MedWatch: Patient Diagnostic Center

No one wants to spend more time at the doctor or hospital than they need to.

Now plenty of patients are cutting their wait times by several hours, all because of a new facility at Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital.

Michelle Dunaway and Corey Adkins take us there in this week’s MedWatch report.

“We’re unique. We’re the first one in Northern Michigan,” said Liz Monk, B.S.N, R.N., V.P. Of Care Coordination at Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital.

This is the Patient Diagnostic Center at Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital.

“It’s all about length of stay. We’re trying to decrease the length of stay for our patients that are in the hospital,” explained John Davis, M.D.

This type of facility is really considered the future of medicine.

“The idea of it is to be truly patient centered where all of the testing and all of the care is brought directly to the patient, rather than the older model where we had to take the patient to several places to see several different departments, several different staff members. Everything comes to them in the new unit,” said Monk.

It’s only a month old and is serving patients who need observation, behavioral health patients waiting for placement, and plenty of pre-surgical and diagnostic testing.

“Before we had this diagnostic test, patients who were here for diagnostic tests like cardiac stress tests would have to be admitted to a general medical ward, and they were usually the least sickest patients in the hospital. So, as providers, we see the sickest patients in the morning and the least sickest in the afternoon, so that may cause a delay in diagnostic testing, like labs or stress tests, and potentially that could increase a length of stay,” explained Dr. Davis.

John Davis is the hospitalist here, he says the facility certainly makes his job easier and makes him more effective.

“It’s been very rewarding for me to know that once I’m done seeing one patient, the other one is right down the hall. I don’t have to walk to another floor, a different wing. It’s definitely putting the provider with the patient longer, so it’s definitely increasing the quality of care,” said Dr. Davis.

The environment is better suited for the people who fill the beds.

“We did a lot of work on the design of the equipment and the unit in order to make it more comfortable for the patient, taking into account their safety, their comfort and their entertainment, so that while they are here for 6-8 hours it’s a really conducive into a place that they want to be and enjoy being,” explained Liz.

While that may seem like a long time, Dr. Davis says on average, patients for diagnostic testing are cutting their stay by 5-7 hours.

It’s a win-win for all involved.

“We’re focused on pursing the next direction of health care, what’s the next direction. It’s all about decreasing length of stay improving patient satisfaction and being cost effective. I think this center hits all those points,” said Dr. Davis.

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