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Three Flexible Partnership Structures Helping to Improve Care Quality and Outcomes

When thinking about partnership structures, free-standing hospitals most often come to mind – but that is not always the case. In addition to the three most common hospital partnership models, there are additional structures in which partnerships can take form.

Discover the top flexible partnership structures a hospital can develop within or around their existing facility to better serve patients.

For many hospitals, a successful partnership often leads to service expansion to meet the needs of the local community. And expansion can mean a variety of things, and fortunately does not always require extensive capital.

Three popular partnership structure options include:

  1. Hospital-in-hospital (HiH): A HiH is a separate hospital that is located within the four walls of another hospital, or in one or more distinct buildings located on the same campus.1 The HiH, or co-location model, can mitigate the challenges of high-risk patient transfers, as well as reduce length of stay (LOS) by providing advanced care under one roof from multiple specialties. One major benefit of the HiH model is that it does not require a new building space and can help optimize a hospital’s existing building and unused space. 

  2. Specialized care unit
    Similar to the HiH structure, a hospital unit allows for more refined clinical and operational processes to be conducted within a hospital. This is made possible thanks to the specialized resources offered by a focused partner, such as 24/7 physician oversight, registered nurses specialized in treating complex patient needs and an interdisciplinary care team. Offering a specialized unit helps maintain care continuity, utilized unoptimized space within the hospital, keeps patients with the hospital’s care continuum and minimizes transfers.

  3. Freestanding hospital
    There are a multitude of benefits that come from building a freestanding facility for one or more specialty services. This method increases bed capacity and patient access, while also relieving the strain on existing hospital resources. It also allows patients to receive timely care in a hospital specifically designed to meet their unique needs and with a medical team that specializes in their needs. Adding a freestanding specialty hospital can substantially help expand community access to needed services and enhance offerings across the care continuum. 

Each of these structures offer its own unique benefits to a health system, its patients and its community as a whole. Together, the right partner can find a model and structure that best leverages each hospital’s strengths and meets the opportunity. 

Read our white paper, “Effective Hybrid Partnership Models to Enhance Hospital Performance and Outcomes” to learn how Lifepoint’s partnership solutions can benefit your hospital.



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