Had another encounter with our health care system on our recent trip--my wife had to have her gallbladder removed. It was a much more positive experience than my earlier one. A major reason was that her illness was quickly identified so the medical routines and procedures went to work. Another reason was that the Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca, where the surgery was done, is a newer facility with a more cheerful atmosphere. While part of the difference may be the organizational culture and the difference in patients, another part may be simply the difference in congestion. The previous hospital had two patients to a room, CMC had only one. So the ratio of patients to square footage was much lower at CMC. I believe patient care in a hospital is heavily dependent on people--you need nurses, aides, houskeepers, doctors, maintenance, etc. And each patient attracts visitors. So the lower density of patients meant a lower density of other people, resulting in less conversation and less noise, producing a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.
Anyway, my thanks to all of the doctors and staff, particularly Dr. Cora Foster, the surgeon, and Kathy Hauss (sp?), a nurse.