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Lancaster General Hospital’s new Frederick Building is designed to enhance the patient experience.

Christopher T. Addis, M.D., Chair of the Department of Medicine, said the new building -- which opens in spring 2018 and will enable private rooms for all inpatients – also will bring important benefits for physicians.

“It’s easy to understand the benefits for patients, which include reduced chance of infections, less noise, and increased privacy and overall satisfaction,” Dr. Addis said. “The benefits to the physician might not be as apparent.”

The new building’s opening will lead to the conversion of LGH’s existing semi-private rooms to private rooms, relocation of some nursing units and implementation of a new patient aggregation model.

Input from physicians and other care team members was instrumental in determining the new design and approach, which will increase rounding efficiencies, Dr. Addis said. Hospitalists in particular will be dedicated exclusively to one unit.

“Placing the attending physician in closer proximity to the patient, the nursing staff and other members of the patient care team significantly improves the efficiencies of patient care, as well as communication and care coordination,” he said.

This approach reduces wasted motion for rounding physicians – who won’t spend as much time walking back and forth to see patients -- which in turn leads to earlier discharges and greater overall patient satisfaction, said Dr. Addis, who has practiced as a hospitalist for 26 years.

The new patient aggregation model also will increase opportunities to include more members of the care team in interdisciplinary rounding, which is shown to improve patient care. Working more closely together as a team also significantly boosts professional well-being, he said.

“It enriches your day to work as a team,” Dr. Addis said. “There’s camaraderie in eating chocolate together or talking about your next vacation. You can compliment or critique each other, and communicate in real time. There’s also fewer pages, since you’re already there on the unit.”

Rendering of private patient room in new Frederick Building

A new interactive in-room system will facilitate patient education and communication. Physicians will have the ability to pull up a patient’s chest X-ray on a big screen -- and eventually to video chat with the primary-care physician for a handoff before the patient leaves the hospital.

“It will enable us to work smarter, rather than harder or faster,” Dr. Addis said.

Rooms in the Frederick Building will come with another perk: a stool especially for physicians. (Patient rooms already have designated physician seating, but there’s usually someone or something in the seat, he said.)

“Seated conversation will hopefully improve patient satisfaction -- and rest our feet,” he said.

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