Harvard study puts Maine’s rural hospitals on defensive

Posted July 14, 2011, at 8:31 p.m.

Maine Public Broadcasting reports on a Harvard study showing that the nation’s smallest hospitals, those with 25 beds or fewer, are having a hard time keeping up with national standards. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA. Maine has 15 of these so-called Critical Access Hospitals, and at a recent meeting in Portland, state and national hospital leaders discussed the study and what it means for Maine.

“In the JAMA article, researchers write about how difficult it is for rural hospitals to take care of the older, sicker, more impoverished populations they see—-with limited financial resources, fewer staff and a lack of the emergency rooms and other specialized units.

‘What I take from that is somehow if we all look like hospitals in Boston, all critical access hospitals look like those hospitals, the world would be better off,’ Moscovice says. ‘It’s simply not feasible. It’s an inefficient way to look at the issue of—what we should be looking at is how can smaller, critical access hospitals best take advantege of the resources, the staffing that they have to produce high quality results.’ “

Read the whole story here.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/14/health/harvard-study-puts-maines-rural-hospitals-on-defensive/ printed on August 23, 2014