Telluride Medical Center: Extends Hours, Hires New Staff To Meet Patient Demand
Recently the Telluride Medical Center (TMC) reported 2014 patient visit numbers reaffirming the organization’s need for new hires, extended hours and a new facility.
TMC accommodated 18,623 patient visits in 2014 (73% local), an unprecedented number, up from 16,826 in 2013 a growth of 11%.
“Our patient visit numbers are growing and that’s reflected in the growing difficulty in getting a same day appointment,” said TMC Executive Director, Gordon Reichard.
Two other significant areas of growth, according to Reichard, are the number of patients seen at TMC over age 65 and those 14 and under. Last year visits from the baby boomer demographic were up 55% over 2009, while patient visits from the 14 and younger segment grew by 31% over the same five-year span.
To meet growing demands, TMC has added new staff and extended Saturday’s visiting hours.
Christine Tealdi, board-certified Physician Assistant, joined the organization last month to bring TMC’s primary care team to a total of six board certified providers.
More patients and more providers added to the rotation means more strain on an already maxed out facility, according to Reichard:
“In practical terms, what this ends up meaning is less space for our visiting specialists and longer waiting times for appointments.”
TMC hosts 12 visiting specialists from around the region, collectively serving over 1,400 patients each year.
“We’re remedying this in the short term by accommodating some visiting specialists’ appointments in our conference room,” said Reichard.
Modifications to the conference room have been made to ensure both doctor and patient are comfortable in the makeshift exam room.
The Telluride Hospital District, the governing body that oversees TMC, has identified the Town Hall site in the Town of Mountain Village as the location for the new regional medical center to accommodate the area’s needs. The new facility’s design will offer pedestrian access and proximity to public transportation, ample free parking, a helicopter pad for critical emergencies, a social detox facility, and the possibility for expansion in the future.
TMC is the region’s only 24-hour emergency, Level 5 Trauma Care Center and is located in Telluride’s Depot District within a 10,000 square foot residential building remodeled to accommodate a medical facility in 1978.
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