Outpatient Care Center sees success

Sep 19, 2012
Photo by: Caroline Klapper Dr. Christofer Catterson sits in one of the two outpatient surgery suites at the MedWest-Haywood Outpatient Care Center.

While getting surgery or having a medical procedure done is always a stressful experience on the mind and body, it doesn’t have to be a hectic or confusing situation for the patient.

With that idea in mind, the opening of the Outpatient Care Center on the MedWest-Haywood campus in Clyde in August marked a new era of efficiency and convenience for patients receiving outpatient procedures. The 36,000-square-foot building contains diagnostic imaging services, laboratory services, rehabilitation services, woman’s imaging and surgical services, and it houses the Western Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists practice on the third floor.

The change has been a welcome one for Dr. Christofer Catterson and his colleagues, Dr. Paul Cutting and Dr. Gerald King, who make up the Western Carolina Orthopaedic practice.

At their former office, there was only room for six patients at a time, and now 16 spaces are available, reducing wait time for the patients. Each doctor also has his own work area, and they no longer have to wait for a room to become available to examine patients.

“We’re able to see patients quicker than we could before. Access to care is quicker,” Catterson said.

Two outpatient operating rooms are filled with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, including a high definition orthoscopy suite and an endoscopy suite. The center also includes a new open MRI machine, which provides patients with claustrophobia with a more comfortable experience.

“Before we’d have to send them to Asheville. Now they stay here,” Catterson said.

And the best part about the new center is the convenience for the patients. Nearly everything a patient undergoing outpatient treatment or services needs is all in one building.

Previously, a surgery patient would have to go to the main HRMC hospital building, go to the sixth floor for pre-op, down to the first floor for surgery, back up to the sixth floor for recovery and then down to the first floor again to check out.

“Getting patients through the system was a lot more laborious,” Catterson said. “Now it’s very smooth and efficient.”

Even physical therapy is available right there in the Outpatient Center with a fully equipped gym for patients recovering from a procedure.

As a patient who has recently gone through knee replacement surgery at the Outpatient Care Center, Harry Leckie said he was very impressed with the new facility.

He said, “It was such a drastic improvement” over the outpatient system that was in place at the hospital before the center opened.

“It was flawless. Everybody there knew exactly what they were doing and how to do it,” he said, adding as a former hospital personnel department director, he would pit the care he received at the Outpatient Care Center against any hospital in the country.

Following his surgery, he received physical therapy at the Clyde center and in Canton, and he said that, too, went quickly and easily.

“A lot of people in Haywood County think they have to go to Asheville or Brevard, but they don’t,” he said. “I would surely recommend it.”

Catterson said it is gratifying to hear such compliments from patients, and there have been many.

“Patients find it nice and convenient,” he said.

And the future for the center looks bright as well because there is plenty of room for expansion, Catterson said.

“We’ve added new physicians to the surgical practices. We’re growing medical staff and from the looks of it, we’re growing market share,” he said. “It really gives us a lot more room to grow.”