Swedish Medical Center hosted a luncheon at Redmond’s Hotel Sierra Aug. 5, highlighting the new Swedish Redmond campus, including an emergency room (ER), which will open in December 2010 at 18100 NE Union Hill Rd.
“I love the idea that every day, at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve helped some people … including bringing world-class docs to a world-class setting,” Dan Dixon, Swedish vice-president of external affairs told guests including Redmond Mayor John Marchione, staff from the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce and other community members.
Dixon reviewed Swedish’s history of health care in the greater Seattle area and explained how the new facility in Redmond will make delivery of health care more convenient for local residents and employees.
When Swedish was founded 100 years ago, it featured “the most modern environment in medicine of the day,” said Dixon, including advanced techniques in hygiene and the dispensing of drugs. As well, there was “a social compact that anyone who needs care will receive care,” he remarked.
Dixon further noted that in the 1930s, Swedish had the first cancer institute west of the Mississippi River.
“It is critical to us that we do an ever-better job of taking our service to the community, giving you greater access to care you need on a daily basis,” Dixon stated.
Redmond’s new Swedish Medical Center will include a full-service ER, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, primary care physicians and specialists, an electronic health records system and on-site diagnostic imaging and laboratory services. The ER staff will be able to treat severe lacerations, burns, broken bones, sports injuries, allergic reactions, food poisoning, work-related injuries and many other medical emergencies.
The Redmond facility will be modeled after the Swedish Issaquah ER which opened in 2005. That facility was rated “Number One ER in the Region” by Consumer Checkbook last year, said Kevin Brown, senior vice-president of strategic planning and chief operating officer for Swedish. It also received the Press Gainey Summit (patient satisfaction) award because it has, for three years, ranked in the fifth percentile among ERs, not just regionally but nationally, Brown added.
Brown said the new Redmond site was chosen because many current Swedish patients live here and also because Redmond’s growing population needs more local access to emergency service.
“People don’t want to be stuck on 520 or I-90 when they need medical care, especially an ER,” said Brown.
At the Swedish Redmond ER, patients will not sit in a large waiting room but will immediately be taken to a treatment room with their family.
“Most people are treated and released in about 85 minutes. The statewide average is about four hours,” Brown noted.
“We have five years of experience of doing this and doing it well,” Brown remarked, referring to patient satisfaction at the Swedish Issaquah ER.
He said people have asked if this model of health care is more costly.
“From a corporate perspective, this is a health system, not just a hospital,” Brown emphasized. “It gives us a way to offer services using the Epic system, electronic records used among all (personnel) in the Swedish system. You also have access to your Swedish medical records via the Internet if you are out-of-town, out-of-state and need medical care.”
Along with more local choices in health care, the new Swedish Redmond Medical Center and ER have brought more jobs to Redmond: 230 construction-related jobs and 120 permanent jobs.
“Regionally, Swedish will create more than 1,500 jobs over the next five years,” said Brown.
And for every dollar of revenue generated by health care, two dollars is generated in local retail, restaurant or lodging revenue, he said.
During a brief question-and-answer session, Brown was asked how many current Swedish physicians would be available for appointments at the new Redmond facility.
Primary care physicians Douglas M. McDonald, M.D., Rashnoo Davoodi, M.D. and Eric Roedel, M.D. will be fixtures at the Redmond clinic, to be located upstairs from the ER. But there will be office space for other physicians who can rotate and offer some hours here, perhaps working out of Redmond half-time or a quarter of their time.
The Issaquah facility has the same model, Brown said. “Eighteen different specialties rotate through, as well as primary care staff,” he said.
“Do you refer only within your own network or with anyone in the community?” was another question.
Brown said they’ll offer options at Swedish and others in the community, too.
“How will Swedish differ from the (upcoming) Evergreen ER and urgent care (in Redmond)?” another attendee asked.
Brown said they hadn’t researched what Evergreen was planning to do in Redmond but were focused on Swedish “building success from our Issaquah model.”
In response to a question about geriatric care, Brown said, “Our family doctors see seniors as well as kids.”
Dr. McDonald commented that he “sees patients over a life span. … I’m seeing more seniors than have grown up with me.”
Dixon agreed, “We like the continuum of care — take care of people when they’re kids and follow them throughout their lives.”
For more information about Swedish Medical Center’s Redmond campus, visit www.swedish.org/redmond.