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Hutchinson Health is expanding Urgent Care, enhancing other service areas

This is a great article Hutchinson Leader wrote announcing Hutchinson Health’s plan for expanded and improved patient services. These projects align with our mission of “Advancing Health With Our Community”.

Check the Leader’s website for the full article.

When completed in winter 2018, the project will improve facilities — in some cases, double the space — for the hospital/clinic’s oncology, cardiac rehab, pediatric rehab and Urgent Care services.

Hutchinson Health’s managers said they have discussed the changes for a long time. But it was Mother Nature — in the form of last summer’s heavy rains causing serious water drainage issues and heavy damage to the hospital’s lower level — that accelerated their plans.

Since July, pediatric rehab services have operated out of the hospital’s outpatient mental health location across the street from the hospital in the Plaza 15 shopping center. The space formerly housing pediatric services has stood empty until drainage issues can be worked out.

“We realized we had a fairly serious construction project facing us to address these issues,” said Jim Lyons, Hutchinson Health’s chief of clinic operations.

Perhaps the most noticeable improvement will be the expansion of Urgent Care. Starting in late April, Urgent Care will expand its hours to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., 365 days of the year. The service is currently open Monday through Friday, and Saturday mornings, and closed on Sundays and holidays.

Urgent Care, now operating inside Hutchinson Health’s clinic, will eventually move into its own quarters between the clinic and emergency room on the east end of the hospital campus.

That will force two popular amenities to close. The hospital auxiliary’s coffee shop will close Oct. 1. Family Rexall Drug’s pharmacy will close at the end of May, according to owner Brad Lueneburg.

Hutchinson Health officials said they understand those changes might not be popular with some patients and visitors, but the remodeling plans — hinging on a “care that fits” strategy — left few choices.

“This is all driven around the patients,” Lyons said. “The building project is centered around how we serve the community and improve patient experiences.”

Urgent Care’s expansion will make it easier for patients who now must choose where to go in urgent medical situations. President and CEO Dr. Steve Mulder said those patients now visit the hospital’s emergency room or travel to another community where Urgent Care services are open on weekends and holidays.

“We think the seven-day-a-week Urgent Care is going to have a major impact for the community,” Mulder said. “… It will bridge the gap between the clinic, where people go for their physician care, and the emergency room, where they go for their emergency care.”

Mulder said a “scaled-down version” of the coffee shop might eventually return “at some point.” Hospital and clinic visitors can also use the hospital’s cafeteria.

Mulder and Lyons said plans for Urgent Care’s expansion, along with the closing of the coffee shop and pharmacy, were discussed in-depth with Hutchinson Health’s Patient Family Advisory Committee. The committee was formed eight months ago, with patients and their family members constituting a majority of the committee.

Lueneburg said he decided to close the pharmacy at the end of May because business normally slows down during the summer.

“I have mixed feelings about it,” he said. “It hate to be doing it. But having seven-day-a-week Urgent Care, in order to do it right, they need to have that space.”

Lueneburg said his customers can visit his downtown location at 237 Hassan St. S.E.

“Of course, we’ll move our staff there and try to make it as easy as possible for (customers),” he said. “And we have good parking (at that location).”

In addition to the larger space for Urgent Care, more space for oncology services is another major improvement.

“There will be double the space,” Mulder said. “It’s huge. It’s very exciting. The space will match the level of services (the Cancer Clinic staff) provides.”

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