Primary, specialty care blend in new Lancaster County outpatient center
A new Lancaster County medical office scheduled to open in East Hempfield Township this January will bring local primary care practices together with a number of new specialty services not yet in the area.
Penn State Health Medical Group's Lime Spring Outpatient Center was built to consolidate five of Penn State Health's existing practices under one roof alongside the specialty practices physicians consult with most.
"When we decided what specialty services would move in there, it was directed by what primary care physicians needed for their patients," Dr. William Bird, a senior vice president with Penn State Health Medical Group, said.
The 76,000 square-foot outpatient facility will allow patients with both specialty and primary care physicians to work with their doctors together, a rarity in health care, according to Dr. Robert Harbaugh, a senior vice president with Penn State Health.
"The patients don’t get dragged around," Harbaugh said. "People come to the patients instead of the patient being drug around all over the place."
By having so many practices in one building, Bird says that the medical group will be able to better coordinate care and cut down unnecessary repetition when working with patients.
"Because you have that side by side working relationship you can minimize that testing that isn't appropriate," Bird said.
Five Penn State Health Practices will be moving to the new center: Penn State Children's Hospital-Lancaster Outpatient, Oyster Point and General Internal Medicine in East Hempfield Township; and Lancaster Hematology Oncology and Red Rose Pediatrics in Lancaster city.
New specialty services to be included in the Lime Spring Outpatient Center will include: orthopedics and sports medicine, cardiology, dermatology, urology, ear nose and throat, general surgery, breast care, optometry, audiology, physical therapy, imaging and cardiac testing.
The specialty services will be new providers for East Hempfield Township. Penn State Health plans for a total of 226 employees to work at Lime Spring and will hire for 58 new positions. Bird said some medical professionals may be transfers from other Penn State Health Facilities, but most will be new employees.
The decision to build a medical center that can operate as a one-stop shop for patients is meant to strengthen the notion that Penn State Health is Lancaster County's academic medical center.
"For a long period of time we have been the academic medical center closest to Lancaster and we served a lot of patients in Lancaster," Harbaugh said. "By putting these specialties into this new building with primary care doctors, it just reinforces that for our patients in Lancaster."