The hospital landscape in metropolitan Atlanta is as much a reflection of the city’s growth and continued outward expansion as any of the traditional economic indicators. It wasn’t so far back in the area’s timeline that the choice of a hospital was driven by where your doctor had privileges without concern for geography. Now, as the metro area spreads outward in all directions, each community seems to have its own roster of medical facilities, much as they also have the familiar retail and chain restaurants.
And hospital systems are recognizing the business necessity of bringing with them medical specialists, giving the proximate residents access to virtually any treatment they need. Whether that be a simple appendectomy to neurosurgery, an annual physical to a CAT scan with the latest technology or delivering a baby to the most sophisticated neonatal procedures.
In addition to providing the best care possible, there is also a savvy symbiotic relationship being played out between medical consumers and medical providers. On the consumer side is a growing sentiment that circumstance compels all to take an active role in their own healthcare choices – that, as opposed to the days when the family doctor dictated all the decisions. On the other side, the business side of the hospital business, is the realization that there is profit to be found in giving the customer what he or she wants, where they want it.
However, this is not to infer every hospital throughout the sprawl is equal. Among the legion of facilities there are places with well- earned reputations in specific medical/surgical disciplines. But it does reflect today’s reality that the decision on where and whether to build a hospital is now predicated on meeting consumer demand. Communities need and want their own hospitals.