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