Prevention Planned In New Facility

Posted on November 23, 2010


As healthcare costs continue to rise, healthcare prevention—as in, acting proactively in the present to avoid catastrophic health problems in the future—is getting increased emphasis. Nevertheless, much talk has lead to little action thus far, as prevention requires more than a world view shift on the patient end but also a paradigm shift on the service end.

A new hospital on the boards for Wesley Chapel, FL has shown a glimmer of hope for healthcare prevention. The 80-bed, 200,000 square foot facility will have a medical office building on the campus. Most interestingly, of the 90,000 square foot MOB, 55,000 square feet will be dedicated to a “wellness center”.

I have no inside knowledge of the project, so I can only speculate about the definition of “wellness center”. Euphemisms aside, I hope a ‘wellness center’ is something akin to a gym or fitness center. Regardless of the eventual use or restrictions on the facility, dedicating over half of a new MOB’s area to a wellness center is a significant step toward prevention on some level.

My impression of healthcare prevention is it is an inevitable and necessary part of our healthcare future. Our future will need to focus on preventing the bad things that happen to us by making informed easy choices each day. Part of prevention is the evolution of hospitals to something more enlivening and serviceable, not something to avoid. When healthcare is less mysterious and manageable, costs will start to come down.  I see the future Wesley Chapel facility as helping with this mission.