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Surfside Outpatient Center set to open

By Staff | Aug 7, 2015

The newest Lee Memorial Health System Outpatient Center will open Monday at 2441 Surfside Boulevard on the Veteran’s Parkway. When fully staffed, the $7.5 million facility will be able to treat up to 300 patients a day. CAROL?ORR?HARTMAN

The newest Lee Memorial Health System Outpatient Center will open Monday at 2441 Surfside Boulevard on the Veteran’s Parkway.

Convenient to Pine Island, North Cape and Southwest Cape residents, the facility features the latest in technology, design and equipment, officials said. This will allow a one-stop destination for patients who require multiple services and has been designed to be patient friendly.

From the initial design of the building through patient care, input was solicited from the health care workers who work in this field on a daily basis and so know the most effective way to take care of patients.

This is the first LEAN-designed facility for the Lee Memorial Health System, geared to be patient friendly and to move people through quickly so that there aren’t long waiting times. This is a new model that has been tried and true at some of the leading hospitals in the country, officials said adding Cape Coral is lucky to be the first in the area to incorporate this program. In February, Lee Memorial Hospital System staff visited two of the leading LEAN facilities in the country in Seattle to see this plan in action and used those as a starting point with local staff to streamline for their needs.

Doctors and support medical staff were instrumental in designing how this facility would be run as they are the contacts for the patients and know where the bottlenecks are in order to more efficiently run the facility and were consulted throughout the process.

David Cato, chief administrative officer, and David Rybicki, LEAN facilitator. CAROL?ORR?HARTMAN

According to David Rybicki, LEAN facilitator, this is the first time a building has been built within the system to incorporate this business model and is also being incorporated into the Golisano Children’s Hospital and he is proud of the involvement by the employees and their input from the planning stage through opening. This facility was so well thought out, that an actual 10,000-square-foot cardboard model was put together in an offsite location to actually see how the model would work most efficiently in real size – from lobby to examining rooms to diagnostic rooms, every step was carefully thought out.

Lee Memorial Health System is very aware of the growth in the community and the long wait times for simple procedures like X-rays and bloodwork and have designed this to be a “one-stop shopping” experience for patients. They can go to one location to get bloodwork done, mammograms, X-rays, MRI’s and CAT scans without having to drive to a myriad of locations to get these same services done. There are also physicians who will have office and examining rooms there so that their patients never have to leave to the facility to get everything taken care of.

“We are striving for a place where patients can have easy access to services and is designed to be patient friendly and move people quickly,” said David Cato, chief administrative officer.

Separate corridors for staff and doctors will allow them to be able to communicate and have quick access to all the services.

Some of the equipment is the best in the area. For instance, the 70cm wide board MRI offers the best magnet available and has technology that other MRI machines don’t have, according to Dr. Scott Nygaard, Chief Medical Officer Physician Services and Medical Development. The first 3D mammogram in the hospital system is at this location and will be up and running by the third quarter of this year.

“The benefit of this machine is that we can see a deeper cross section of the breast than 2D, which will allow for better diagnosis of breast cancer,” said Diana Hammock, Interdirector of Breast Clinic and technician. “Certain lesions can only be seen on 3D, so this machine is more efficient for women with dense breasts.”

There are separate entrances and dressing rooms for men and women for mammograms and bone density so that privacy is maintained between the sexes and men and women aren’t going through at the same time.

Upstairs are 20 state-of-the-art examination rooms, which increase efficiency allowing for the same resources to be housed in 30-40 percent smaller space, which allows for increased size of clinical facilities that they can offer. Examining rooms surround the computer area where all records and notes are immediately available outside the room. There are back entrances to each examining room that are accessed by the doctors, which also create increased efficiency.

When fully staffed, this facility can treat up to 300 patients a day, with the footprint accommodating the ability to add more speciality office space down the road. Of the $13 million it cost to build this facility, more than half was spent on diagnostic equipment to better serve the area.

Patients enter a spacious entry and go to a registration desk where they are sent to the specific waiting area for testing. This is less stressful for patients to go directly to their testing area instead of waiting in a large communal room to be sent to different areas for different tests. A coffee/snack area is located here for the benefit of staff and patients. The lab has a separate entrance so patients can quickly get in and out for lab testing. A one chair procedure allows all reports and tests to be done while the patient is in one location instead of moving from room to room for different tests, providing an in and out experience and easy flow for the patients. There is a separate pediatric lab located within this lab where pediatric lab specialists can perform EKG, bloodwork, etc., on younger patients without putting them in the general lab area.

This facility will have 35 employees on opening day with future plans of up to 80 employees. Twenty new jobs were created for local residents with the opening of this facility.

David Cato emphasizes that this facility is creating access to services for an area of Lee County that has been underserved and is one of the fastest areas of growth.

“We are striving for a better patient experience utilizing economy in motion,” he said.