OhioHealth announces plans to invest in more convenient and accessible care to meet growing community needs
Plans include a network of freestanding emergency departments, a surgical inpatient hospital and enhancements to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center – projects to add approximately 300 jobs
COLUMBUS, Ohio – With estimates of close to 10,000 people living in downtown Columbus by 2018 and a growing, aging population, demographics are shifting in urban and suburban areas, creating new demands for healthcare services. At the same time, healthcare resources are being reduced in the downtown/Franklinton area, putting more pressure on the remaining providers like OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. To begin to address those needs, OhioHealth has plans to expand capacity at Grant, and today announced it is building a network of freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) and a surgical inpatient hospital in Grove City.
Specific locations for the FSED network are yet to be determined but two planned locations include the Southeast/Obetz area and Hilliard, which should open within 18-24 months. Analysis of our patient data shows that many patients travel from these areas to Grant for their healthcare.
“There is a growing demand from patients, both nationally and locally, for healthcare to be delivered conveniently and in their own communities,” said Kristin McManmon, president, OhioHealth Neighborhood Care. “Our goal is to build a network of freestanding emergency departments that will allow people to receive emergency care in a more convenient setting, closer to home. One area we are exploring is the Southeast/Obetz area, which is underserved in healthcare options. Many patients from that area currently come to Grant for their healthcare. Having a freestanding ED in this area would bring care to the community while freeing up capacity at Grant to care for other patients. In addition to better access and convenience, our intent, as a system, is to make care more affordable.”
In addition, OhioHealth is expanding its plans in Grove City by building a surgical inpatient hospital that will also house an emergency department. The 26-bed surgical hospital will be smaller than traditional hospitals, specializing in lower acuity surgical care for patients needing a brief overnight stay. The inpatient hospital is in addition to the previously announced ambulatory surgery center for outpatient surgery and medical office building that will be on-site.
“OhioHealth has been caring for residents of Grove City for over three decades and we purchased this land over four years ago,” said Steve Markovich, MD, OhioHealth senior VP of central Ohio operations. “We’ve spent these years doing our due diligence to make sure we are bringing something to the community that they truly need, which is why we’re building a new type of hospital. What makes it stand out is that it has been designed with a focus on surgery, making it more efficient and more convenient for our patients and their families who typically travel to one of our larger hospitals for care. This hospital will allow them to stay closer to home, while receiving high quality care in a surgical-focused hospital that is solely dedicated to their needs.”
OhioHealth is also anticipating growth in patient volume at other hospitals within the system, including OhioHealth Doctors Hospital and OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. The announcement of these new facilities will both meet community needs and balance the demand for care at existing healthcare facilities.
OhioHealth also has plans to expand capacity at Grant, which is home to the busiest level I trauma program in the state. This is in addition to the plans previously announced to expand the Bone and Joint Center at Grant, a new helipad and additional trauma bay to support trauma, and expansion of heart and vascular services.
Approximately 300 jobs will be created by the development of the Grove City project and the FSEDs.
About the Freestanding ED Network
All of the freestanding ED facilities will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be staffed by emergency medicine physicians and nurses.
These FSEDs will be physically smaller (6,000 – 11,000 square feet with eight patient bays) than typical emergency departments with smaller, cross-functional teams, allowing them to be more responsive and provide an enhanced patient experience.
All locations will contain imaging (CT, X-ray and ultrasound), lab and pharmacy services. Some locations will also offer additional outpatient services and physician offices. Those details are still to be determined. The investment in establishing the two FSEDs in central Ohio is approximately $12 million.
“As we are evaluating future locations, we want to make sure we have an easily accessible network of freestanding EDs that could serve the broader Columbus community,” said Markovich. “Our plan with these new FSEDs is to supplement the access we have with our already existing emergency services while also providing new, convenient access to communities that haven’t had it before.”
Charity care/financial assistance
Patients who are seen at these FSEDs will be eligible for OhioHealth’s financial assistance policies to the same extent as OhioHealth’s other emergency departments. These policies provide discounts from OhioHealth charges for care received based on need, up to the full cost of the visit if the individual qualifies.
