Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Penn Med opens Tredyffrin outpatient center

"Penn Medicine opened a large outpatient facility today in Tredyffrin Township that will make it easier for primary-care doctors and specialists to coordinate care.
The $30 million, 90,000-square-foot building near Routes 202 and 252 - Penn Medicine at Valley Forge - will eventually house 60 doctors as well as radiology and laboratory services.

Ronald Barg, executive director of Clinical Care Associates, which runs the University of Pennsylvania Health System's outpatient network, said the new building features an open office design that should foster collaboration among doctors. The doctors will share support staff, who will be able to schedule and coordinate appointments. All doctors will have access to the same electronic medical record.

In more traditional buildings, doctors don't talk as much as they should and patients often don't follow up quickly on referrals to specialists, Barg said. "The model we have here is much more unified with the patient in the middle," he said.

All of the doctors will be Penn employees.

Half the cost of the center came from the Henry P. Erdman Trust, which was created almost a century ago to develop educational programs in the Valley Forge region. Medical students will rotate through the new center, as they do at other Penn outpatient facilities, but they will be working in a building that was designed with education in mind, Barg said. It will have a student lounge, video conferencing so students can participate in programs downtown, and video equipment that will allow students and faculty to record and discuss interactions with some patients.

Penn Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Penn health system."

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