The healthcare trend that’s been sweeping the country the last few years is gaining even more traction in America’s heartland. The Avera Medical Group’s new westside advanced urgent care and community health clinic, scheduled to start construction this fall in Sioux City, will be South Dakota’s first stand-alone emergency department, according to the local news source ArgusLeader.com.
The three-story multi-functional medical facility will feature an urgent care center-style emergency clinic, traditional emergency rooms, and access to nearby hospitals. The project is expected to be sometime next summer.
Dave Kapaska, president and CEO of Avera Mckennan Hospital and University Health Center, and other Avera executives studied the data on demographic changes and population projections in the area when planning the facility and found that not only was there a need for more primary, but also emergency care locations on the west side of the city. There are approximately 9,000 urgent care centers in the U.S., according to the Urgent Care Association of America, but not a single one on that side of Sioux City. In total, 45,000 people currently live on the west of Interstate 29 without close access to an emergency clinic of any kind.
“We felt it would be a very appropriate thing to add onto this project and serve that part of the city very well,” Kapaska said. “There?s a queuing challenge everywhere. The hope would be with three options (in the Avera system locally), we?d be prepared for that.”
The inclusion of such emergency clinics is consistent with the recent changes in the healthcare landscape. One of the greatest advantages of this new systems is freeing up hospitals from people with conditions that may not necessarily require that level of care, while also providing quality treatment to people that need serious medical help, but don’t have time to get to the hospital. The facilities emergency clinic will be staffed by a physician, like 95% of such centers are, nursing and care teams.
Additionally, the urgent care clinic will have the ability to move patients from emergency clinic to the nearby Avera Mckennan, or Avera Heart Hospital at no charge to the individual. Patients are moved “semi-regularly,” depending on their needs according to Kapaska.
The facility will be 70,000 square feet and in addition to the emergency services will offer family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, laboratory, radiology, and an Avera Breast Center Location. It could be the model for health centers going forward and a place to house the estimated 52,000 additional primary care physicians that the U.S. will need by 2025.