For St. Clair Hospital, the new face of successfully managed health care is taking services directly to the patients.
"We want to put as many of our services that we offer into the community as possible," said Barry S. Zaiser, senior vice president of operations and strategic development, during a recent tour of the hospital's new outpatient center in Peters.
Set to begin treating patients next week, the two-story, 40,000-square-foot building on Route 19 south, across from Donaldson's Crossroads, will serve as a full-service diagnostic center, offering everything from MRIs to X-rays and mammograms, along with four physician office suites.
Mr. Zaiser said the five-acre site was selected after a study of demographics and physician surveys showed that 40 percent of the hospital's patients were from the Peters area.
"It's designed to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, light and upbeat," Mr. Zaiser said of the $20 million center, one of several that the hospital has opened in neighborhoods in recent years.
Patient and staff convenience were primary considerations in the new center, which offers a concierge to greet patients, a cafe with light dining options, and 180 parking spaces. The center has a view of Canonsburg Lake and should employ about 25 staff members.
Mr. Zaiser said the center will be the first to offer full-service diagnostic imaging services in the area, with an array of million-dollar scanners and machines to measure everything from bone density to cardiac diagnostic services. This includes a $1.7 million open MRI, and a CT scanning suite with walls that alternate colors in soothing tones. Patients can watch calming images on a monitor above the scanner, or bring their own home movies.
"We're trying to keep it very, very private," he said. "We wanted it to be a very comfortable environment for our patients."
The new center is also state-of-the-art, with palm-scanning technology used in a kiosk check-in system.
"It will help expedite the check-in process," Mr. Zaiser said.
Though the building isn't "green" according to environmental standards, it uses sustainable materials and is energy efficient. Lights cycle off when not in use, and windows are designed to help save on heating and cooling costs.
The second floor will be reserved for physician's offices and a community center, where staff can host educational programming.
"We'd also like to open it up to the community," said Andrea L. Kalina, hospital vice president of human resources and organizational advancement.
The center will be home to the photographic art of Leroy G. Pettis, with scenes of life in and around Washington County displayed on walls throughout the building.
The hospital held a grand opening Wednesday and is expected to begin serving patients Monday.
Janice Crompton: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-851-1867.