After several years of planning and months of construction, SPORTSMED·SA Stepney will complete its transformation into a state-of-the-art healthcare hub and unveil a range of new patient facilities and services, when it opens to the public in August 2017.
Since the SPORTSMED·SA Hospital at Stepney underwent a $4.5 million expansion in 2008, discussion immediately began on how to improve the rest of the existing facilities and services at the location.
SPORTSMED·SA’s approach to this next stage of improvements centred around the key terms ‘convenience’, ‘holistic’ and ‘experience’ as the team envisioned a patient’s entire journey taking place in the one location.
With a variety of healthcare services already available onsite at Stepney including South Australia’s only purpose-built orthopaedic hospital, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapy, medical and podiatry, along with x-ray facilities, SPORTSMED·SA identified areas they could grow the service offering and general experience for patients.
“Essentially, we identified what was missing for patients to complete their entire diagnosis, treatment and management program at SPORTSMED·SA Stepney,” CEO of SPORTSMED·SA Hospital and Orthopaedics Alan Morrison said.
“Convenience was also at the forefront of our minds as well when planning what additional services and facilities would benefit patients. We didn’t want them having to go offsite for something they may expect to receive at SPORTSMED·SA.
“A traditional patient journey can be a time consuming and difficult process if further treatment is required beyond an initial visit to the GP when you consider the potential need for prescription medicine, tests, x-rays, MRI scans, surgery and post-operative rehab.
“What we are trying to do at SPORTSMED·SA is really integrate as many aspects of the patient journey into the one hub so they can transition seamlessly between them all in one episode of treatment and care.”
According to Morrison, the team at SPORTSMED·SA pinpointed the addition of a full radiology suite, pathology centre, pharmacy and café as the necessary components to an expanded and improved service offering and patient experience at Stepney as construction eventually broke ground in November 2016.
“A pharmacy was one of the first services we highlighted that would benefit our patients visiting Stepney given our surgeons and doctors regularly prescribe medication to assist in the treatment and recovery of injuries and medical conditions,” he said.
“While we have always had x-ray facilities onsite courtesy of Dr Jones and Partners, a full suite of radiology services including CT and MRI scanning was not available. Now our practitioners can immediately diagnose conditions such as torn ligaments and ruptures, without having to send a patient offsite with a referral.
“The same situation applied with Clinpath pathology. Traditionally we have had temporary collection centre stationed at Stepney, but the expansion has afforded us the space to have Clinpath operate an onsite laboratory that can provide real-time results to our patients.
“Feedback from patients and even staff indicated a café would be a welcome addition too – I can’t say we deliberated over that decision for too long!”
To accommodate the new services and upgrades to the existing offering, which are expected to create an increase in patients, SPORTSMED·SA has also added nine consulting rooms for the medical team.
SPORTSMED·SA Sports Doctors, Psychologist and Dietitian will now consult from the new expansion building featuring the radiology practice, pathology centre, pharmacy and café, having vacated the ground floor of the existing clinic.
Medical’s move allows for fellow ground floor tenants of the existing clinic – physiotherapy, podiatry, massage and exercise physiology – to expand into more consulting rooms and offer additional appointment times.
Podiatry in particular is expected to team with SPORTSMED·SA Foot and Ankle Surgeon Dr James Clayton to develop a dedicated foot and ankle specialist service within the existing clinic.
Morrison said SPORTSMED·SA Stepney is evolving at a critical point in time as the Australian health system is tipped to face challenges accommodating a rapidly ageing population that is expected to require bone, joint, muscle and arthritis treatment.
“Simply put, more consulting rooms means we can treat more patients,” he said.
“Our doctors and practitioners at Stepney will now have the capability to consult on more days at extended hours.
“This will enable SPORTSMED·SA to meet the demand for orthopaedic medicine and services predicted to overwhelm the health system in the next decade, and continue to deliver on our commitment to providing quality and innovative healthcare.”