Bellevue is arguably one of the oldest hospitals in the United States. It was established in 1736 as an infirmary, but over the years, the hospital has made great and positive growth to medical science, public health and education in the United States and all over the world. It provides a variety of surgical, medical and psychiatric services. Other than that, many highly complex illnesses and cases are referred to Bellevue Hospital. The hospital occupies a 25 story building which was constructed at First Avenue 25th street in Manhattan in 1975. It is a municipal hospital, which is also part of the south Manhattan healthcare network. Bellevue Hospital is a healthcare provider to many of the New York City’s large population for short-term and long-term illnesses (Holland, 2010). Other than providing health care, Bellevue is also the primary teaching hospital of the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine and an important component of the NYU Medical Center Residency Programs.
Guided by professional values of professionalism, honesty, integrity and hard work, Bellevue Hospital has been able to beat the challenges it has faced throughout its many years of operation. The hospitals mission is to provide the highest quality of care to New York’s population and deliver healthcare to every patient with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion (Link, 2002). Looking at Bellevue’s tradition of providing quality healthcare service and giving the same high level treatment to all patients regardless of their ability to pay, race or cultural background, it is obvious that Bellevue Hospital is a non profit making organization. Rubinstein (2010) contends that this is so because Bellevue is a municipal hospital and also the biggest unit within the HHC (Health and Hospitals Corporation) which is the main urban healthcare agency and also the main municipal healthcare organization in the United States. The HHC consists of diagnostic and treatment centers, long-term –care facilities, acute healthcare facilities, and community health clinics and certified home healthcare agencies (Link, 2002). It also has its own integrated healthcare delivery system with a good number of people as members of the health plan. Considering its many years of service delivery to the New York residents and millions of Americans from other States, the hospital has been recognized by several accreditation bodies. As a matter of fact, the hospital has been rated the best by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the International Accreditation Council (Holland, 2010).
The New York University staff began conducting clinical education at Bellevue in 1847. In the year 1968 New York University School of Medicine undertook complete responsibility for Bellevue's clinical services. Bellevue boasts of modern and hi-tech and state of the art facilities and equipment, including approximately 800 inpatient bed capacity. It also has an emergency centre which highly efficient and renowned the world over (Rubinstein, 2010). It has not only one, but six intensive care units and a trauma centre, something that most hospitals do not have. It also has a four story ambulatory care pavilion. To top it all off, the hospital has a medical staff of more than 1200 full time physician to attend to the inflow of patients on a 24 hour basis. This is much needed considering the number of patients the hospital handles. Every other year, the hospital treats around 27,000 inpatients. It also deals with around 89,000 Emergency case visits and about 300,000 outpatient visits in more than 90 adult and children’s’ ambulatory care clinics (Rubinstein, 2010).
Bellevue Hospital is not just an ordinary hospital, but a hospital with a difference because it has a first in many of its services and operations and in the medical field. To mention just a few, in the year 1799 it established the first maternity ward in the United States. This made it possible for other hospital to follow suit and put up maternity wards (Holland, 2010). It was also the first hospital to find a medical college, which was affiliated with a hospital in New York. This is the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1861. Five years later the physicians at the hospital were greatly involved in developing New York City’s sanitary code which was the first one in the whole world. It was also the first hospital to establish the world’s first hospital-based ambulance service in1868. This was not all as in 1873 the United States first nursing school based on Florence Nightingale’s principle was opened at the hospital (Gold, 2000). It was also the first to put up a children’s clinic the first in the country. Holland, J. (2010 argues that in order to meet the needs and the expectations of the growing number of patients, Bellevue Hospital has to work in collaboration with other hospitals across the country. They include, Coney Island Hospital, Harlem Hospital Center, King County Hospital Center, Queens Hospital Center, Metropolitan Hospital Center and Elmhurst Hospital Center.
In 1888, a nursing school for men was established. The hospital also saw the need to curb the tuberculosis epidemic by inaugurating the Bellevue chest service. As a municipal hospital it created the first intensive care unit something which most municipal hospitals never did. The physician at the hospital created the first active vaccination of serum hepatitis .The list is endless as the contribution made by the hospital in the medical field is enormous. This is in line with the hospitals mission and motto which the staff really works hard to meet and keep.