Timeline of hospitals
This is a timeline of hospitals, attempting to describe major events in the evolution of the institution.
|Ancient times||In ancient cultures, religion and medicine are linked. Ancient Egyptian temples are the earliest documented institutions aiming to provide healthcare. In ancient Greece, temples dedicated to the healer-god Asclepius, known as Asclepieia, function as centers of medical advice, prognosis, and healing. Around 100 BCE, the Romans construct buildings called valetudinaria for the care of sick slaves, gladiators, and soldiers. Healthcare facilities also appear early in India.|
|Middle Ages||From the 6th to the 10th century, in Europe, the infirmary becomes an established part of every monastery under the influence of the Benedictine Order. Beyond the 10th century, monastic infirmaries continue to expand, and public hospitals are also opened. City authorities, the church and private sources finance these facilities. The primary function of medieval hospitals is to worship to God. Most hospitals contain one chapel, at least one clergyman, and inmates that are expected to help with prayer. Many hospitals were developed during the early Islamic era. The idea of the hospital as a place for the care of sick people is taken from the early Caliphs.|
|18th century||The voluntary hospital movement begins in some parts of Europe. The earliest contemporary hospitals begin to appear in China in the form of missionary hospitals run by western churches.|
|19th century||Hospitals and the medical profession become more professionalized, with a reorganization of hospital management along more bureaucratic and administrative lines. By the end of the century, the modern hospital begins to take shape with a proliferation of a variety of public and private hospital systems.|
|20th century||Middle-class patients enter the hospitals. Outpatient departments expand. Technological transformation of hospitals accelerate.|
|1950s||The role of hospitals evolves to centered health systems. Large hospitals start to be built. Computer technology in medicine begins with the rise of the computers.|
|1970s||District general hospitals rise as local, secondary and tertiary hospitals.|
|1980s||Magnetic resonance imaging is introduced.|
|1990s||Acute care hospitals (active short-stay care) and ambulatory surgery centers (expansion of both day admissions and minimally invasive surgery) consolidate.|
|2000s||Computing is generalized in hospitals. Robotics start to develop. Modern private hospitals begin to appear in some developing countries.|
|Year/period||Type of event||Event||Location|
|437 BC – 367 BC||Organization||King Pandukabhaya of Sri Lanka has lying-in-homes and Ayurvedic hospitals (Sivikasotthi-Sala) built in various parts of the country. This is the earliest documented evidence available of institutions dedicated specifically to the care of the sick anywhere in the world.||Sri Lanka|
|230 BC||Organization||Indian emperor Ashoka establishes a chain of hospitals.||Hindustan (India)|
|100 BC||Organization||The Romans establish hospitals (valetudinaria) for the treatment of their sick and injured soldiers, gladiators and chariotors. The care of their military is important because the power of ancient Rome is based upon the integrity of the legions.||Roman Empire|
|397||Organization||Fabiola founds the first Christian hospital in Latin Christendom.||Rome|
|500||Organization||The Academy of Gundishapur is founded. It is considered to be the first teaching hospital on record, where students are authorized to methodically practice on patients under the supervision of physicians as part of their education.||Persia (Iran)|
|705||Organization||The first Islamic psychiatric hospital is founded in Baghdad.||Iraq|
|707||Organization||The first prominent Islamic hospital is founded with assistance from Christians.||Damascus, Syria|
|872||Organization||Egyptian governor Ahmad ibn Tulun builds a hospital in that provides care to the insane, which includes music therapy.||Cairo|
|1065||Development||The first hospices are believed to have originated around this time. In this movement is where palliative care begins.||Europe|
|1080||Organization||Hospital of St. John is founded by a group of monks.||Jerusalem|
|1377||Organization||Bedlam is founded as an asylum for lunatics.||London|
|1423||Organization||The first permanent pest house in Europe is founded.||Venice, Italy|
|1487||Development||Ambulances are first used for emergency transport.||Spain|
|1519||Organization||Hospital San Nicolás de Bari is the first hospital founded in the Americas, under Spanish rule.||Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic|
|1524||Organization||The first hospital in North America is built by Hernán Cortés.||Mexico City, Mexico|
|1633||Organization||Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul is founded as a society of young women who share their dedication of helping the poor and the sick.||France|
|1664||Organization||The Madras General Hospital is the first western hospital opened in India. It is originally aimed at serving sick soldiers of the British East India Company.||India|
|1718||Organization||Huguenots of France establish a hospital in England.||United Kingdom|
|1726||Organization||University of Edinburgh Medical School is established.||Edinburgh, Scotland|
|1794||Organization||The Glasgow Royal Infirmary is founded. It is the first hospital to have systematic training courses for nurses and the first hospital known to have an X-ray unit.||Glasgow, Scotland|
|1804||Organization||Moorfields Eye Hospital is founded. It is the first center in the world for ophthalmic treatment.||London, United Kingdom|
|1815||Policy||Apothecaries Act 1815 is passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act introduces compulsory apprenticeship and formal qualifications for apothecaries, in modern terms general practitioners, under the license of the Society of Apothecaries. It is the beginning of regulation of the medical profession in Great Britain. The Act requires instruction in anatomy, botany, chemistry, materia medica and "physic", in addition to six months of practical hospital experience.||United Kingdom|
|1833||Organization||First homeopathic hospital opens.||Leipzig, Germany|
|1847||Policy||Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis working at a Vienna maternity hospital, institutes mandatory hand-washing after hypothesizing that medical students were infecting patients. After the new procedure, infection rates drop dramatically.||Vienna, Austria|
