Borders' closing teaches hospitals to adapt

News that the large bookstore chain Borders is seeking permission to go out of business could serve as a cautionary tale for hospitals.

The end of Borders may signal the demise of brick-and-mortar stores, as operations and consumers continue to move online. "The chain failed to adapt ... to the new world and new economics," writes Matthew Weinstock in a Hospitals & Health Networks Daily article.

As the healthcare industry increasingly embraces EMRs, telemedicine, and mobile apps, hospitals will have to learn from Borders' end and adjust to the various advancements and challenges related to health technology.

But hospitals have to deal with more than just a technologically advancing industry. "From the Affordable Care Act to meaningful use to budget cuts, change is coming at hospital leaders from every direction," notes Weinstock.

For example, hospitals have to find ways to improve the quality of care while controlling costs, as well as develop best practices to eliminate healthcare disparities, according to the article.

The need to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of healthcare is not only vital for hospital operations but also the people it serves. "Your institutions save lives. Imagine what would happen to your community if you had to liquidate," writes Weinstock.

To successfully adapt, hospital leaders must step up to the plate, direct and motive staff, and create the new path for their organizations. Hospital execs must also "find the bright spots"--things that are working right--and replicate those methods in other areas of their organizations, notes the article.

For more:
- read the Associated Press article
- read the H&HN Daily article