Top 5: What Hospital Management could learn from Theme Hospital!

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Posted February 13, 2012 by James Steel in Articles, Opinion, PC, Retro

Theme Hospital is a fantastic game from Bullfrog. Released back in 1997, it tasked you with managing an up and coming hospital. Jobs ranged from employing staff, arranging the layout and even keeping an eye on the heating levels. Sure, this may not sound like something you could enjoy, but in the same style seen in their previous game Theme Park, this game broke new ground in the genre.

Witling down the complicated nature of running a hospital, adding a lot of humour and even some rather disturbing illnesses and ailments, this classic title offered something completely new and original, providing an entirely new way to look at hospital management. What’s even better is that the game is just as playable today as it was back when it was released.

After playing this game recently, I came to a number of conclusions that I think could both increase productivity, and reduce costs in the current hospital climate!

I present to you;

  • Windows increase productivity, no matter where they are placed

While studies have tried to show that daylight is good for you and will increase your workplace productivity, they have a fatal flaw. It’s not the sunlight that’s beneficial, it is in-fact just the inclusion of windows. The more there are, the better for your workforce, simple enough. Even better is the fact that you don’t even need to have the windows on the outward wall, just put them anywhere, as many as you like! Who cares if the windows in the staff room offer a clear view of the toilets? The doctors stress levels will thank you for this.

  • Rifles shot from the sky are an effective form of pest control

Pests and infestation cost countless amounts from the yearly budget, but thankfully, Theme Hospital has a cheap and reliable method for dealing with those pesky rodents. Simply have an open top hospital, a sniper on a blimp hovering above, and let him have at it. While there is the small possibility of human causalities, and of course a little mess to clean up, it’s not that big of a problem considering the costs it would save in using poison or other tactics to weed them out! You may have to wait for them to scurry across the floor, but with a patient sharpshooter waiting calmly above, all that will be needed is a prompt caretaker.

  • Patients that are sent for research should not be expected to return

Research is a hugely important part of modern science. Test tubes and hypotheses are all well and good, but what is even better is when you have a live human subject to test on. Theme Hospital seems to have cracked this with the all-in-one Research-o-matic. Yes, I may have just created that word, but the concept is perfect. While it is unclear what happens to the subjects inside the machine, the best part of this is that it’s clean, simple, and the patients seem willing to be sent in, even though there is no chance of return. Quick and painless research with no waivers to get in the way.

  • No matter how unsure you are, take a guess at a cure

Having a 100% chance of cure is always nice, but what if it’s under 50%? Take a guess, at least that’s what Theme Hospital recommends. Sure, your reputation may take a little hit if you are unsuccessful, plus an extra body bag may be required, but it’s worth it in the long run. Despite some small repercussions, a few plants or coke machines scattered around will cheer everyone back up. You could even put some benches down to make sure everyone can sit down, everyone loves that! With these few simple steps, your reputation will be on the way to recovery. Oh, and also, if anyone comes in with a flashing light above their head, get them sorted first!

  • Keep the place warm. Even though you may have plastered your hospital with radiators, someone will find the cold spot and complain

Keeping your hospital clean, efficient and your patients happy is very important, but you’d better not forget about the heating. Thankfully radiators are cheap and seem to be able be placed anywhere. Cold spot in the middle of the corridor? Not a problem! Unfortunately, while you may have plastered your hospital with these mystical heat providers, if there is a single pixel that isn’t covered, someone will find it and complain! This may leave you going over the map with a fine toothcomb to find the cold pixels, but your reputation is counting on it.

So there we have it, some simple solutions and advice to both current and aspiring hospital management. While some of these methods may be unorthodox, the results definitely outweigh the possible side effects.

Title Image from – http://ctrl-alt-ins.blogspot.com/2010/11/theme-hospital-in-dosbox-by-emerald.html


Author

James Steel
James Steel

James likes games! So much so, his collection spans 19 formats and near 2500 games. Keen to progress in both video games journalism and video production, he often finds himself tracking down games of all formats in the local charity shops.


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