According to the Harvard Business Review, “In health care, the days of business as usual are over…We must move away from a supply-driven health care system organized around what physicians do and toward a patient-centered system organized around what patients need. We must shift the focus from the volume and profitability of services provided—physician visits, hospitalizations, procedures, and tests—to the patient outcomes achieved.” That means hospitals and medical centers have to focus more on medical wellness and rehabilitation.

With today’s quality reporting measures and population health measures, such as weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose, wellness is becoming a core competency. In fact medical wellness is now a basic strategy for thriving and staying competitive in the era of accountable care. It’s not just about measuring, but improving population health, experts said at an American College of Healthcare Executives’ annual congress.

Broadening your mission to include medical wellness

Creating (or enhancing) a facility at your hospital or medical center to one devoted to wellness should come from broadening your healthcare mission and reach. Your institution must become much more than just a place to treat sick people.

A wellness center would move your hospital or medical center way beyond acute care to create a more meaningful impact on your patients, your own employees, and your community.

Plus, creating a medical wellness center not only addresses population health, it also can help a hospital or medical facility gain a competitive edge…and that can affect your bottom line. In fact, Medical Center Health System (MCHS) in Odessa, Texas, proved that route to be highly effective…and even made money doing it. “In just the first year alone, MCHS gained 1,836 members to its medically integrated facility and expects 2,500 members by the end of year two–not to mention the pleasant surprise of nearly $200,000 in first-year revenue rather than the expected losses.”

What does it take?

Today’s medical wellness center is a lot more that a gym. Sure, it offers fitness equipment, but it adds the support and resources for that group of people who wouldn’t normally exercise on their own. In addition to medical fitness, the center can offer physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine services, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.

That why it takes the right, carefully chosen fitness equipment to help your patients properly recover and heal. Your patients and your staff count on your medical wellness/rehabilitation fitness facility to deliver the tools they need to safely and effectively reach their goals. Whether you’re outfitting a new facility (or bringing your current one up-to-date), you need to take into consideration safety features and easy operation for first-time or mobility-challenged users and recovering patients.

How medical wellness is different—and better—for patients

There are several important differences between medical fitness facilities and other “regular” gyms:

  • Medical fitness facilities are the next logical step in continued, integrated health care.
  • They use proven, evidence-based practices to reduce problems and variations.
  • Exercise programs are designed by the staff to follow techniques that are approved by medical professionals.
  • Medical wellness facilities tie perfectly with the health care system.
  • At a medical fitness facility, the staff is qualified to teach sound techniques for improving one’s life quality, and is not based on unsupported trends and fads.
  • Using medically-based fitness facilities will help ensure that the exercise specialist has a network of medical professionals such as doctors, dieticians, and therapists that they can refer you too if needed.
  • This keeps medical professionals up to date and better ensures that the exercise prescription they give patients ties in seamlessly to the recommendations given by the health care professional.

On the other hand, gyms (or pure fitness clubs) aren’t medically guided, may not follow correct rehab procedures, and may not be safe or effective for patients with specific medical issues.

Give patients and professionals what they need

With a medical fitness facility, patients can work at getting better, healing, going on with life…and just feeling all-around healthier. With the right fitness equipment and assistance, they can develop a program that best suits their needs, whether they require weights and resistance machines to build muscle and strength or ellipticals, treadmills and exercise bikes to regain and improve cardio and pulmonary function.

You need specialized assistance to put together the right mix of equipment for your medical wellness/rehab facility. As your trusted and experienced partner, SOFITCO can help you design, up-date, and maintain your facility. Talk to SOFITCO to find out how we can help design or update your medical wellness facilit