Healthcare Delivery System

Our Regional and Community Hospitals

Size and ownership may not determine value or quality of care. For many conditions and illnesses, a midsize or small acute care hospital is quite sufficient. In fact, many hospitals in Virginia's smaller towns have a long-standing record for successfully serving family medical needs from birth to elder care. These are the hospitals on which most Virginian's depend for their acute care needs. When or if there is a potential need for critical or specialty care that reaches beyond a particular hospital's capability, your physician will guide you to the appropriate expanded care choice.

Small Acute Care General Community Hospitals

Many small community hospitals provide a range of inpatient and outpatient services necessary to diagnose and treat many acute care needs that may include in addition to general medical care:

  • emergency room services
  • intensive care
  • surgical care
  • obstetrics (OB) (or maternity care including birthing rooms)
  • diagnostic services such as laboratory procedures, x-ray or other diagnostic radiological procedures and ultrasound procedures
  • some rehabilitation therapies
  • inpatient pharmacy services
  • geriatric services and
  • consumer physician referral services

Some rural community hospitals have become Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) hospitals. A CAH receives a different type of funding from Medicare and is designed to help reduce closures of small rural hospitals. CAH hospitals have a maximum of 25 beds and must provide 24-hour emergency services. CAHs are required to develop agreements with an acute care hospital related to patient referral and transfer, communication, emergency and non-emergency patient transportation. CAH hospitals have flexibility to tailor their staff and services to meet their communities needs.

Large Acute Care General Community Hospitals and Health Centers

When considering your hospital options, you will find that most of the services listed for small community acute care hospitals will be available at the larger facilities. In addition, these larger, typically regional hospitals and health centers may have specialized departments such as women's centers, home health services and hospice services.

They can also provide other specialty services that may include

  • infectious diseases
  • pediatrics
  • cardiology
  • oncology, including chemotherapy
  • nuclear medicine
  • radiation therapy
  • neurology and neurological surgery
  • dental surgery
  • ophthalmic surgery and other ophthalmological service; and
  • ear, nose and throat (ENT) - or otorhinolaryngology - services

You may also find these large facilities staffed and equipped to provide

  • premature baby care
  • nephrology and urology services as well as urological surgery
  • transplant surgery and,
  • inhalation therapy and respiratory therapy

They may also have

  • an intensive care unit (ICU) and cardiac care unit (CCU)
  • inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care and substance abuse services
  • burn and trauma centers and, in some cases,
  • heliport services

For more information on hospitals in Virginia please visit VHI's Hospital page