Phys­i­can time­shares, more light­ing pur­sued for Polk Med­i­cal Cen­ter

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By KEVIN MYRICK Editor

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.


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