Community hospitals provide vital healthcare to a wide variety of populations, including those who live in the local area and those who may not have resources to access health care from larger organizations. The American Hospital Association defines community hospitals as “all non-federal, short-term general, and other special hospitals” and excludes hospitals not accessible to the public. Currently, the AHA notes a count of 5,262 community hospitals across the United States.
How does a community hospital serve the public?
Community hospitals provide patients with local healthcare. They have a solid place in the fabric of communities – both small and large.
But the role of community hospitals extends beyond direct care. They focus on maintaining their connections with patients through their role in the area’s economy as well. They are key centers for job creation and career training in local communities.
Services are wide-ranging and include:
- primary care
- acute care services
- inpatient rehabilitation
- outpatient consultations
- referrals to specialists
- child healthcare
- therapy and rehabilitation services
- injury and illness care
- health clinics
- population health education
Community hospitals use a local approach focused on patient-centered care. They tend to have strong patient loyalty. These hospitals often form close relationships with their physicians and care providers.
Strengths of community hospitals can include:
- historical relationships between patients and physicians
- engagement in the care continuum
- long-term involvement in community and public health programs
Community hospital strengths are numerous. However, they also face a range of challenges. Community hospital CEOs revealed in an American College of Healthcare Executives survey these challenges can include:
- not receiving Medicare reimbursements in a timely manner
- providing care in an uncertain regulatory environment
- rising costs of staff and supplies
- cuts in government funding
- uncollectable debt
- unpredictable changes in regulations and the impact on planning
Digital documentation is essential for hospital success, as it requires interoperability of all records. Challenges with electronic health record (EHR) implementation can also greatly affect community hospitals.
How can Harmony consultants serve in a community hospital?
If you’re interested in bringing your passion and expertise for non-clinical healthcare to a community hospital, we can help. As a consultant for Harmony, you’ll have the opportunity to help make healthcare smarter while developing your own personal career growth in roles such as:
- CDI Specialist
- Case Manager
- Inpatient Coder/Coder Auditor
- Outpatient Coder/Coder Auditor
- Health information management leadership
- Coding leadership
- Revenue cycle leadership
- Clinical documentation improvement leadership
The team here at Harmony works with community hospitals across the country. If you’re looking for a life changing role in an organization that values its connection to its community, we can help.
Learn more about possibilities through Harmony here.
How can Harmony benefit a community hospital?
From case management to clinical documentation to revenue cycle management, community hospitals are critical components of local healthcare. As part of the team that serves in these organizations, you recognize what local access to essential health services means. You also recognize how the right staffing and consulting solutions can enable your team to better provide those services.
Here at Harmony, we understand the challenges community hospitals must face and overcome. We stand by your mission to provide the highest level of care for your patients. We’re ready to support the economic well-being of your organization and your community with interim staffing and consulting solutions that help you create a healthier population and secure your ability to serve your areas.