FOX TWP. – DuBois Regional's St. Marys Community Medical Building will open officially on Monday, March 12. The 30,000 square-foot building, located in front of the Walmart on the Million Dollar Highway in Fox Township, will house a number of diagnostic services, including laboratory, diagnostic imaging, digital X-ray, ultrasound, breast care and digital mammography, bone density and electrocardiograms (EKGs), as well as several specialists and family and women's health practices.
John Brennan, DRMC's manager of corporate communications, said DRMC decided to open a facility in St. Marys because of the large number of patients in the area.
"Probably a third of our patients come from Elk County and beyond," Brennan said. "This sort of gives them an option closer to home. We have thousands of patients here at DRMC, so we're hopeful they'll come here and save themselves the drive."
"We have patients scheduled for outpatient testing," said Brian Simpson, MS, RRT, CES, the facility manager. "We had a Department of Health inspection last week and did very well, so we're ready to roll."
Rosanne S. Volpe, compliance regulatory technician, said the St. Marys Community Medical Building is the first building to have an elevator and is the highest building in Fox Township. The building's main contractor is Hallstrom Construction and many area subcontractors have worked on the project.
"There's a lot of neat stuff that they built into this building," Volpe said.
Both walk-in and scheduled appointments are available. Walk-in service will be available Monday through Friday for laboratory services, EKGs and X-rays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. The last patient of the day will be taken at registration at 5:30 p.m. Appointments should be scheduled for mammography, bone density and ultrasound; those services will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. All appointments for services may be made by calling 888-920-4636 toll-free, and physician orders are required for all diagnostic testing.
Simpson said the registration counter up front works with both scheduled and walk-in appointments and helps simplify the process.
"It's a system that tracks exactly how long you're here," Simpson said. "It helps increase patient flow and helps decrease patient wait time."
Simpson said patients will receive a ticket number and while they are in the waiting room for the lab area, they can watch mounted screens that will use an audio prompt to call out their ticket number, as well as display a list and explanation of services offered.
"Hopefully your wait time isn't long enough that you have to watch TV," Simpson said.
The facility does not do lab analysis; instead, a courier will transport samples twice a day to DRMC in DuBois for analysis. There are two blood draw stations and a pediatric room for the comfort of small patients, along with three dressing rooms for radiology with locks offering secure storage for patients.
Wendy Vokes, B.S., R.T.R.M, the facility director, said the radiology area is
"state-of-the-art," explaining that the equipment is moved by computer as opposed to older labs, where technicians move the equipment to the patient manually.
"A chest X-ray can be done with someone in their wheelchair. They don't even have to get out of their chair," Vokes said, adding that DRMC West has the same equipment.
The EKG room and X-ray rooms in the radiology section allow images to be transmitted wirelessly and digitally to DRMC for evaluation.
"No films anymore," Vokes said. "No films at all. Traditional chest X-rays can take five minutes, but [here] you can literally be done with it in five seconds. The table lowers, so you can accommodate any type of patient."
Pick up a copy of the Tuesday, March 6, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.