Enhanced Care by Design: Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion

By: Adam Haskew
Sunday, January 10, 2016

Our new era of healthcare delivery is ushering in higher expectations from patients and greater responsibilities for physicians. Embracing these new realities, the Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion is being constructed around the principle of providing superior health services through collaboration across multiple areas of clinical expertise.

With the heightened regulatory environment, healthcare facilities nationwide have had to shift from a focus on patient volumes to a focus on ensuring patients receive the highest level of care possible. For many facilities, implementing this change is a daunting task. Not only does the transition place greater emphasis on the services administered in a clinical setting, it also brings coordination of care to the forefront.

While the need for coordinated care is apparent, the means for achieving this goal are not always as clear. Often, tailoring the ideal solution for delivery of health services requires assessments of existing protocols, community needs and communications strategies. However, it is easy to overlook one of the simplest factors — location. When patients have convenient access to coordinated care centers, the gaps in care start to close and health improves. For Stamford Health, recognizing this simple fact has made a significant difference for residents of Stamford and Fairfield County.

Enriching Patient Experiences

Scheduled to open in Southwestern Connecticut in the fall of 2016, the Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion (ICP) signals a new era of healthcare delivery for both patients and providers. Located adjacent to Stamford Hospital, the Stamford ICP will be an ambulatory and specialty care facility that offers patients unprecedented access to coordinated health services.

Drs. Sachs and Littlejohn stand in front of an architectural rendering of the new Integrated Care Pavilion.

The facility represents a significant step forward in the development of a community healthcare destination. A broad range of health services will be housed under one roof at the ICP, so patients can often have the entire spectrum of their healthcare needs met in a single location. Scheduling appointments or outpatient procedures — from heart and vascular medicine to joint and spine care — will become much more convenient. The facility’s direct connection to Stamford Hospital will help ensure smooth transitions between diagnosis, treatment — including any inpatient procedures — and follow-up care.

Architectural rendering featuring the new Integrated Care Pavilion, multilevel parking deck and skyway connector to the new hospital

Drs. Sachs and Littlejohn check on the state of construction of the Integrated Care Pavilion.

“Simply offering access to multiple services on a single floor of the Stamford ICP can make a significant difference for patients,” says Paul Sachs, MD, pulmonologist at Pulmonary Associates of Stamford, Director of Pulmonary Medicine at Stamford Hospital and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “Patients will be able to make appointments sequentially with physicians who are involved in their care. For instance, it will be easier for patients to follow up on a recommendation for an appointment with a specialist because they know they will be coming back to the same building and likely the same floor. There are far fewer questions from patients as to where to go and where to park, because in most cases, the providers we refer patients to are literally right down the hall.”

Suffolk Construction Company excavates footings for the Integrated Care Pavilion.

From initial visits through specialist referrals and follow-up care, the Stamford ICP is designed with the patient experience in mind. The guesswork and confusion that has plagued past patient experiences with receiving care from multiple providers will be replaced with a much smoother transition process and continuum of care.

“It sounds so simple, but things like length of a commute or trouble finding parking can have a dramatic impact on whether or not patients receive the health services they desperately need,” Dr. Sachs says. “Providing simpler, easier access to such a variety of health services means patients have fewer reasons to miss follow-up visits.”

Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions: Inspiring Clinical Excellence through Collaborative Environments

In many industries, operational silos inhibit innovation and stifle the collaboration necessary to bring about meaningful change. In the healthcare space in particular, cross-specialty collaboration among physicians can be instrumental in providing a continuum of care for patients seeking treatment for a broad range of conditions. Recognizing the value of highly collaborative clinical practices, Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions has focused significant time and resources on developing clinical environments designed to encourage physicians to work together.

As our national healthcare system shifts from a reimbursement-for-volume to a reimbursement-for-value model for population health management, Frauenshuh has sought opportunities to instill the core values of this transition in the foundations of the clinical services physicians provide. In doing so, Frauenshuh has challenged the status quo regarding the current care models and partners with hospitals and physicians. Bringing more than 30 years of experience and measurable successes, Frauenshuh provides health systems the development, programming and financial resources necessary to enter new eras of healthcare delivery.

Building for the Future

Population health and disease management brings a unique set of challenges for facilities and physicians alike. Not only is the number of patients seeking preventive or routine care expected to increase, but the number of patients requiring inpatient medical care will, ideally, decrease due to a focus on readmission reduction. Based on these expectations, the importance of ambulatory medical services cannot be understated. Furthermore, a greater measure of accountability for ensuring individual patients’ overall wellness will be placed on providers. In response to these pressing changes, Frauenshuh has committed to developing ambulatory care environments capable of housing more specialized care providers and treating more patients without sacrificing clinical quality.

Focusing on the future can provide significant value for health systems who partner with Frauenshuh. While some organizations may struggle to adapt to the coming changes associated with healthcare reform, Frauenshuh’s strategic partners benefit from the expertise of an organization with a singular focus on the processes required to navigate healthcare delivery in the 21st century. Frauenshuh’s expertise and resources help ensure superior clinical outcomes while maintaining lower overall costs of care for patients and physicians. A premium has been placed on empowered, skilled and collaborative healthcare providers, and Frauenshuh is committed to working with health systems to meet and exceed the demands of tomorrow’s healthcare environments.

Facilitating Provider Collaboration

The Integrated Care Pavilion lobby and the skyway connection to the new hospital

The benefits the Stamford ICP will extend beyond patient experiences. For providers, the state-of-the-art facility marks the development of a collaborative care destination in Fairfield County. Previously, many surgical specialist providers were spread across the county, making care inefficient and minimizing opportunities for clinical collaboration. With the introduction of the Stamford ICP, however, referring physicians’ offices will be side by side, allowing reduced travel time and more convenient consults among care providers.

