Mercy Health says new freestanding clinic will offer better access for patients

A freestanding emergency department set to open next year in Enon is expected to draw thousands of patients in its first year, providing patients in southwestern Clark County with easier access to health care.

The new $14 million medical campus is expected to draw about 24,500 visits in its first full year, and there’s already talk of adding more services within the next couple years, said Alex Rintoul, vice president of strategy and operations for Mercy Health-Springfield. Mercy hosted an informational meeting with local government officials recently to provide more details about the new facility, which is expected to open in late 2019.

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The facility, which will be located on a 12-acre site at exit 24 along I-675, is expected to draw patients from Enon, New Carlisle, Donnelsville, Fairborn, Medway and Yellow Springs. It will be the first freestanding emergency department in Clark County. Enon is seen as a central location that can serve patients along the southern portion of Mercy’s coverage area, he said.

“We wanted to provide good emergency care for folks within about a 10-minute drive for them,” Rintoul said.

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The facility is also expected to draw patients who otherwise might typically visit other facilities in the region, including the Soin Medical Center, Dayton Children’s Hospital and Miami Valley Hospital’s Jamestown Emergency Center.

The 11,000 square foot emergency department will be the centerpiece, but Mercy Health could add further services at the medical campus site in the future, depending on patients’ needs. The emergency department will provide 10 exam rooms, a lab and imaging center, including CT and MRI scanning capability, as well as radiology and ultrasound services. The facility will be open 24 hours a day and there will be a helipad for patients needing immediate transfer to an appropriate facility after stabilization.

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Rintoul also estimated the new facility will treat about 2,000 patients for services including ultrasound, MRI and lab services in its first full year.

Additional services will likely be added over the next several years. Mercy Health also plans to offer a chest pain center to evaluate cardiac care needs at the site, as well as a fast track sports medicine program for sports-related injuries.

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Details are still being finalized but he estimated the site could employ about 25 full-time workers initially.

Local officials in Mad River Twp. said they’re happy to see new jobs and health care options available to local residents.

“These would be good jobs and provide employment opportunities with a good company,” said Cathy Estep, a Mad River Twp. trustee.

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First responders transport patients in the area to a variety of facilities, based first on the nature of the emergency or on the patient’s preference in some cases, said Tim Wendling, chief of the Mad River Fire and EMS Department. Most of those transports now go the the Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek or the Springfield Regional Medical Center. He said his staff went on 1,800 runs last year and has already surpassed that figure this year.

“The key for us is it will provide a facility that’s closer and it will improve the turnaround time for us,” he said.

The new facility is also expected to improve wait times in the ER at the Springfield Regional Medical Center, Rintoul said. The Springfield facility treated more than 67,000 patients last year, and the new site in Enon could take in about 9,200 of those visits once it’s operational.

Rintoul said the opioid crisis and some other factors has meant the Springfield ER is often more crowded than was initially anticipated. In many cases, that has led to longer wait times for patients in Springfield as the most serious cases needed to be treated first.

If the Enon site can take over a chunk of those cases, it should lead to shorter waits and better patient satisfaction in Springfield, Rintoul said.

The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of health care in Clark and Champaign Counties. For this story, the paper spoke to officials at Mercy Health about the company’s plan for a new freestanding medical campus in Enon.

By the numbers:

559 — Freestanding Emergency Departments in the U.S.

24,500 — Anticipated visits in the first year

67,029 — Visits at Springfield ER in 2017

Source: Mercy Health

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