thing. But at the same time, or at least for more than just a few moments, you should also think about planning for failure. Not of your business, but of the hospital to which it’s linked. The idea is to avoid the spread of infection to your business.
Over the years, I’ve worked with hospital based groups working at facilities that have closed. I’ve also worked with office practices based in medical office buildings located on or near the campuses of hospitals that have closed.
What steps have you taken to protect your business in the event that the hospital or other facility with which you’re linked closes?
Certainly, for hospital-based groups, my longstanding advice that you must do business at more than one facility holds true. I generally talk about that in the context of the impact of the loss of an exclusive contract. But the complete loss of the facility by reason of its closure has the same impact: It moots your group’s reason to exist unless it has significant other business.
For office-based practices, the closure of the facility at which you’re based may or may not be as fatal. Sure, you can get staff privileges at another facility. But, officing in an orphaned building next door to a boarded up facility with weeds growing in its former flower beds can ruin your practice. When negotiating your lease, consider having an option to terminate in the event that the hospital closes.
You admit or treat patients at the hospital or other facility in order to make them well. But there’s a huge effort at that facility to make sure that their own environment doesn’t kill them.
Make the same effort to protect the life of your practice.