Impact of the Closure of a Large Urban Medical Center: A Qualitative Assessment (Part I)
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
This community health needs assessment—the first part of a mixed-methods project—sought to qualitatively examine the impact of the closure of St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, a large not-for-profit hospital in NYC, on individuals who used its services. Key informant interviews with organizational leaders and focus groups with residents were conducted to understand hospital utilization, unmet health care needs, health care utilization and experiences post closure, perceptions of the most significant effect of the closing, and recommendations for improving health care in the community. Most respondents spoke positively of the hospital’s accessibility, comprehensive, high-quality services, and its close relationship with the community. Conversely, experiences post-closure were largely negative, including decreased access, interrupted care, and loss of emergency and specialty care. Lack of information concerning medical records reflected a larger problem of poor planning and community outreach. Another issue was widespread anxiety in a community now lacking a hospital. Further, while the hospital’s closure might cause inconveniences, these effects were described as more daunting to vulnerable groups. Our findings provide a consistent picture of a hospital highly regarded by residents, patients, and leaders of several health and social services organizations. Regardless of whether it should have been permitted to close (as raised by many respondents), the lack of advance planning and outreach to community members and patients remains a major criticism. Coordinated efforts to provide the community with information about health and social services in the area will respond to a clear need while reducing some of the complexity encountered with utilizing local health care services.
- Otterman, S. (2010). St. Vincent’s votes to shut hospital in Manhattan. New York Times, Section A, A23.
- Hartocollis, A. (2010). The decline of St. Vincent’s hospital. New York Times, Section A, A1.
- Buchmueller, TC, Jacobson, M, Wold, C (2006) How far to the hospital?: The effect of hospital closures on access to care. Journal of Health Economics 25: pp. 740-761 CrossRef
- Hsia, RY, Shen, Y (2011) Rising closures of hospital trauma centers disproportionately burden vulnerable populations. Health Affairs 30: pp. 1912-1920 CrossRef
- Sun, BC, Mohanty, SA, Weiss, R (2006) Effects of hospital closures and hospital characteristics on emergency department ambulance diversion, Los Angeles county, 1998 to 2004. Annals of Emergency Medicine 47: pp. 309-316 CrossRef
- Jayaram, G, Triplett, P (2008) Quality improvement of psychiatric care: Challenges of emergency psychiatry. American Journal of Psychiatry 165: pp. 1256-1260 CrossRef
- Ford, R., & Day, A. (2010). Aftershock: Manhattan hospitals strained by closure of St. Vincent’s. City Limits. Retrieved January 20, 2012, from http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/4203/aftershock-manhattan-hospitals-strained-by-closure-of-st-vincent.
- Adalja, AA, Watson, M, Wollner, S, Rambhia, KJ, Toner, ES (2011) Response to the sudden closure of St. Vincent’s hospital: Learning from a real, no-notice, prolonged surge event. Biosecurity and Bioterrism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science 9: pp. 153-161
- Walker, KO, Clarke, R, Ryan, G, Brown, AF (2011) Effect of closure of a local safety-net hospital on primary care physicians’ perceptions of their role in patient care. The Annals of Family Medicine 9: pp. 496-503 CrossRef
- Little, DR, Clasen, ME, Hendricks, JL, Walker, IA (2011) Impact of closure of mental health center: Emergency department utilization and length of stay among patients with severe mental illness. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 22: pp. 469-472 CrossRef
- Romero, D., Kwan, A., Nestler, S., & Cohen, N. (2012). Impact of the closure of a large urban medical center: A quantitative assessment (Part II). Journal of Community Health. doi:10.1007/s10900-012-9551-2.
- Morgan, DL (1997) Focus groups as qualitative research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA
- St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center. Retrieved January 19, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Vincent%27s_Catholic_Medical_Center.
- Impact of the Closure of a Large Urban Medical Center: A Qualitative Assessment (Part I)
Journal of Community Health
Volume 37, Issue 5 , pp 982-994
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Hospital closure
- Community health
- Access to care
- Vulnerable groups
- Qualitative methods