|1851||Organization||The largest lunatic asylum in Europe is founded.||London, England|
|1851||Organization||The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is founded. It is the first hospital in the world dedicated to the study and treatment of cancer.||London, United Kingdom|
|1853–1856||Organization||The first hospital train is built during the Crimean War.|
|1859||Organization||First cottage hospital (a small rural building having several beds) is founded.||Surrey, England|
|1859||Organization||The National Hospital for the Paralyzed and Epileptic (today National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery) is founded. It is the first hospital in the world specializing in outpatient epilepsy care.||London, United Kingdom|
|1867||Organization||The first outpatient clinic is established at the Philadelphia Hospital, for orthopedics.||United States|
|1883–1911||Policy||The first healthcare system of modern history launches, starting with policies of the introduced Otto von Bismarck's social legislation.||Germany|
|1889||Organization||Johns Hopkins Hospital is founded. Major accomplishments here include the development of HeLa, by George Otto Gey, head of tissue culture research in 1951; the first and arguably most important line of human cells grown in culture; the identification of the three types of polio virus; and the first "blue baby" operation.||Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
|1890||Development||American surgeon William Stewart Halsted introduces the use of surgical gloves to the practice of medicine.|
|1895||Development||The first surgery on the heart itself is performed at Rikshospitalet.||Oslo, Norway|
|1899||Technology launch||The first motor powered (electric) ambulance enters service in Chicago, Illinois at the Michael Reese Hospital.||United States|
|1909||Development||Pediatric ambulatory anesthesia is first reported.|
|1911||Organization||The first specialized trauma care center in the world is opened at the University of Louisville Hospital.||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|1922||Development||Hospitals start to group newborn infants into one specific area, today called neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).|
|1940||Development||First use of the wonder drug Penicillin on a large scale takes place at RAF Hospital Halton.||United Kingdom|
|1948||Policy||Park Hospital (now Trafford General Hospital) becomes the first hospital in the world to offer free healthcare to all.||Trafford, United Kingdom|
|1949||Organization||The first hospital of traditional Chinese medicine is established.||Baoding, China|
|1950||Development||Austrian anesthesiologist Peter Safar establishes the concept of "Advanced Support of Life", keeping patients sedated and ventilated in an intensive care environment. Safar is considered to be the first practitioner of intensive care medicine as a specialty, having started the first multidisciplinary critical care medicine fellowship program in the world.|
|1952||Development||Ambulances begin to be restructured to become mobile hospitals rather than just vehicles for transporting patients.|
|1960–1964||Technology launch||Continuous cardiac monitoring (CCM) is first introduced in hospitals for heart rate and rhythm monitoring in coronary intensive care units.|
|1966||Development||Provision of pre-hospital cardiac care by physicians is launched as an experiment for improving care.||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|1966||Technology launch||Duke University Hospital, under program Med-Aid (short for Medical Assistance for Isolated Doctors), becomes the first medical center in the world to offer radio consultation with physicians in developing countries.||Durham, North Carolina, United States|
|1968||Technology launch||The first hospital information system is developed.||United States|
|1968||Organization||The first Traditional Tibetan medicine hospital in Bhutan is established.||Thimphu, Bhutan|
|1974||Organization||The Hamlin Fistula Hospital is founded is founded by Australian obstetrician Catherine Hamlin. It is the first hospital dedicated to the treatment of fistula in the world and the only place where fistula injuries could be treated in Ethiopia.||Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)|
|1988||Technology launch||Routine newborn hearing screening with otoacoustic emission (OAE) is first introduced, at Whipps Cross University Hospital.||London, United Kingdom|
|1996||Organization||Fortis Memorial Research Institute is founded. It is the first hospital in the world to offer digital broadband MRI imaging.||New Delhi, India|
|1999||Technology launch||eHealth, a relatively recent term for healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication, starts to develop.|
|2000||Organization||The first Ayurvedic hospital outside India is founded.||London, United Kingdom|
|2001||Technology launch||Lindbergh operation, the first complete tele-surgical operation, is carried out by a team of surgeons located in New York City on a patient at Strasbourg Civil Hospital.||United States, France|
|2003||Technology launch||University of Maryland Medical Center first employs robots to deliver medications from the satellite pharmacies to the patient care units.||Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
|2010||Technology launch||Canopy is launched as a language translation software used primarily by hospitals and clinics to communicate with limited English proficiency people (LEP's) or non-English speaking patients. The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health.|
|2012||Technology launch||Palomar Medical Center is founded. It is the first hospital to use wireless wrist band, a device is capable of transmitting vital signs from the patient into the hospital system.||Escondido, California, United States|
|2015||Technology launch||Kuopio University Hospital introduces Ascom Myco, a smartphone specially designed for mission-critical communications in hospitals and healthcare environments.||Kuopio, Finland|
Meta information on the timeline
How the timeline was built
The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.
Funding information for this timeline is available.
What the timeline is still missing
Timeline update strategy
- Timeline of the National Institutes of Health
- Timeline of global health
- History of hospitals
- Timeline of nursing history
- Timeline of medicine and medical technology
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