“For many physicians, relocation to the ICP can have a significant impact on the care we provide,” says Charles E. Littlejohn, MD, colorectal surgeon at Fairfield County Surgical Specialists and a Stamford Hospital Integrated Practice provider. “For instance, my current office is not associated with a hospital campus, meaning that I must continually travel, jumping from location to location to ensure I see all my patients. Relocating to the Stamford ICP will make me more efficient and help ensure I can offer all of my patients the clinical attention they deserve.

Patient exam room

“Beyond the simple convenience of our new location,” Dr. Littlejohn continues, “I will have quicker access to any emergent patients admitted to Stamford Hospital and any specialist consults I may need. A vast range of clinical expertise can be at my side to assist with patient care virtually at a moment’s notice.”

In addition to the clinical benefits of relocation to the Stamford ICP, physicians can benefit from significant investment opportunities. By choosing to own part of the building in which they practice, providers can feel more connected to the community of patients they serve. Furthermore, investment in the Stamford ICP can serve as a valuable recruiting tool. When providers are able to invite their peers to work with them in the same facility, it helps foster a sense of working together to serve the greater community as a whole.

“Knowing that you are surrounded by some of the leading specialists in your area can give you a tremendous amount of confidence as a healthcare provider,” Dr. Littlejohn says. “Coupled with the long-term benefits of ownership in the ICP building, the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the Stamford community is certainly present.”

Stamford Hospital’s Transformation — Healing. Reimagined.

The future of healthcare service delivery lies in caring for the whole patient, not simply treating an illness or injury. Patients represent more than the symptoms they experience and often require more personalized lifestyle management or clinical interventions to ensure success. Given the many factors contributing to a patient’s health state, the responsibilities of health providers are becoming more complex, and traditional models of care simply cannot keep up. To better adapt to the demands of the future care environment, Stamford Health has adopted the Planetree care philosophy, a commitment to enhancing health care from the patient’s perspective.

Adoption of the patient-focused Planetree philosophy and construction of the collaborative care-fostering Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion (ICP) exemplify Stamford Health’s commitment to transforming care. This commitment — captured in the transformative theme “Healing. Reimagined.” — is driving systemwide change that encompasses new facilities, the latest technology, and a growing roster of specialties and care providers.

A guiding focus in Stamford Health’s transformation is building a healthier community. Hospital leaders have prioritized collaboration with the City of Stamford and members of the local community in the planning and design phases of the Stamford ICP.

“What Stamford Health wants to do is not just improve their campus or their acute care experience, they are hoping to transform the campus into the epicenter of specialty care in Stamford and Fairfield County,” says Stephen Buckeridge of Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions. “That’s how the integrated care pavilion is key to the strategy of how they view that marketplace and how they view access to health care, population health and disease management.”

It is Stamford Health’s commitment to the community, patients and their families that helps separate it from other health systems. As health care becomes more expensive, it may be easy for patients and providers to cut corners on care. For Stamford Health, however, putting patients and their well-being at the forefront will be a guiding principle for years to come.

A Winning Combination

For residents of Fairfield County and physicians in the area, Stamford Health’s combination of the holistic Planetree approach and the services offered by the Stamford ICP developer Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions signals a significant opportunity. As Stamford Health continues to grow, more opportunities to align the organization’s care philosophy with Frauenshuh’s development approach will result in intentional, meaningful growth. While Planetree focuses on the needs of patients, Frauenshuh integrates the needs of patients with the needs of providers — meaning that both of the key stakeholders in a care transaction are accounted for and represented.

Hospital Concourse Level, designed to integrate the Planetree philosophy to support a calm, welcoming and healing environment

“In our partnership with hospitals, health systems and physicians, our focus is on reducing healthcare-delivery costs in a market and aligning providers with the local hospitals and communities,” says Stephen Buckeridge of Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions. “Our focus is to bring complementary specialties together in an integrated and collaborative environment while reducing inefficiencies. That’s how we can help to transform the delivery of health care in the community.”

Looking to the future, Stamford Health and the Stamford ICP have set the foundation for following a rising national trend by delivering healthcare environments that balance clinical collaboration with an unwavering commitment to superior patient care.

Architectural rendering featuring the campus transformation: Integrated Care Pavilion (left) and hospital (right)

“For physicians practicing in the Stamford community, we feel this building will provide them a wonderful opportunity to be adjacent to their peers and to be part of a greater ecosystem that will improve the delivery of healthcare services to their patients,” Buckeridge says. “Patient experience and satisfaction are now the indicators of clinical performance and will impact reimbursement. This facility will not feel institutional, it will be wonderful place for people to come and access health care.”

The Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion at a Glance

The Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion is the next step in Stamford Health’s commitment to community health and wellness. The facility offers patients and physicians a range of amenities and advantages over traditional care environments. Its features include:

  • A seven-story, 97,000-square-foot pavilion located adjacent to Stamford Hospital
  • A 382-space parking deck
  • Integrated delivery of services and enhanced physician collaboration
  • A range of ambulatory and specialty care offerings, including colorectal care, heart and vascular medicine, imaging and lab services, joint and spine care, neuroscience, physical medicine, pulmonology, surgical subspecialties, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine
  • Opportunities for physician ownership
  • Warm, inviting patient-care environments

The New Stamford Hospital at a Glance

  • An eleven-story, 640,000-square-foot patient tower
  • New patient care units with private rooms and bathrooms and sweeping views of Long Island Sound
  • An Emergency Department that doubles the number and size of exam rooms
  • Significantly larger surgical suites to accommodate advances in technology
  • A new Pediatric Unit
  • An expansion of the Intensive Care Unit
  • A central location for all Heart & Vascular Institute services

For more information about the Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion, visit togetheratstamford.com.