man eating and smoking

Hospital Merges with Fast Food, Tobacco Companies to ‘Stay Competitive’

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CHICAGO, IL – As you pass by the ER entrance at Cook County Hospital, the unmistakable aroma of grease, processed burgers, and cigarette smoke fills the air.  Patients loiter outside smoking and proceed inside to consume their McAngina sandwiches with fries, long considered a nuisance by ER staff.  Hospital Chief Innovative Officer, John Prince, thought differently.

“I used to pass by the ER every day and try to hold my breath to keep from having an asthma attack.  One day, though, as I saw a patient exchange half of his box of fries for a cigarette, I realized that we had a marketplace in our midst– and our hospital wasn’t getting anything out of it.”

Prince (who studied business, finance, and innovation at the University of Phoenixtreme) and warrants him being in charge of a hospital, got to work right away.  As he began to interview patients and observe their behaviors, he realized that many of them would stop for fast food on their way to the ER, even if they’d suffered trauma.  As a matter of fact, eating McAnginas enroute to the ER was an independent risk factor for necessitating emergent surgery with an odds ratio of 5 in recent studies. He then made partnerships allowing local fast food restaurants to open locations right on the hospital campus.

“They never let me eat after I get here, and it’s an awfully long wait sometimes,” observed a patient with a knife sticking out of his chest who wished to remain anonymous.  “After 2, 3, even 4 guys beat you up, it can be awfully hard to drag your butt down the block to Wendy’s and then make it to the ER.  Now that Wendy’s is conveniently located right here, I save myself time and don’t lose as much blood since I use the convenient drive thru and resuscitate lane first.”

The merger, which has boosted patient satisfaction scores and overall ER visit numbers, has been incredibly popular with patients and staff.  The hospital cafeteria staff – most of whom now spend a majority of their day stirring the same pot of soup over and over – see the move as disappointing, but still the next logical step.

“I mean, hospitals are buying up primary care practices and surgical centers all over, making these big mergers.  They’ve been taking money from soft drink manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies for years.  It only makes sense,” commented one kitchen worker who expects to start working at the in-house smoked BBQ restaurant “very, very soon.”

Selling cigarettes on campus was a bit more of a tough sell to the administration on a hospital that was trying to create a “smoke-free campus,” but when Prince worked out a deal for the Phillipe Morris Pavilion with a dedicated smoking area right next to the Oncology building as a “Harm Reduction Safe Space,” everyone had to agree it made smart business sense.

A representative from Phillipe Morris offered this statement: “In a way, we need the hospital as much as they need us.  Without catheters and nebs, our customers would stop buying our products.  Without our products, these wards would be a lot lonelier.”

Hospital CEO Connor Flikintress defended the decisions.  “Times are only getting harder for us all as the government keeps threatening to cut off the money that’s helped us grow our medical system and squelch the free enterprise of these other companies.  We’re just giving patients what they want.”

  • Dr. Laughingstone

    Dr. Laughingstone divides his time between a gritty urban community health center under a bridge in a decaying major American city, a mission outpost in the dark heart of deepest Africa, and other offensive clichés. He's writing a novel and releasing it one chapter at a time at Trousseau Syndrome; it is just as funny as his Gomerblog articles but it also has other great stuff like sex, violence, and religious proselytization. You can also follow him on Twitter @matthew_loftus if you’re a real glutton for punishment.

  • Show Comments

  • Avatar
    Nelda Smith

    What is so sad is some of this is true .. Had a lady with an appy had instructed her multiple time .. MULTIPLE times not to eat or drink till we knew for sure because it could delay surgery low and behold walked in to say yes it is your appendix and she was eating chicken nuggets I was like I asked you not to she said well I was hungry I had not eaten all day because my stomach hurt to bad .. Then the surgeon was very angry told him to talk to her that it was documented at least 8 times instructed not to eat anything .. And yes she lied said I never heard that .. What garbage

  • Avatar
    Heather VanDen Hoek

    The hospital I work in has a McD’s that is more accessible than the cafeteria.

  • Avatar
    Patty Travels


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    Terry Cahill

    Love it. If there was no JCAH. Probably would be true. Focus is on business not wellness

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    Marshall Lyon

    So I’m driving home from the hospital past a park with an exercise trail. There’s a guy standing in front of one of the exercise instruction signs smoking a cigarette. He’s staring at the sign as if somehow doing mental exercise will make him healthier. Here’s a thought – put down the cancer sticks.

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    Theresa Terri Higginbotham-Torretti


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    Christine Boose Shindel

    Unhealthy people keep hospitals in lots of business

  • Avatar
    Sheila Chenoweth

    No more calls to doc in middle of the night. You don’t need a prescription to mix up a highball or whiskey sour. It’s all for pain relief!

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    Wendy Davis Newlin

    I’m sorry but this is ridiculous! WTF! Let’s add to their health problems just so those retarded patient satisfaction surveys come back positive! Government over involvement,Press Ganey and the like are RUINING healthcare, who cares if the patient has diabetes and heart attack due to the “McAngina” burger and smoking as long as he gives us high score! Newsflash guys, I’m not a nurse to fluff your damn pillow or serve you a fine meal. I’m here to help you heal, to teach you how to care for whatever condition you have, I’m here to help keep you alive and if that means your cigarettes are not allowed and you heart attack platter isn’t served to you on a silver platter with a big smile well too damn bad- go home and hire a servant then die with a smile on your face! As for me, I’d rather help you get better and keep you alive and if that means I have to piss you off by not catering to your more whimsical and ridiculous demands then so be it!

