December 16th, 2013
The new $17 million Sanford Health Clinic taking shape here on the eastern edge of town will feature the latest in design elements to allow for smooth patient flows.
Sanford showed off the clinic, on target to open in early March, in a "sneak peek" media tour Tuesday as crews continued finishing work on the interior.
The 49,000-square-foot clinic, located on a campus of 24½ acres near the Interstate 94 and 34th Street interchange, will house more than 25 physicians and a staff of about 100.
That will be almost three times the space of Sanford's current clinic in Moorhead, which will close when the new clinic opens. A use for the old clinic has yet to be determined.
The task of designing a new clinic from scratch presented a unique opportunity to come up with an efficient layout that saves time for patients and providers, officials said.
"I love this building," said Jeff Hoss, Sanford's vice president of clinic operations. "It gives us a chance to do something different. We're trying to be very, very patient focused."
The new clinic will feature "sync stations" - synchronizing hallway work stations that bring together doctors, nurses and others to collaboratively deliver care in what is called the medical home approach.
"This really embeds the medical home model," said Dr. Stephen Nelson, a Sanford Clinic senior vice president.
The team approach will mean doctors won't have private offices, but instead will do their office work at the collaborative work stations, Nelson said.
"This all involves not only architectural change but cultural change," he said. "It works elsewhere," resulting in better patient care and satisfaction.
Waiting room space at the clinic will be minimal, enabled by more efficient patient flows and information technology, Hoss and Nelson said. A full waiting room is a sign of inefficiency.
Specialties at the new clinic include internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, occupational medicine and behavioral health.
Outpatient services will include X-ray and ultrasound imaging, as well as full-service pharmacy and laboratory.
The clinic will handle an estimated 50,000 patient visits a year, with 52 examination rooms and shelled-in space for 13 more to be added later.
Construction on the project is ahead of schedule. The new clinic originally was slated to open next summer.
"We're well ahead of that schedule," Nelson said, attributing the rapid progress to "lean" construction techniques employed by JE Dunn, the construction manager.
The new clinical designs that will be tested at the Moorhead site could be built into future Sanford Clinic locations, Nelson said.
"What we'd like to do is have this as an archetype, have this as a model for other clinics," he said.