When Ridgeview Medical Center opened its emergency and urgent care department at Two Twelve Medical Center three years ago this month, it estimated that it would receive about 13,000 visitors during its first year of operation.
Instead, it received 28,000.
As the Two Twelve Medical Center marks its third anniversary this month, the center is also poised to mark a new milestone: The completion of a 73,000 square foot, three-story expansion project scheduled to open this spring. The finished facility, owned and operated by Ridgeview Medical Center, will allow for additional services to be integrated with Two Twelve’s current medical center services and its state-of-the-art, 24/7 emergency and urgent care.
24/7 Emergency and Urgent Care
An estimated $2.5 million in healthcare cost savings are attributed to Two Twelve Medical Center delivering the appropriate level of urgent care rather than shifting patients to more costly emergency room care, according to Ben Nielsen, Ridgeview Medical Center’s executive director.
But the money saved isn’t the only benefit that patients receive.
The design of most emergency rooms can make patients feel as if they’re in a fish bowl. The experience can be stressful, noisy and chaotic. The emergency and urgent care department at Two Twelve Medical Center has been specially designed to promote a sense of calm and privacy for patients.
Registration and evaluation are done bedside in private rooms that are situated along an outer hallway resembling a hotel corridor. Family members are even given key cards to enter and exit patient rooms during a visit. You never have to worry about intruding on or seeing other patients while being treated. Two Twelve Medical Center also provides child life services to help calm pediatric patients. This is an especially valuable service since fifty percent of Two Twelve’s emergency and urgent care patients are children.
Mandy Gilley of Victoria is a mother of two young children. When her three-year-old complained of stomach pain and cried when she used the bathroom, Gilley brought her to the emergency and urgent care at Two Twelve Medical Center. “The certified physician assistant who examined my daughter was very thoughtful and didn’t make me feel rushed,” Gilley says. “It was reassuring to know my child felt comfortable with a health care provider she had never met.” Her daughter’s symptoms were due to lactose intolerance. Gilley says, “It was amazing to see such compassion shown for something so small.”
While family members benefit from the tranquil atmosphere, the real action happens behind the scenes. Two Twelve uses a backstage concept with a centrally stationed staff area. Medical staff has access to all patient rooms from this central hub position. “Our staff is busy caring for patients,” says, Kathy Willemsen RN, nurse manager. “But you just don’t see or hear it.”
Another unique advantage at Two Twelve is its combined offering of emergency and urgent care. This healthcare model provides both levels of service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients are assessed upon arrival and treated at the appropriate level of care.
“There is no condition we can’t care for as well as a hospital emergency department,” says David Larson medical director for Ridgeview Emergency & Urgent Care. “People don’t need to decide between going to an urgent care facility or the ER during a medical event.” Two Twelve handles both and provides clean billing according to services rendered.
Conditions typically treated at the urgent care level include infections, minor burns, cold and flu, sprains, simple fractures and stitches. For more acute conditions, Two Twelve has state of the art on-site imaging and laboratory services, critical care rooms for trauma, and a safe room for mental health evaluations. For conditions requiring hospital admission, Ridgeview provides free ambulance service from Two Twelve Medical Center to five local hospitals.
Some current tenants of Two Twelve Medical Center will gain additional space through the north expansion project. In addition, Two Twelve is adding medical services. “The goal is to create a destination to include all specialty services,” Larson says. “Patients will no longer need to travel to multiple locations for various services or procedures.”
New services and clinics will include:
• Ridgeview Oncology Clinic & Infusion Center
• PrairieCare, including a partial hospitalization program for children and adolescents, behavior development program for children and outpatient services including psychiatry, individual therapy, family therapy and psychological assessment
• Edina Eye Physicians & Surgeons
• Interventional Spine and Pain Physicians
• An expanded outpatient surgery center
There will also be an expanded cardiology clinic with sub-specialists, a pulmonary clinic, a dental practice, and between two and four on-site hotel rooms for post-surgical recovery lasting beyond one day. The most common surgery center procedures are outpatient and include orthopedic, plastic, bariatric and hernia surgeries. And that peaceful atmosphere built into the emergency and urgent care department at Two Twelve carries over to the new surgical center with comfortable, windowed recovery rooms providing scenic views of the Chaska countryside.
To be sure the community continues to receive a high level of medical services, Two Twelve Medical Center still has room for future expansion. The existing building can be built up to a total of six floors and the north expansion has room to grow an additional three floors. Larson says, “We made sure we could still grow if there is a need.”