On the Road to Healing Hospitals

October 30th, 2009 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »

As I was moving some books around today, I noticed a paper that had fallen out of an old notebook. At the top of the page was the title Growth. Although the year does not stand out in my memory, the circumstances do. If a guess was involved, it would be ’05 or ’06, but no date was present. The situation was one of determining not only how to avoid laying people off because of necessary budget cuts, but how to grow the organization, so that all of the staff could remain employed and get their raises on an ongoing basis.


Of course, there were a list of issues relating to attracting physicians and patients. That “yada yada” list included traditional ideas like recruitment, increased marketing in a new clinic, new equipment for the breast center, expansion of the Emergency Department, performing more traditional surgical procedures, a higher-slice CT scanner, etc.

Then, there were the decidedly non-traditional ideas, like the addition of a data fusion center, increased uses of integrative medicine, a minimally-invasive bariatric center, expansion of the laboratory to include proteomic and genomic testing, management of donated tissue, and telemedicine were all there.

Looking back at that time in my CEO tenure, all of those ideas came to fruition, along with a 3T MRI with breast coil, and every one of these changes came with a certain amount of dissonance and conflict. When it all came down to it, however, the piece that worked the best – the area of concentration that yielded the most profound growth, – the ultimate, saving grace was that of producing a healing hospital.

On that same piece of paper was this note: “We must attract a heart-centered musician to work with the patients and their families.” We found that woman, Rachel, and along with her cohorts, Jean (who did aroma therapy, Reiki, and drumming), the music of healing and transition began. Later, physicians like Dr. Kelly brought flower essences and a half dozen other healing modalities. People were uplifted, reconnected, and relaxed. Through the use of therapeutic music, we gave the patient what they needed at the moment.

Barry Bitman – Admin from Remo Belli on Vimeo.

Each week, it will be my goal to give you a peek into the world of healing hospitals where people don’t come for an oil change, a new body part, or a shot of life, but rather a place where people go to heal. As a country our medical facilities have been lured into becoming factory-like for the sake of survival, but what we found was that the more humanness, the more loving, caring attitude, the more hope and help we could give in nurturing the body, mind, and soul, the better we did, the bigger we grew, and – most importantly – the happier our patients, their families, our physicians, and our employees became.

Healing Hospitals are growing hospitals.



  1. Megan Waechter says:

    Nicholas Jacobs,

    Reading through your blog tonight, I was hoping I could receive some help from you and your readers on some basic research for my class at California State University Long Beach. Any person who has visited another individual in the hospital within the last two years can participate in my survey, and it only takes ten minutes. I would like to hear the voice of the visitors in the hospitalization experience.

    Thank you for your help; it is greatly appreciated.

    The link follows:

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