The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Health Care Warehousing

Feb 15, 2021

University of Michigan Medical Center is considered a state of the art health care system in comparison to many others. It is why people in Michigan who have health issues often elect to see if they can go to U of M hospital for treatment.

Some of them are going for more minor surgeries that require them just to stay overnight. And when you say, overnight, you think of a hospital room, either private or with two beds, right?

Not so. The “Short Stay Unit” is a giant room. Beds are separated by curtains, not doors.

You can hear the personal medical information of every patient who may be within hearing distance of your curtained enclosure. So much for HIPAA, the medical privacy act that all hospitals are supposed to follow. You can hear everything through this big room, so good luck with bed rest and sleep, which is why they are keeping you overnight in the first place. And there is one bathroom when there may be nearly 2 dozen beds in this giant room.

What’s wrong with this picture? Could it have anything to do with cost savings? And if so, for whom? A hospital CEO’s bottom line?