PUBLISHED: 4:35 PM on Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Bartlett Regional Hospital Plans development of Orthopedic Center of Excellence
JUNEAU (December 4, 2007) - Bartlett Regional Hospital CEO Shawn Morrow announced today that Bartlett plans to develop an Orthopedic Center of Excellence.

"Bartlett Regional Hospital has a strong vision of achieving national recognition in orthopedics. The hospital's number one opportunity for growth within Juneau is Orthopedics," said Morrow.

One area that was explored was the development of an Ambulatory Surgery Center. Bartlett contracted with a firm to analyze the financial ramifications of an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). Morrow stated "While an ASC looks great as a stand alone investment it does not look so good when one considers the impact it would have on our community's hospital. If our current operating suites were at full capacity and we could backfill them by opening an ASC we would have arrived at a different conclusion. As it stands today, opening an ASC is not financially viable for Bartlett. If our community grows or we pull more cases in from the region the numbers could look different a few years from now. For the time being the most prudent course of action is to pursue the creation of an Orthopedic Center of Excellence that does not include an ASC."

Bartlett Regional Hospital will commit approximately 2.2 million dollars in support of various projects to support the development of an Orthopedic Center of Excellence over the next two years. The commitment includes a plan to improve resources for the Surgical Services Department including a dedicated surgical suite for orthopedic services, a procedure room for pain management, renovations to the Same Day Care Reception Area, an expanded short stay area and heavy emphasis on staff training, development, recruitment and retention. The plan includes development of certified orthopedic nurses in the Surgical Services Department and the Medical Surgical in-patient unit. This will include the recruitment of additional operating room staff. The Medical Surgical unit is currently undergoing renovation. A portion of the renovation will include an eight bed orthopedic unit. The goal is to implement state of the art care paths for orthopedic patients with specialty trained physical therapists and nurses that are focused on orthopedics.

Following several fact finding meetings, strategic planning discussions, financial analysis and reports the Board of Directors has endorsed this as a plan that will provide excellent service to patients in need of orthopedic care and do it in a fiscally responsible manner.