Patient visits to emergency rooms are on the rise. A recent online poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians showed that 86 percent of emergency physicians expect patient visits to increase over a three year period. As hospital-based emergency rooms get busier, freestanding emergency departments can help alleviate the crowding and long wait times.
“While freestanding emergency departments are capable of handling most any medical emergency, the most severe cases tend to be treated at hospital-based emergency departments,” said Markovich. “A patient visiting a traditional emergency department with a minor emergency may experience a delay in receiving treatment while the more severe cases are tended to. In a freestanding emergency department, wait times to see a physician are significantly less, allowing for faster treatment at the same high level of quality. Most importantly, by treating these lower acuity patients closer to home, we can more appropriately manage their access to follow up care, hopefully avoiding future hospital stays.”
About the expansion in Grove City
The three-story hospital will be located on OhioHealth’s 22 acres of land in Grove City, east of I-71 on Stringtown Road. In total, the project will cost $46.5 million.
“Grove City has a true appreciation for OhioHealth thanks to its history of serving our community for more than three decades,” said Grove City Mayor Richard L. Stage. “In the late 1990s, OhioHealth made a major commitment to the community with a 50,000-square-foot signature medical office complex on Stringtown Road. OhioHealth’s new campus will not only significantly expand its medical services in our community, but will also provide road and infrastructure improvements to accommodate the needs of the project as well as the City’s long-term planning needs of its primary east-west connector.”
A TIF is being discussed that would improve and widen portions of Stringtown Road from the project site, east to State Route 104. Final plans for the improvements will be developed over the coming months and the work will be completed in 2017.
- Late 2016 – Construction is scheduled to begin on the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) and medical office building
- Early 2017 - Construction of the surgical hospital and emergency department is scheduled to begin
- Late 2017 – ASC and medical office building are scheduled to open
- Late 2018 – Hospital and emergency department are scheduled to open
“More people in Grove City choose OhioHealth for their healthcare than any other system and we want to make sure we’re there for them. It is our hope that this new surgical hospital, as well as other OhioHealth projects, will help alleviate some of the overcrowding,” said Markovich. “We are creating more access points for care in the communities we serve, like we are doing in Lewis Center in collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and like we did in Pickerington last year. This investment in Grove City is another example of creating access for community members by providing lower acuity surgical care close to home.”
Phase One: Ambulatory Surgery Center and Medical Office Building
The initial phase of the project will be the ASC, which will specialize in providing surgery in an outpatient setting. It will be a joint venture with 33 physician investors owning 51% of the center. The 40,000-square foot building will be made up of five operating rooms and two procedure rooms, as well as a medical office building that will house independent physicians and multiple surgical specialties including:
- General surgery
Phase Two: Surgical Hospital and Emergency Department
The second phase of the campus will be a 79,850-square feet OhioHealth-owned surgical hospital and emergency department. The hospital will house 20 inpatient beds and six observation beds. There will be three inpatient operating rooms and one procedure room. Imaging, laboratory, pharmacy and food services will be sized and decentralized to support the hospital.
The emergency department will be 16-bays and will be similar to the OhioHealth emergency departments located in Westerville and Pickerington. These are staffed by smaller cross-functional teams which include emergency medicine physicians and emergency department trained nurses.
“There is a need for our services here,” said McManmon. “The OhioHealth urgent care and WorkHealth offices in Grove City are the busiest in the system. Our imaging and rehabilitation offices are busy, too. We want to continue to provide the services the community needs in an even more convenient way.”
OhioHealth in Grove City
OhioHealth has been steadily growing medical care in the community for over three decades and currently offers many services to patients in Grove City in five locations, including the Grove City Health Center. These services include:
- Urgent care
- Sleep services
- Primary care
- Heart & Vascular
- Sports medicine
- General surgery
OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare organization with Methodist roots. Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 10 years in a row, 2007-2016.
Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 28,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 11 hospitals, 50+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.
OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital and OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.