Physican timeshares, more lighting pursued for Polk Medical Center
Polk Medical Center is hoping at least two more physicians will be joining their new timeshare space in the near future as the hospital waits for doctors to sign the dotted line on contracts.
Hospital Administrator Matt Gorman said Polk Medical is also addressing the need for more outdoor lighting on the site, and wrapping up final repairs and warranties for the hospital.
Gorman reported at the Hospital Authority meeting on Aug. 25, that progress has been made in securing contracts for the space in the medical office building.
He said two more physicians are currently in negotiations to use the space remodeled as offices following the completion of the hospital and the attached medical office building last year, joining Dr. Stephen LaPointe, a Rome-based podiatrist who contracted the space this summer.
Gorman told board members that the plan to time-share the space is proving attractive to doctors who want to establish a satellite office in Polk County with access to the new Polk Medical Center’s operating rooms.
Gorman said the hospital is already seeing an increase in the number of surgical cases being handled at the hospital since LaPointe joined as the first physician to use the timeshare space.
“He’s really happy here and has been giving us a lot of feedback,” he said. “We’re still pursing relationships with other physicians, so hopefully we’ll be able to get some more physicians in the timeshare space and grow our surgical numbers as well.”
The number of surgical cases in July jumped to 18, with 24 procedures conducted in total for the month. The number of cases sometimes is lower than the number of procedures because of the need for multiple procedures on one patient at times.
Those figures were well up from June’s eight procedures conducted for the month.
Polk also saw an increase in the number of patients using the facility from year-to-year for emergency purposes:
Some 2,156 people from around the area sought care in the emergency room, down from the June figure of 2,374, but up from July 2014 when 2,137 people visited the old Polk Medical Center in downtown Cedartown.
The new facility has seen continued increases in the number of cases coming from Rockmart and Aragon since the beginning of the year.
An average of nearly 600 people from Rockmart, or 4,191 patients were treated at the hospital since January 2015. More than 1,000 patients from Aragon have been treated over the same time period, averaging around 150 patients a month.
With patient numbers on the rise from areas like Rockmart and Aragon, and work being finalized on finding more doctors to practice here on a parttime basis from Rome, Gorman said the hospital is on the right path toward providing the best care.
Gorman said administrators are also working to improve the road lighting at the new facility.
Three new lights have been installed on hospital property at Kelley Road and Highway 278. Lights have also been installed at the front and back entrances to improve nighttime visibility.
Gorman said the new lighting helps, but the site still needs more road lighting. He is pursuing cooperation from the Georgia Department of Transportation, but DOT hasn’t provided a timetable for the installation.
“It’s a nice improvement over what is there, but we’re going to continue to press DOT to do more significant roadway lighting within the right of way,” he said. “But the work we’ve done and the lights not being in the DOT right of way is good… It’s a definite step in the right direction.”
He also said as August wrapped up, one-year warranty issues were being finalized with contractors and minor repairs being made around the hospital.
He said no major problems following final warranty walkthroughs of the facility were found.