FacilityCare Magazine

May/June 2012

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Military Hospitals and Clinics Study: Merchandising the Service Lines By merchandising service lines, Capital Health-Hamilton maximized the number of specialists that could be accommodated in the facility, along with their supporting services. Studying the basic mix of physicians that would best complement one another was key. Timesharing of various specialists allows patients to access a greater number of physi- cian types in one location. The facility's man- ageable size is maintained with specialists rent- ing office and exam space for allotted times. The arrangement is attractive to new physi- cians, just beginning to build the business, as well as older specialists who want to lend their expertise for a few hours a week. The mix of specialists, including ambulatory surgery, ophthalmology, endocrinology, gas- troenterology, cardiology, obstetrics and gyne- cology, pain management, sleep medicine, and neurosciences, are connected and integrated by the sharing of ancillary spaces. Testing areas such as X-ray and ultrasound are sized and conveniently located for efficient use by multi- ple practices. Patients are able to make a single visit for both their physician appointment and testing, such as a gynecologist and a mammo- gram, with results available at the same time. The array of physician service lines is comple- mented by the Center's extended hours. Patients can avoid going to an emergency center when they need evening medical care. Parents can take their children, for example, to the Center's calm- ing, pleasant atmosphere and quickly see a pri- mary care physician, without an appointment, eliminating the extreme stress of visiting an ER. By connecting the support services of all providers behind the scenes, the integration of the varied service lines is made seamless, creating a positive experience not only for the patient, but also for the provider's business model. Registration, billing and scheduling are shared by multiple services, made possible by customized technology. Much like retail, all square footage must make sense and be as efficient as possible. The opportunities to share common space for waiting, back-office and break room spaces sup- port the integration of all services. Flexibility to respond to changes in health- care is also strengthened by space sharing throughout the facility. With changing Medicare reimbursement rules, space that is shared can be more easily reprogrammed for more lucrative services. As physicians relocate, vacated space can be quickly filled. The care and feeding of the space is important, so that new opportunities in the market can be served. MAY/JUNE 2012 Satisfy: The Role of Retail Supports the Caring Touch Historically, the healthcare experience has not been customer oriented. By creating an accessible, hassle-free, pleasant environment for patients, they can view healthcare as a more positive, caring experience. At Capital Health- Hamilton, an intuitive, friendly approach to wayfinding starting at the front entry is built into the design, with stone columns and wood floor pathways. The open, one-level plan elim- inates the need for extensive signage and long corridors, with waiting areas clearly identifi- able and offices grouped in the interior space. The scale of space throughout is right-sized, not exaggerated, with ample and varied seating options. Comfortable waiting areas make up the open public spaces as well as in the bistro/café and in an outdoor healing garden. Patients and family are given beepers to notify them when to return to the physician's office. At Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell, art, graphics, color and custom fur- niture are used to create a sense of warmth and personal interest. In the family waiting area for pediatrics, bold wall murals of hot air balloons and horses draw patients and families to the area. Other colorful wall art is complemented by a series of low caterpillar-like ottoman seat- ing in playful colors. In the bistro, a stone mosaic accents walls and in patient rooms, multicolored wall panels enliven the head- board wall. At the elevators of each patient floor, intimate seating clusters by a fireplace, for a cozy, nurturing setting. At Capital Health-Hamilton, the one-stop shopping approach also improves the patient experience through convenience and better care. A physician can assure the patient that all testing will be completed at the same site, allowing for speedier, more directed care. To support the one-stop concept, however, all ancillary services, including blood work and testing, need to be properly staffed so that physicians and patients can receive results within the shortest possible waiting period. Further community connection is made at Capital Health-Hamilton through the inclusion of a public conference room, available for health education and other events. A patient education area provides access to information about directed websites, support groups and classes on disease management and other health topics. While retail techniques should not be viewed as revenue generators, convenience, visibility, accessibility and one-stop can strengthen the healthcare provider's services and ultimately add to the facility's bottom line. The essential ingredient is for physicians, administrators and staff to believe in the con- cept of customer/patient appreciation, make it a focus and support it on a daily basis, from concierge to billing. F Paula Crowley is CEO at Anchor Health Properties. She can be reached at pcrowley@anchorhealthproperties.com. Patricia Malick, EDAC, is principal at Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions. She can be reached at pmalick@arrayhfs.com. The dining area, located on the lower level at Capital Health Hopewell, includes outdoor dining and is vertically linked to the lobby by a limestone staircase overlooking a water feature. facilitycare.com FACILITYCARE | 29

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