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New England Baptist Hospital Opens New Outpatient Care Center
Brand-New Dedham facility brings world-class orthopedic care to suburban patients in a local community setting.
With a national reputation for high-quality orthopedic care firmly cemented in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston — one that includes a No. 15 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of the nation’s best hospitals for orthopedic care — New England Baptist Hospital has recently opened a uniquely comprehensive and strategically sited outpatient facility in Dedham.
John Richmond, MD, Chair of Orthopedics at New England Baptist, says the new 66,000-square-foot outpatient center addresses the trend toward more outpatient procedures and the need to boost accessibility for patients.
John Richmond, MD, Chair of Orthopedics at New England Baptist Hospital
“More and more surgery is being done on an outpatient basis,” he explains, adding that the new center is designed “to accommodate the big procedures” that were formerly only performed in a hospital setting.
Conveniently located off Route 128, the new, two-story structure has an inviting reception area as well as a wide array of medical offices and services on the first floor, including a Shields Imaging Center, orthopedic surgery practices, and pain management, physical therapy and rehabilitation services.
Dr. Richmond says the eight operating rooms in the top floor surgical unit are relatively large so as to handle all the surgical staff and equipment needed for advanced procedures, including spine, hip and sports medicine surgeries.
Orthopedic surgeons Sean Rockett, MD; Agam Shah, MD; and Arthur Christiano, MD, Surgical Director, Dedham Outpatient Care Center, specialize in sports medicine.
“We plan to deliver the same state-of-the-art orthopedics we’ve provided in Boston,” he says. “We are very focused. We do one thing, and we do it really well.”
With orthopedic patients requiring a variety of services and specialists, Dr. Richmond believes the new center will address fragmentation that characterizes smaller outpatient facilities, which can lack key on-site components, such as MRI services or pain management programs.
“These are all pulled together in one location,” he says.
The location of the new center on Route 128 will bring a significant benefit to patients who have traditionally had to travel to Boston for world-class orthopedic care, says Trish Hannon, the hospital’s President and CEO.
Trish Hannon, President and CEO of New England Baptist Hospital
“The center was conceived just more than three years ago as part of a larger geographic strategy for outpatient care,” she says. “It’s really about taking our services to our patients rather than having them come into the city.”
Dr. Richmond says the center will provide easy access to a range of orthopedic services for New England Baptist patients who live outside Boston.
“Being right on 128 is a definite advantage for some of our patients,” he says. “We have a broad draw from all over eastern New England.”
The new center is also drawing attention in the Greater Boston medical community, with a number of orthopedic surgeon practices already signed up to lease space in the facility.
The new center is designed to provide a wide array of services orthopedic patients need — from imaging services to physical therapy, a spine center and a pain management program — under one roof.
Orthopedic surgeons Courtney Dawson, MD, and Jeffrey Zilberfarb, MD, specialize in sports medicine.
“It’s a huge convenience for patients to have a one-stop service,” Dr. Richmond says.
The comprehensive approach to designing and staffing the orthopedic center spared no detail, he says.
“We’ve put in the best equipment for rapid and effective sterilization,” he says. “As the complexity of the outpatient procedures goes up, there’s clearly a concern that infection rates could go up, and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Dr. Richmond also believes that the open and inviting architecture of the new building is crafted to improve patient outcomes.
“It is attractive and pleasant, and that makes it a more pleasant place to be for both patients and staff,” he says. “Attitude definitely affects patient outcomes.”
Dana Zalkind, MD, has maintained a pain management practice at New England Baptist since 1996 and believes that having a comprehensive set of pain management treatments at the new center will help patients achieve the best possible quality of life, whether they achieve full recovery or require treatment for chronic conditions.
Orthopedic surgeons Eric Carkner, MD, and Stephen Parazin, MD, Chief of Spine Surgery, specialize in back, neck and spine surgery.
“The number of individuals affected by chronic pain is enormous,” she says, noting some reports that put the figure of affected Americans as high as 90 million. “The problem is that orthopedic conditions are not always improved surgically.”
For orthopedic pain management, patients at the new center will not only have access to therapies, such as medication and interventional techniques, through Dr. Zalkind’s program but also physical therapy, physiatry assessments and many other services available in neighboring offices, including a wellness center.
For those suffering from chronic pain, Dr. Zalkind says her staff focuses on making pain a manageable part of life, noting many orthopedic patients, such as those with back pain, can regain functionality to be more active at work and at home. Improving outcomes for these patients has far-reaching implications.
“Chronic pain is a huge burden on the whole healthcare system,” she says.
With so many specialties in one location, Dr. Zalkind believes that the new outpatient center has built-in caregiving advantages.
“The goal is to become a center of excellence for pain management,” she says of her program. “We will be able to do more testing and research and be able to look at outcome studies and functional improvements. It’s oftentimes difficult to measure how a patient is progressing with pain, given that it is a subjective experience.”
With the center staffed by longtime New England Baptist caregivers as well as surgeons who have lengthy affiliations with the hospital, Dr. Zalkind says she is looking forward to the opportunities for effective collaborations.
Dana Zalkind, MD, has maintained a pain management practice at New England Baptist since 1996.
“It’s a great team of people to be working with,” she says. “It will be wonderful for our patients to have their care delivered in a convenient, centralized location.”
Rising to the Challenge
Hannon says the outpatient center reflects New England Baptist’s commitment to providing high-quality, exceptional care to the full range of orthopedic patients no matter how daunting the challenge. She feels that the new center will help ensure New England Baptist’s ability to maintain an excellent level of care for patients in a safe and cost-effective manner.
“We’re going to do more and more complex surgery in an outpatient setting,” she explains. “It is a lower-cost environment and allows patients to recover safely in their homes with support.”
Dr. Richmond says the hospital has created a state-of-the-art outpatient facility that will advance New England Baptist’s prime objective.
“We’re totally focused on providing the very best care,” he says.
Members of the physician team at the New England Baptist Outpatient Care Center
For more information about New England Baptist Hospital’s new outpatient center or to refer a patient, please call 855-851-DOCS (3627) or visit www.nebh.org/dedham.
Source: MD News September 2013, Greater Boston Edition