Designed with community input, the 48-bed Mercy Orthopedic Hospital Springfield opened this week to meet the increasing demand of an aging population.
Some 76 million Americans are tagged as baby boomers – the generation born between 1946 and 1964. They are expected to increase the demand for all health care services, and orthopedics is no exception.
“This group still has plenty they want to get out there and do,” explained Dr. Richard Seagrave, Mercy orthopedic surgeon. “They aren’t necessarily sick, but they may be broken in some way. We want to help fix them and get them back to living their lives.”
Doctors expect this stand-alone facility to make their jobs much more efficient, and that will be better for patients. Plenty of operating room space allows surgeons to move directly from one case to the next. Working with the same group of anesthesiologists, hospitalists and nurses on the same kinds of cases will mean quicker surgeries and less time under anesthesia for patients.
“From the initial consultation to the operating room and physical therapy, we’ll be analyzing how we put in that new knee or hip and how we can do it better,” said Dr. Seagrave. “We hope what we learn gets our patients up and moving sooner, with less pain. We’ll be sharing those lessons with our colleagues across Mercy.”
Patients say they can see the difference from the moment they walk through the door. Kaye Jacobsen’s husband, Steve, had both knees replaced at the main hospital campus. She saw the new building for the first time this week. “I was overwhelmed with it,” Jacobsen said. “It’s so light and open and the waiting rooms are actually inviting. Everything is designed to really serve the patient and make them feel comfortable. And then as you recover, to be on a floor with other orthopedic patients so you can compare notes – that’s important.”
Mercy broke ground in spring 2011 on the new 199,000-square-foot hospital, which features four stories, 10 operating rooms, 48 inpatient beds, a clinic, café and retail pharmacy. Mercy’s orthopedic and spine specialists will provide a wide range of services in the new facility, including general orthopedics, total joint replacements and spine care.
“We’re committed to keeping people healthy, and we know staying active plays a huge role in how we feel and our quality of life,” said Dr. Robert W. Steele, president of Mercy Hospital Springfield. “This facility is going to allow us to help our patients live well into old age with as much spring in their step as possible.”
The construction project employed more than 2,000 craftspeople, with about 93 percent local subcontractors. The hospital will employ more than 250 people, and at least 200 of those positions are new. Doctors started seeing patients in the clinic in mid-August, and the first surgery in the new building is scheduled for mid-September.