Advancing Healthcare to Improve Patient Care
Looking to serve our patients who live beyond Washington County, we have made progress in making our providers, programs, and services accessible beyond our traditional borders, establishing patient care facilities in Cranston, Narragansett, and Warwick, and developing virtual health technology to serve patients who prefer to avoid a waiting room.
FACILITY UPGRADES AND EXPANSION
At the close of FY2020, South County Health was well underway on numerous projects designed to increase the capacity and capability of patient care.
South County Hospital expanded its surgical capabilities with the opening of a seventh operating room in its surgical suite. This is the largest operating room of the seven and was specifically designed to accommodate the Hospital’s da Vinci® Xi robotic surgery technology, including specialized overhead lighting that enhances the surgeon’s vision when using the robotic device for less invasive surgical procedures.
The Hospital’s Endoscopy Suite received a complete renovation to create a procedure area that is larger, brighter, and better equipped to meet patients’ needs. The suite is focused on patient health and safety for colorectal screenings and procedures, as well as the diagnosis and treatment for other gastrointestinal conditions including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). New technologies were also added to increase diagnostic capabilities used to develop the most effective treatment plans.
Extensive renovations in the Hospital’s Emergency Department were completed, resulting in a cleaner, more comfortable waiting area, and a ‘fast-track’ system that triages patients at the door, then efficiently directs them to the level of care they need.
Patients are put at ease by a redesigned waiting room that is larger, with comfortable new furnishings. Unseen, but critical to the health and safety of patients and staff, is the installation of air-cleansing technology with a negative pressure air flow system in waiting and treatment areas.
This system creates a single direction flow of clean air to provide a safe environment by reducing the risk of transmitting airborne respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Using technology that cleanses air with hydrogen peroxide, incoming air is disinfected before entering patient care and waiting areas.
The new four bay Fast-Track Unit is used to efficiently triage patients with less severe illness or injury so they can be seen by a provider, while reserving core bays for higher acuity patients. The Fast-Track Unit allows for less wait times for patients to be seen, and faster turnover of bays when patients are ready for discharge but awaiting transportation for a ride home.
The Radiation Therapy practice was fully acquired by South County Health and now operates as a service of South County Hospital, under the direction of Radiation Oncologist Charu Sharma, MD. This acquisition creates a more comprehensive pathway of care, providing our team of oncologists and physicians from a variety of disciplines with access to the
most effective treatment options that will return the best possible outcomes for our patients. Upgrades to the Radiation Therapy practice include a state-of-the-art Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator to complement the 3- and 4-D technology and advanced imaging capabilities that promote optimal tumor management.
One of the focal points on the Hospital Campus is the renovation of the Medical Office Building that houses medical practices, specialty services, and programs. Once complete, the reconfiguration of space within the Medical Office Building and the expansion of services available will result in a more convenient pathway of care, bridging patients with providers and the services offered at the Hospital.
OUR CONTINUED ORTHOPEDIC PARTNERSHIP
Strengthening the 10-year partnership between South County Health and Ortho Rhode Island, the orthopedic practice will relocate its services from High Street in Wakefield to occupy the entire second floor expanse of the Medical Office Building.
Patients will have access to expert orthopedic care for knee, hip, foot, spine, shoulder, hand, sports medicine, and physical therapy.
NEW PARTNERSHIP TO ENHANCE VASCULAR CARE
Expanding on the exceptional cardiac care provided by our South County Medical Group physicians, The Vascular Experts Rhode Island will soon provide patient care in the Medical Office Building. Together, South County Health Cardiology and The Vascular Experts will bring an expanse of cardiac and vascular medicine to the hospital campus, creating a Center for Advanced Heart and Vascular Care.
These renovations will result in a patient-centric, technologically innovative medical consortium, utilizing the power of partnerships and the strength of South County Health’s reputation for quality and exceptional care.
The initial phases of renovation to the Medical Office Building were accommodated by the opening of South County Health Primary Care – Narragansett (formerly in Wakefield). This medical office, located at 14 Woodruff Avenue in Narragansett, continues the service provided by Mark Zullo, MD, Heather Mackey-Fowler, MD, and Gloria Sun, MD, for exceptional patient care. Joining the group was Brian Cilley, DO, a primary care physician with expertise in Infectious Diseases. His experience is critical to South County Health’s ability to ensure the health and safety of patients and staff during the COVID pandemic and in the treatment of other diseases.
The addition of Jason Graff, MD, and Patricia Russo-Magno, MD, to South County Medical Group expanded our breadth of services with the opening of the South County Health Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine practice. These board-certified, experienced providers are a welcome addition to patients who live with respiratory conditions and sleep disorders.
To extend our reach and better serve our patients in and around the West Bay area of the state, we celebrated the opening of South County Health Primary Care – Cranston, welcoming Brian J. Pickett, MD and Stephanie Krusz, MD to the South County Medical Group. The Cranston practice, located at 905 Pontiac Avenue, also includes an outpatient lab with phlebotomy services.
QUALITY AND INNOVATION
South County Hospital continues its leadership position in the field of robotic surgery. From South County Hospital’s Mako-equipped operating room, orthopedic surgeon Robert C. Marchand, MD, of Ortho Rhode Island, provides instruction to surgeons around the world who are in various stages of learning the techniques used to perform successful surgeries with this technology.
Using cameras and audio to livestream actual surgeries, Dr. Marchand conducts Virtual Surgical Observations with surgeons across the globe. This unique international exchange of surgical expertise received regional and national attention with coverage from the Boston Globe and Becker’s Hospital Review.
Da Vinci® Xi – Minimally invasive, added dexterity
Robotic-assisted surgical technology is improving patient care by allowing surgeons to perform delicate procedures with tiny incisions, yet with the added dexterity of robotic precision. Guided by highly trained and experienced surgeons, the wristed instruments attached to the da Vinci’s four arms bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. Under a magnified view, the surgeons have a high-definition, 3-D view of the surgical site, allowing them to manipulate instruments beneath the surface of the patient’s skin.
To provide patients with the most advanced diagnostic technologies used in their care, three highly specialized instruments were added to the endoscopy program. Manometry, BRAVO, and EndoFLIP are technologies specifically developed to accurately diagnose GERD. These diagnostic upgrades give physicians detailed information on the condition of a patient’s esophageal area. With that, the appropriate type and level of care options can be determined to relieve the patient’s distress.
The diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients were also enhanced with the addition of Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) technology. This technology advances South County Health’s oncology care by helping to determine the extent and spread of certain cancers. EUS accurately assess the cancer’s depth and whether it has spread to adjacent lymph glands or nearby vital structures, such as major blood vessels.
South County Health strives to bring the most advanced technology and innovative patient care practices to our physicians and patients. Recognizing that even the greatest tools and technology are only as good as the clinicians who use them, we are dedicated to training and retaining the best healthcare professionals who provide care to our patients.