Community Medical Centers and Pregnancy

What Is A Community Medical Center?

There was a time when the mention of the words "community medical center" or "community hospital" conjured up an image of a small, out-of-the-way clinic that was able to administer initial treatment in the event of a serious medical issue or accident, and then promptly send the patient off to a "city hospital" for care. Today's definition of community hospitals, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA), are facilities that are non-federal, short-term general or other specialty hospitals, excluding units of institutions. They are short-stay, which means an average length of stay of fewer than thirty days, and they are also acute-care in most cases. A specialty hospital includes obstetrics and gynecology; eye, ear, nose and throat; rehabilitation; orthopedic; and other individually described specialty services - such as one that specializes in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. A short-term community general hospital or special children's hospitals are also considered to be community hospitals.

A Sole Community Hospital - Out In The Boonies

A sole community hospital, which is probably where we get the picture of an out-of-the-way medical center, is defined by Medicare as being "located more than 35 road miles from another hospital, and that, by reason of factors such as the time required for an individual to travel to the nearest alternative source of appropriate inpatient care (in accordance with standards promulgated by the Secretary), location, weather conditions, travel conditions, or absence of other like hospitals (as determined by the Secretary), is the sole source of inpatient hospital services reasonably available to individuals in a geographic area who are entitled to benefits under Medicare." Well then, that probably means that if a person is living in the boonies, a sole community hospital is the only medical care center around for miles.

The University-Community Hospital Agreement

As the usefulness of public hospitals for medical education has declined, there has been, as a response to the decline, an increase in university-community hospital affiliations. There have been a number of setbacks in these types of affiliations, but the main one seems to be a lack of clear identification of objectives. For a university seeking community hospital affiliation, the objective is an expansion of its educational capability without having to invest in the development or building of additional hospital facilities. The community hospital's objective should focus on strengthening the quality of its medical services which can be done quite well in a university-community hospital union. There are many university community hospitals in the US and other countries, and these provide excellent medical service as well as a teaching and learning facilities for university students who desire to practice medicine.

Specialty Hospitals

A community memorial hospital is simply a community hospital that has been named in memory of a person, place, or event. It is a community hospital and provides all of the things a community hospital would be expected to provide. A community medical center, especially one that has an obstetric and gynecology specialty is an excellent place for a woman to have her medical needs taken care of during her pregnancy. There are many community medical centers that deal only with pregnancy and childbirth, giving their total attention to the needs of a woman from before conception through birth and afterward, helping with postpartum issues, breastfeeding, and the early development of the baby.

Traditionally, community medical centers were available for women who were pregnant, healthy and just needing regular check-ups, blood work, and testing. However, as time has gone on, these centers have become specialized and can service a pregnant woman through all kinds of issues, complications, and events of pregnancy, childbirth and post-childbirth. There are affiliations with fertility clinics as well, so they can even be involved in preconception and assisted reproduction techniques as part of the hospital's services.

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