Lena M. Chen, MD, MS; Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH
Acknowledgment: The authors thank Drs. Scott Flanders, Joel Howell, and Larry McMahon for reviewing an earlier version of this manuscript.
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M11-1404.
Requests for Single Reprints: Lena M. Chen, MD, MS, Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Room 7E02, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0429; e-mail, email@example.com.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Chen: Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls Street, Room 7E02, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0429.
Dr. Saint: Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls Street, Room 7D21, Box 5429, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5429.
Chen L., Saint S.; Moments in Time. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155:194-195. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-3-201108020-00010
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(3):194-195.
Although it seems hard to imagine, it was not that long ago that U.S. hospitals played little role in the lives of the ill. In 1873, there were fewer than 200 hospitals in the United States (1). Most people (and most physicians for that matter) would be born, live, and die without ever seeing a hospital, much less setting foot in one (1). But the next few decades saw a radical transformation in health care. By the early 20th century, there were nearly 4400 hospitals in the United States, prompting some to caution that there were limitations to hospital-based care (1). Now, a century later, we are once again examining the consequences of choosing the hospital as a central organizing feature of U.S. health care and grappling with the effects of this choice on the broader lives of our patients.
Charles L Carter
August 26, 2011
Hospitalists and quality
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