Top Doctors 2016

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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At your Service | Beating the Odds | A Dose of Innovation | 417-Land Hospitals


A Dose of Innovation

Healthcare is changing every day, and our 417-land hospitals are always improving and expanding. Here’s what you need to know about new developments in our local medical field. 

Photo by Gayle Babcock/Architectural Imageworks

New Construction for Citizens Memorial Hospital 

Citizens Memorial Hospital has completed two new medical centers and is planning continued expansions, all in the effort to get more care to more people. In December 2015, the expansion of the Kerry and Synda Douglas Medical Center was complete. The center added 80,000 square feet, making room for four new surgical suites, a new endoscopic lab, a new imaging center for MRI and PET/CT scans, and multiple centers for various disciplines. In January, the CMH Women and Children’s Center and the CMH Education Center were completed. These centers house the Bolivar OB/GYN and the Bolivar Technical College, which offers training programs for nurses and other medical programs. CMH also added a new walk-in clinic at Butterfield Park Pediatrics in February. The system’s fourth walk-in clinic provides services for children with minor illnesses or injuries. Currently, CMH is finalizing plans for two new centers: a long-term care building for the Lake Stockton Healthcare Facility, and a family medicine clinic in El Dorado Springs.


Mercy Virtual Care Center

Technology is driving the future of healthcare, and Mercy Hospitals are jumping on board. The Mercy Virtual Care Center opened last fall, and while the center is located in Chesterfield, it serves as a hub for connecting Mercy patients across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, including those here in 417-land. “Virtual care is about getting the care to people where they are, as opposed to them coming to us,” says Dr. Alan Scarrow, president of Mercy Springfield Communities. “It puts more information into the hands of patients and empowers them.” Virtual Care encompasses multiple programs, including Mercy SafeWatch, Home Monitoring, Nurse On Call and Telestroke. Providers are located at the center for SafeWatch, but other services like Nurse on Call, Home Monitoring and Telestroke include providers from the Virtual Care Center as well as others across Mercy. Mercy SafeWatch and Home Monitoring allow doctors and nurses to monitor patients, both in other Mercy hospitals or in their homes, and see real-time vital signs and monitor the condition of chronically ill patients. Patients can connect with nurses on the phone and ask questions for basic care needs with Nurse On Call. Telestroke allows community emergency rooms that don’t have a neurologist on site to get immediate care for patients who come in with stroke symptoms. Doctors at the center can also read test results and order tests, resulting in quicker care. Mercy is currently working to expand the number of patients connecting to home monitoring services and devices that measure vitals such as blood sugar and heart rates.


Telemedicine at CoxHealth

With the ever-growing demand for convenience, more and more 417-land patients are consulting with their doctors using DirectConnect at CoxHealth. DirectConnect, which launched this January, is a service that provides care for minor conditions and workplace injuries (that aren’t emergencies) by letting patients talk to a doctor over a webcam rather than go into the office. The direct-to-consumer program is similar to Skype, and available on weekdays 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The program works for both desktop computers and mobile devices, as long as you have an internet connection and a webcam. Bridget O’Hara, the DirectConnect Product Manager, says patients can really take advantage of the convenience of seeing their doctor with an online session. “Maybe it’s difficult to leave work, but you know you have a sinus infection,” she says. “This saves you time by not having to drive and wait at the clinic, and you stay away from other sick people.” O’Hara says she sees a lot of patients use the service for skin conditions, allergies and cold symptoms. When a patient first connects to the service, a concierge walks them through the process and troubleshoots any technology problems that might arise. Then they do intake questions, and the next person to come on screen is the doctor. The patient can tell the doctor their symptoms, and the doctor either diagnoses them and gives a treatment plan, or recommends that the patient come into the clinic in the case of a more serious condition. O’Hara says the team is working through what can be treated through telemedicine and always looking for more opportunities. Soon there will be DirectConnect channels for athletic training, wellness classes and pairing with schools to provide care to children. 


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