Major improvements in patient care can look very different. Sometimes a win is as dramatic as delivering a cure. At other times, it can be as practical as delivering care closer to home for busy patient families.
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center recently expanded its presence and services in Lincoln to achieve the latter, relocating its specialty clinics to a larger, leased space on Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals’ Lincoln campus in October.
The growth was driven by something equally as practical: listening.
“This expansion was really at the request of the patient families and providers in the Lincoln area,” explains Heather Smith, Children’s vice president of Pediatrics. “More space and more specialties are making care more accessible and convenient for thousands of Nebraskan children and families.”
The 9,335-square foot space accommodates more specialties and physicians, tripling the capacity available at Children’s former outpatient facility in Lincoln. While the former location offered 10 pediatric specialty clinics, expansion has allowed Children’s to add four new specialties: Child Advocacy, Gastroenterology, Genetics and Infectious Disease. There are also additional exam rooms and two larger spaces designated for cardiac and pulmonary diagnostics, as well as ultrasound.
“Since we opened Children’s Lincoln specialty clinic in 2008, patient volumes have steadily climbed and we ultimately outgrew the space,” Smith says. “Expansion is part of meeting that demand, to serve more and serve better.”
In 2016, the location saw more than 2,100 patients, logging more than 5,400 clinic visits. Meanwhile, many Lincoln area families still travel to Children’s Specialty Pediatric Center in Omaha to receive care; last year, around 2,000 patients were seen from Lancaster County alone.
The demand stretches far beyond Lincoln and Omaha. Children’s operates regular specialty outreach clinics in 10 other locations throughout the Midwest; in 2016, these sites saw 7,800 patient visits.
The numbers reinforce a global reality—an increased need for pediatric specialty care—that largely inspires Children’s exciting new vision and expanded geographic footprint. They also reflect what all families want for their children’s health: better access, a better experience and, ultimately, better outcomes.
“We firmly believe that families deserve a greater depth and breadth of services closer to home,” adds Smith. “It’s our responsibility to listen and respond appropriately to children’s evolving health care needs; that’s why we grow.”