Anne Osmer Reporting
The beautiful new $360 million complex that makes up the new Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital promises a lot: It strives to be a health care experience like no other, offering the latest in medicine, technology and patient safety, while integrating with on-site wellness and prevention programs.
Along with its focus on innovation comes the Senior Center at the Neuroscience Institute, a “one-stop shop” for seniors to help rapidly diagnose what ails them and create a comprehensive treatment plan, all under one roof.
The Senior Center hopes to avoid the common problem of seniors and their caretakers needing to travel to multiple appointments with various medical specialists over the course of weeks or months to diagnose a medical issue.
When patients arrive for an appointment, a physician will collaborate with a pharmacist to evaluate the patient and review all medications the patient is taking. After an evaluation and based on the physician’s findings, the patient will have the opportunity to meet with up to seven additional specialists in one appointment, for a rapid diagnosis and treatment plan in a matter of days.
Once the patient’s test results are back, the doctors and other professionals involved in the patient’s care will meet together to discuss their findings and make treatment recommendations. The treatment team will include physician specialists, therapists, social workers and nurses.
“Multidisciplinary and one-stop shopping is a way to kind of summarize it,” said Dr. Christine Shina, geriatrician at the center.
“We’ll try to not duplicate efforts,” added neurologist Dr. Rhonna Shatz. “At each encounter the information gathered will be different.” Much of this streamlining is due to electronic availability of patient information, she said.
If a patient comes in for one condition and also shows signs of cognitive issues, he or she will be evaluated. Cognitive issues in older adults often go unnoticed or are ignored, when treatment is available. “It’s the 400 pound gorilla in the room,” said Shatz. “We’re trying to make it not a gorilla.”
Non-medical resources are available on-site as well. “The Alzheimer’s Association has an office here,” said Shatz. “The social worker has an office here. These are right down the hallway.” Jewish Family Service, which offers a number of services, is a mile away, she added. “It’s the vision of the entire hospital to be part of the community. I think it’s that that’s really unique. Let’s be the link, the connection. We’re really available for the patient and to make sure whatever they do want is addressed.”
The center, which officially opens the first week in June, will see patients 65 and older, unless they have conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, in which case age does not matter. The new hospital opens for business March 15.
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For more information visit the hospital website.
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