IU Health opens $10 million state-of-the-art outpatient family medicine center On the site of the former emergency room at Wichard Hospital Close to Indiana Avenue and 10th Street.
The need arose when the former medical center along Senate Street was demolished to make way for the new IU Health Hospital on the Medical Campus in downtown Indianapolis.
The IU Health Family Medicine Center will accommodate 1040 Wishard Blvd. , more than 60 caregivers while meeting patients’ needs; With more than 40 physicians in training, IU School of Medicine has the largest family medicine residency program in the state.
Here’s what you need to know about the center, which opened in July:
The new IU medical center has a large area
With two floors and more than 46,000 square feet, the center is almost twice the size of its predecessor. The previous center opened when there were 18 residents in the family medicine program.
Now, there are more than twice the number of physicians working at the new center, making it one of the largest family medicine practices in the state, Dr. Diana Willisa physician in family medicine at IU Health and vice chair of research and family medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
The center serves more than 15,000 patients annually, about 40% of whom are on Medicaid. While IU Health officials do not expect to see a significant increase in the number of patients they serve at the new center, the extra space gives them flexibility if they see an influx of people who need care.
The new clinic design will have a central workroom for service providers
The clinic consists of four cabins, each with about 12 examination rooms for patients around a large workroom for the provider.
Each examination room has two doors – one off the hallway where patients walk, and one that opens onto the providers room. In all patient rooms there are 48 rooms, one of which can be used for procedures.
These “circular” pods with a provider room ‘slot’ in the middle help reduce traffic in the patient corridor and put all the providers who work in the rooms in that pod in one place to help facilitate communication between staff.
Clinic design improves patient privacy
The new design enhances patient privacy as medical staff is not assembled in the hallway, patients walk next to computers open to other patients’ medical records. Reducing overcrowding in the halls makes it easier for patients to move around.
The patient notices a significant difference
On his first visit to the new facility, Maurice Sanders, 46, and his caregiver Yolanda Smith noticed a difference. Sanders has been coming to the clinic for the past two years to treat diabetes, COPD and high blood pressure.
The new site is much more accessible for patients like Sanders who use a wheelchair, in part, because the rooms are much larger.
“I love that the doctors and nurses come from this end,” Smith said, pointing toward the door from the examination room to the provided workroom. “It feels more special.”
Central provider room improves connectivity
From the provider’s point of view, the concept of pods helps reduce the distance providers have to travel as they move from the patient’s room to the patient’s room.
In the old space, Willis said, one might have to walk from one end of the often crowded clinic to the other.
While the design aspect has proven to be a boon for providers, the open workspace took a little longer to take advantage of, said Mohit Limdi, practice manager.
“It was kind of an adjustment; you’re all going to be in the same place,” he said. “Other places have shown that this works.”
By bringing everyone to the same space, the common space sparks more conversations between residents and faculty, said Dr. Molly Rettinger, a sophomore in family medicine.
“There’s a lot of learning going on because everyone is there at the same time,” she said. “I think it’s a huge step forward.”
The model may improve care
When clinic officials began to think about what they wanted in a new space, they looked elsewhere for a model close to their vision. Willis said they liked a technique used at Creighton University.
Creighton professors Show in a published paper that after implementing the model, high-risk patients experienced fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
Once Willis and his colleagues decided what they wanted to do, they had to find a place where they could do it.
“It was an innovative design,” Willis said. “We were lucky to have this space which was a shell because there aren’t many buildings designed with a donut space in the middle.”
Contact Shari Rudavsky at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @srudavsky.
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