Baylor Scott & White opens integrated clinic ahead of its new Pflugerville medical center

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Baylor Scott & White Health on Oct. 1 opened a fully integrated clinic attached to its upcoming Pflugerville Medical Center, bringing with it a dozen medical specialists and general practitioners.

The move is Baylor Scott & White’s first step in providing integrated clinical and hospital care to the city of Pflugerville and its surrounding residents.

“This is a large, growing community and really deserves to have comprehensive care within the community. That means both [a]clinic, and it means hospital [care],” said Colleen Sundquist, vice president of clinic operations for Baylor Scott & White’s Austin and Round Rock Region.

Baylor Scott & White was able to identify the Pflugerville community’s needs due to its history in the city, according to Sundquist.

The health care system already has a primary care clinic open on East Pflugerville Parkway in Pflugerville, and clinic officials were able to use clinical history to identify health care gaps within the community.

“The health care gap is with the number of specialists,” Sundquist said.

As a result, Baylor Scott & White Clinic-Pflugerville Medical Center is staffing 12 physicians that will provide care for a range of health care services including neurology and orthopedics.

In addition the clinic opened with two primary care physicians, though Joseph Rogan, assistant director of clinic operations for Baylor Scott & White Clinic-Pflugerville Medical Center, said the clinic will quickly assess community response after opening.

“As the specialties grow… we’ll again reassess the needs of the community based on what we have … and adjust and grow from there,” Rogan said.

Dr. Suruchii Kathpalia, a doctor of internal medicine, is one of the first two physicians working at the new Baylor Scott & White Clinic-Pflugerville Medical Center. Over the course of the past year Kathpalia said she has held discussions with Pflugerville residents to identify specific health care concerns.

In her discussions with seniors at the Pflugerville Recreation Center, Kathpalia said residents expressed health care concerns over dementia, diabetes, dietary health and osteoporosis.

INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY

The new Baylor Scott & White Clinic-Pflugerville Medical Center is a one-story building composed of 37 exam rooms, each of which is installed with a new piece of technology—the interactive medical records system.

Rogan said the system was designed to allow doctors and patients to interact with medical records in a real-time, graphics-driven setting.

The interactive medical records system, which is accessible via a touch screen, displays medication history, vitals, previous and future appointments, laboratory results, allergy information and preventive health information.

Kathpalia said this allows the staff to communicate difficult medical information in a more digestible way through graphics and charts.

“From a patient’s perspective it’s open; it’s transparent. I’m not looking at something they don’t have access to. It also helps them get a visual representation,” Kathpalia said.

While other Baylor Scott & White clinics are outfitted with the interactive medical records, Sundquist said the Pflugerville clinic is the first medical center to have the system installed in every room at its opening.

Baylor Scott & White’s new Pflugerville medical center is scheduled to open sometime in December. Once Pflugerville’s first hospital opens, officials say the two entities will collaborate with integrated health systems designed to save patients time and money.

Sundquist stated general practitioners, specialists and hospital staff will work cohesively to avoid overlapping care.

“Bringing all of those patients together allows us to care in a more effective way, both in time and money. We’re not repeating tests; we’re saving patients visits,” Sundquist said.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. He additionally worked with an investigative news organization where he reported on environmental topics and was a featured writer for Epicast Network, a Pittsburgh podcast company. Iain has now transitioned full-time into covering Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
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