About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
‘Please, find another topic’
In a comment last week, a reader of this blog, Scout 22407, asked, “How long is this going to go on?”
The reader was reacting to a Wednesday post on the first emergency angioplasty at the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. It followed similar posts on the first baby at the new hospital and the first pediatric patient who had an emergency appendectomy.
“Are we going to be subjected to every first at the new hospital?” the reader asked. “Enough is enough. Please find another topic.”
I wanted to explain why I write about the new hospital so often both in the newspaper and in the blog, and why I covered the “firsts” that have occurred there. There are a couple of reasons:
Probably the most important one is that readers, especially those who live in Spotsylvania County, seem interested in the topic. One measure of that is the top 10 list that each blogger here receives. It’s updated constantly and shows the most frequently viewed postings. Below are the headlines for the top 10 blog entries that I’ve written. As you can see, postings about the Spotsylvania hospital occupy three of the 10 spots:
Reader interest in the topic is understandable, because the opening of the Spotsylvania hospital is a game-changer for this area. Not only is it the first hospital for Spotsylvania County, but it also brings a new hospital company to the area, a national, for-profit company that operates 163 hospitals nationwide. How will it operate the new Spotsylvania hospital? Will it be different than the way Mary Washington Healthcare operates its hospitals? Will doctors practice there? Will they send their patients there?
As for the “firsts” that I’ve written about, these stories are a good way of describing the scope of services at the new hospital and the physicians who will be practicing there. They show that the hospital can handle an emergency appendectomy in the middle of the night. Its cath lab can deal with a 30-year old man who walks into the ER with a heart attack. Unlike Stafford Hospital, which opened in phases, this hospital appears to have opened with all of its services available from Day 1.
So stay tuned, it should be an interesting ride.