For a hospital that is just a year old, East has already made an enormous impact.
Today marks the first anniversary of its July 2, 2012 opening. Built to service the growing needs of suburbs east of Pittsburgh, East is one of only two UPMC hospitals built entirely from scratch. The design and construction of the building is aimed to maximize operational and energy efficiency. The Palace Inn, located on site before East, was completely recycled to help build the hospital. Enhancements to the local community include storm water management and roadway improvements.
East is the right-sized community hospital for the area. It has 156 private patient rooms, seven operating rooms, 22 emergency room treatment bays, two endoscopy rooms and two interventional catheterization labs.
With high patient satisfaction ratings and an already strong 75 percent occupancy rate, East is a thriving member of the UPMC integrated system. According to Mark Sevco, president of UPMC East, the hospital’s connection to UPMC is an invaluable strength.
“We are connected with UPMC, and that’s a very strong asset,” Sevco said. “We have access to world class physicians within seconds, and can coordinate and transfer as needed whether it is to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh because of a pediatric patient’s needs or Magee-Womens Hospital because of a specific women’s health need. That is a very positive thing.”
Yet, East succeeds on its own through the ability to create the ideal patient experience in a community hospital setting on behalf of UPMC in the eastern suburbs. According to Sevco, the people that work at East make this happen every day.
“The associates who work at UPMC East have really excelled to embrace their opportunity to make a difference for patients,” Sevco said. “There have been so many stories shared with us and our team and a lot of testimonials about our staff members who have gone above and beyond to care for our patients. It is fun to be a part of a culture where everybody is focused to create the ideal patient experience.”
Part of that experience includes East’s new hospitalist program that began yesterday.
“We have had so many patients come through the Emergency Department whose physician is not on staff at UPMC East,” Sevco said. “This led us to the development of a hospitalist program which we just kicked off.”
East hired six full-time hospitalists, a term used to describe doctors who are specialized in the care of patients in the hospital. Because many patients admitted to a hospital do not normally have their primary care physician on staff in the hospital, hospitalists provide convenience and peace of mind during an inpatient stay.
UPMC also collaborated with community leaders to implement a community outreach program titled “Alive and Well.” The program includes monthly events such as screenings and lectures for patients and visitors to attend to learn about health and wellness. It also connects patients with healthcare resources.
“Keeping our community healthy is important to us,” Sevco said.
According to Sevco, after only a year of operation, East’s future is very bright.
“Our future is focused around our medical staff,” he said. “We hope to expand on our surgical programs, and we expect the volume will increase. Our volume has been very strong already. We are going to see 38,000 patients through the Emergency Department in our first year of opening. I think the future holds higher volume, greater access and a medical staff that will continue to expand its services and capabilities that will continue to expand for the community.”