Center for Outpatient Health opens to patients, staff

Patients and staff in several Barnes-Jewish Hospital resident clinics began moving into the 12-story Center for Outpatient Health at the corner of Forest Park and Euclid avenues March 12. All clinics will be moved by the end of spring.

The OB/GYN Clinic began communicating with patients about the move in January. In addition to posters, maps and flyers, the staff talked with patients about the location of the new building, as well as the more spacious and updated environment that it will provide.

“Patients have commented that they have driven by the new building so they know where to go, and they’re ecstatic with the exterior,” says Pat Rekart, OB/GYN Clinic manager. “We think their excitement will go through the roof when they actually get in the space.”

Anna Graseck, MD, a resident in the OB/GYN Clinic, says patients will be pleased by a brand-new space that was specifically designed for their care and comfort.

“Our current exam rooms are very small, and it can be difficult to accommodate the patient, family, residents, student and attending physician, and to deliver the kind of care and teaching that we want to provide, especially to patients with limited mobility,” Graseck says.

The larger exam rooms feature exam beds designed for bariatric patients, which will help with their comfort. The hallways are wide, allowing more space for patients in wheelchairs and with walkers.
Aside from the freshness and warmth of the new environment, the functionality of the clinics was closely studied and addressed.

“We currently have to schedule many minor procedures in the operating room that will be transitioning to our clinic,” Graseck says. “With more services available under one roof, it will decrease scheduling and transportation headaches for patients. As residents, we’ll become more comfortable performing minor procedures in an office setting, which is an important skill for future practice.”

New medical services to be provided at the center include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, gynecological procedures such as LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) and diagnostic hysteroscopy, and prostate, nerve and muscle biopsies.

Other pluses offered in the center include collaborations that weren’t possible before.

“Residents are excited about having the diabetes educators in the same space to assist with management of diabetic patients,” says Emily Fondahn, MD, chief resident in the Primary Care Medicine Clinic. “We also are planning to increase the number of walk-in appointments for diabetes educators. Then, if a physician needs to start a patient on insulin, the patient can have an appointment that afternoon.”

Enthusiasm for the new building isn’t limited to patients. Once planning for the center was confirmed and clinics were identified for the relocation, the staff was delighted.

“We have seen plans come and go for a new clinic, so the staff is extremely excited about it finally becoming a reality,” Rekart says. “All of us really appreciated the opportunity to provide input and participate in the planning of our new clinic.”

“It’s a new building with new equipment, almost like a brand new start,” says Angel Joos, a clinic service representative in the Medicine Clinic. “We have a strong history with our co-workers and patients. Even in the old, outdated space, we managed to give each other and our patients a little piece of hope or peace, or whatever they needed on any given day. Moving to the new space with them offers a fresh start of new possibilities.”