Milwaukee, Wis. — High quality care in an inviting, streamlined setting close to home when sudden medical needs arise. That’s the goal of an innovative neighborhood hospital being planned for Oak Creek by the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network.
The small-scale neighborhood hospital will offer easy, around-the-clock access to emergency and inpatient care in a highly efficient setting, near where people live and work. Just 18,000 square feet in size, the neighborhood hospital will have a seven-bed emergency department and eight inpatient beds for patients requiring additional care, observation and tests. The facility, which also will have laboratory, pharmacy and imaging services, is designed to treat medical emergencies that require attention beyond an urgent care clinic’s capability.
“We see the neighborhood hospital as a way to keep high-quality care close to home in a convenient setting that is easy to navigate,” said Cathy Jacobson, president and chief executive officer of Froedtert Health. “It also will fill a need for this level of care in Oak Creek, which currently does not have a hospital.”
She added, “We treat many patients from the Oak Creek area at Froedtert Hospital, so it makes sense to provide emergency and inpatient services in their community.” On average over the past five years, approximately 80 people per day have traveled from Oak Creek and its environs to Froedtert Hospital for emergency or hospital care, she said.
Froedtert Hospital’s occupancy rate often exceeds 85 percent, one of the highest in the state, and its emergency department is among the region’s busiest. Jacobson said the neighborhood hospital’s smaller size simplifies access and the availability of inpatient beds assures appropriate, local services while reducing the need for patients to travel for care.
Medical College of Wisconsin emergency physicians as well as experienced registered nurses will staff the neighborhood hospital, which is expected to see about 15 to 25 patients per day and to employ about 40 full-and part-time staff. A licensed, accredited acute-care hospital, it will be part of the Froedtert & MCW health network, follow its care and quality protocols and be connected to its electronic health records system to assure coordination of care.
The proposed site for the Oak Creek neighborhood hospital is on the northwest corner of S. 13th St. and W. Drexel Ave., about a half-mile west of the Froedtert & MCW Drexel Town Square Health Center at 7901 S. 6th St. According to Jacobson, the neighborhood hospital will complement many of the health center’s services, such as urgent care, cardiology, orthopedics and sports medicine.
“Our Drexel Town Square Health Center, which opened in January, has been very well received and we’re confident the community will embrace the neighborhood hospital as well,” Jacobson said.
“Changing the hospital model is part of the necessary process of creating the health system of the future,” she said. “We continue to explore how we can improve access to care, including bringing services to people where they are. Creating an integrated care delivery network includes making the best use of resources to meet patients’ needs and providing care that is accessible and affordable. The neighborhood hospital is part of that effort.”
The neighborhood hospital is projected to open in early 2020, pending approval by Oak Creek planning officials. It will be the second in the Froedtert & MCW health network and the second in Wisconsin. The health network introduced the neighborhood hospital concept in May when plans were announced for a site in Mequon. The Mequon neighborhood hospital also is slated to open in early 2020.
As in Mequon, Froedtert Health will partner with Tandem Hospital Partners of Houston, a national company specializing in neighborhood hospitals, to develop and manage the Oak Creek neighborhood hospital. Ryan Companies is the construction manager; Froedtert Health will lease the building through the partnership.