Patient-Centric Care In A Spa-Like Setting

HYANNIS – Cape Cod Healthcare’s new surgical center in Mashpee is like another wing of Cape Cod Hospital, if you imagine the corridor to be 11 miles long.

The Cape Cod Surgery Center, which is located at 160 Falmouth Road (Route 28), opened last year as Cape Cod Healthcare’s first free-standing ambulatory surgical center specializing in plastic surgery, ear, nose and throat, and shoulder surgeries for low-risk ambulatory patients.

The center is as sunny and intimate as a spa – and has plenty of parking.

“This is a very patient-centric environment,” said Cynthia Marlin, MS- MHA, RN, ONC vice president of Perioperative and Surgical Services for Cape Cod Hospital. “This is about creating a positive surgical experience and giving people who can have surgery outside of the hospital setting the ability to do so.”

The surgery center building itself once housed a doctor’s office, but has been completely renovated into a bright and welcoming space.  Inside there is a:

Reception and waiting room
Pre and post-operative area with both beds and recliners
Two fully equipped operating rooms
Nursing station
Sterile processing and assembly department
Storage and staff areas.
Large windows in the patient areas add a healing dose of natural light, and there are never more than three or four patients moving through the center at one time, Marlin said.

Staff includes Site Manager Jennifer Fisher, RN; Surgical Coordinator/Rad Tech Nicole Demeo; Pre/Post-Op Nurses Kristen Johansen and Tanya Peters; and Operating Room Circulating Nurses Samantha Duarte and Sondra Lewis. The daily sterile processing operations are overseen by Melissa Valentin under the leadership of Troy Cambone, SPD manager.  All of the center’s anesthesiologists rotate in from Cape Cod Hospital.

Medical and technological advances have contributed to the increase in ambulatory, or day, surgeries like those performed at the Cape Cod Surgery Center, according to Becker’s Ambulatory Surgery Center Review, which covers the ambulatory care industry. In 1990, outpatient surgeries comprised 50.5 percent of all surgeries. In 2014, it was 65.9 percent, according to Becker’s.

This is Cape Cod Healthcare’s second outpatient surgery center. The other, the North Falmouth Surgery Center at 39 Edgerton Drive in North Falmouth, specializes in gastrointestinal procedures and pain management.

The Cape Cod Surgery Center earned accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) in September 2017.  A certificate of accreditation is awarded to organizations that are found to be in compliance with AAAHC standards.

Privacy For Patients

The fact that the Cape Cod Surgery Center is located outside of the hospital setting makes it popular with patients who want a bit more privacy, Marlin said.

“Convenient parking, short stays and one-to-one nursing are just a few of the amenities one can expect,” she said.

It’s also a hit with parents and kids, she said.

“In the days prior to surgery, we invite the little ones in with their parents for a full tour of the center. They get to touch and look and experience the strange sounds and sights of an operating room before their surgery date so they know what to expect.  It works wonders on reducing preoperative anxiety and fear.”

When patients arrive at the Cape Cod Surgery Center, they first meet with DeMeo, who does the scheduling and registrations.

“We have a lot of patients who come from down Cape, so we try not to schedule them at 6 a.m. It’s about convenience; shorter wait times for the patient as well as the person that brought them,” she said.

Patients then change into a hospital gown and meet Johansen. She greets them with a warm blanket and gets them ready to meet with the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Next up is the OR circulating nurses, including Duarte and Lewis who, much like air traffic controllers, oversee the activities inside the operating room.  After surgery, patients return to the pre- and post-op area and are often ready to go home within an hour or so, according to the staff.

Pre-op testing can be done at Cape Cod Hospital and the center uses the hospital’s or patient’s own pharmacy for post-op medications. There is always an anesthesiologist on-site when patients are in the center.

“That’s really important for our patients to know:  this is not just some freestanding clinic where we happen to be doing surgery,” said Marlin. “The center is a part of a reliable and trusted hospital organization that has outstanding outcomes. These are real operating rooms designed for complex procedures being performed by exceptional surgeons.

“We all realize that surgery should be the last option but, if you do have to have it, it’s nice to have it in a center that’s like this. It’s absolutely the way of the future and we are so proud to be a part of it.”

By SUSAN MOELLER, Cape Cod Health News

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