by Beth Dodd:
Pikes Peak Regional Hospital continues to offer the best of health care to Teller County residents and visitors. They have recently added several exciting new options for prevention and treatment as they continue to provide more local choices for care.
Two new specialists will be joining Pikes Peak Regional Hospital’s Specialty Clinic starting in August. The clinic brings the doctors to the patients, and lets people access medical specialists here at home in Woodland Park. The list of specialists who are part of the program reads like a medical dictionary. It includes an ophthalmologist, an oncologist and hematologist, a facial plastic surgeon, a dermatologist, an immunologist, a cardiologist, and an allergist.
Two new additions to the line-up are coming in August. Dr. Todd Thompson is a neurosurgeon. He performs surgery to treat problems of the head, neck and back. The three physicians of Pikes Peak Urology will be available to treat problems of the urinary tract.
To learn more about the specialty clinic call them at (719)686-2831.
In another new development, the hospital has added a new system for patients to access their health care records. It’s called Patient Portal. You will now be able to see your records using the internet to connect to the hospital’s website. The site is easy to use and the information is secure.
For example, if you had lab work done at the hospital like a blood test or a mammogram, you would be able to see or even print out your results from your home computer or any other place with internet access. There is a three day delay for viewing critical lab and exam results so that your doctor will still be the one to inform and treat you. A message system within the Patient Portal will email you when new information becomes available.
To use Patient Portal, you must sign up for it when you register at the hospital. The portal only works for services performed by the hospital and does not include results from outside labs or independent physicians. Even so, it is a remarkable step forward in involving people in their own care and helps the hospital meet government requirements for transparency.
Another new development at Pikes Peak Regional Hospital is Care View, an electronic patient monitoring and fall prevention system. Patient use of Care View is voluntary. The system uses a camera on the ceiling to draw a virtual barrier or an invisible line around the bed. If the patient moves outside the line, the nurse’s station will get an alarm that the patient needs help. The system includes a “virtual drape” which blocks the view of the camera for privacy when needed, like for a medical procedure or a family visit. The system also provides access to entertainment including music and movies, or can even be used to let family members who are not able to visit see the patient on screen.
Also new this year is the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obama Care. The Affordable Care Act helps people who do not qualify for Medicaid to get insurance and access to health care. The hospital helped many uninsured people sign up for health insurance. The program has benefitted both the community and the hospital. The hospital has had fewer people utilize their services without payment, which helps it continue to be financially sound. The hospital also gained financial strength this year by starting to accept Kaiser-Permanente insurance.
The hospital’s new initiatives from last year are bearing fruit this year. For example, the sleep study center allows locals with sleep issues to be tested for sleep apnea at the same elevation where they live rather than at a lower elevation in the city. The DEXA scan for osteoporosis helps people get help with skeletal weaknesses before a fall and painful broken bones. The hospital is also making an effort to raise awareness about their emergency services, so both locals and visitors know they can skip the trip to the city when they need help in a hurry.