  • Avatar
    Lisa Barber

    My company could finally achieve the patient satisfaction scores they so desire. My old ER unit thought of happy hour for our busiest times too!!

  • Avatar
    Thalia C. Jennings

    Supersize with a side of Dilaudid.

  • Avatar
    Lakesha Powers

    Monic Bryant this is the medical site we were talking about

  • Avatar
    Terry N Teresa Rolan

    the convenient drive thru and resuscitate lane.

  • Avatar
    Giovana Rene

    OMG Eileen Left, I say the same thing. R u in primary care too? LOL funny because it’s so true

  • Avatar
    Ana Negron
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    Dave Comstock

    I hear that they won’t vaccinate your kids, either!

  • Avatar
    Sarah Kohrmann

    Best thing I’ve seen all day ;)

  • Avatar
    Terry Niska Watson

    Oh my gawd so FUNNY!

  • Avatar
    Eileen Left

    My running joke has made it to a gomer post!!
    When a parent is particularly demanding – I think that myself ‘you want fries with that ? ‘

  • Avatar
    Manju Jacob

    We not only make our patients better , we focus on employee wellness and promote exercise, healthy eating and quitting smoking

  • Avatar
    Manju Jacob

    This is why I am proud to be part of KP

  • Avatar
    Kristan Probeck

    And alcohol drips, please!

  • Avatar
    Joice Kouyoumdji

    Who is financing who??

  • Avatar
    Rubi More

    For Sure!! F#*k it!!!!

  • Avatar
    Sabine Handley

    They come to our hospital for the wings!

  • Avatar
    Bob B Bopp

    This is parody…right?

  • Avatar
    Christopher Oie

    “I’ll take a super sized number 2” No-wait- I meant the burger-beer-Winston- Norco meal!

  • Avatar
    Kevin Biegler

    the funny part? one of the major hospitals in Minneapolis which boasts about it’s cardiac care has a McDonalds actually in the hospital :-D

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Sellman, MD

    Sadly, you are late to the play Gomerblog: ANW Hospital in Mpls has had a McDonald’s > 20 years. :-(

  • Avatar
    Kelly Healy

    The future of American medicine.

  • Avatar
    Cameron Gardner

    Brian Barstad, Jonathan Swanson, Victor Chiu, Tsuyoshi Mitarai, Brittany Jean Coburn

  • Avatar
    Stephen Norman

    Our hospital actually has a mcDonald’s inside it!

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    Roseanne Warner

    LOL! They also need the 400+ calorie “bagel” with the 100+ calorie cream cheese for breakfast. I mean com’on it’s a bagel right? It’s healthy. :-)

  • Avatar
    Mary Bussard

    Toss in some beer and you would have a perfect patient satisfaction score

  • Avatar
    Heather Jenckes

    Brilliant!! One stop shopping!!

  • Avatar
    Abby RN

    McD in the basement of the hospital where I did my first med/surg rotation; all their past customers on every other floor!

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Gage

    Served by nursing staff in baby tees, hot pants, and stilettos? (Just Wranglers, boots, and no shirts for our amazing and masculine nursing professionals!)

  • Avatar
    Amy Lysy

    This makes my laugh, not necessarily because it’s funny but because it’s true

  • Avatar
    Jesse Thomas McCann

    a bar and a restaurant would help a lot of bottom lines

  • Avatar
    Dan Kelly

    Drive thu healthcare, I want a whopper with a large dilaudid

  • Avatar
    Jeremy Castle

    this is much better. i get sick of being offered nicotine patches with no menthol to them! (my mother actually thinks that’s a legitimate concern)

    no more 10/10 pain scores with craft beer on tap ;)

  • Avatar
    Barbara Parness

    Marlboro, Mickey D, and Michelob! The perfect plan for satisfied patients and staff job security!

  • Avatar
    Amit Bhavsar

    Carrie Creter Bhavsar for your patient population.

  • Avatar
    Sara Frye

    It defines what job security really is

  • Avatar
    Natalia Losi

    I think it’s the best idea ever!
    We should actually hand out sandwiches, hydrocodone and hot blankets right in triage

  • Avatar
    Elise Freeman

    This is already sadly true given the McDonald’s in hospitals.

  • Avatar
    Kym Whiting

    Synergising. Is that a word? It is now.

  • Avatar
    Adrian Miclea

    St Budweiser of Applebees & Comfort Inn General Hospital

  • Avatar
    Chaucey Coil

    There’s a McDonalds at Riley Children’s Hospital too.

  • Avatar
    Molly Watkins

    we would get better patient satisfaction scores this way

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Gasperson Fischer

    We’ve all seen the prn beer order…

  • Avatar
    Patrick Grizzly Campbell

    And, at least when I was a student and a resident, there was a McDonalds in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation…so really, this is true old news ;-)

  • Avatar
    Mike Nelson

    Katherine E Kokko

  • Avatar
    Patrick Grizzly Campbell

    I have always thought that all family practice doctors should also own a liquor store and a donut shoppe!

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