Hospitals Become Key Players In Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Economy

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a massive consolidation of the region’s health care industry, Community Health Systems has become the largest private employer in Northeast Pennsylvania.

With about 6,500 employees at eight area hospitals and nonhospital entities, Community Health Systems has even surpassed Tobyhanna Army Depot, which has about 5,400 workers.

“Whenever you have an employer that size, clearly that has a huge impact on the economy, not just for the people we employ, but those folks go out and buy houses and cars and gas,” said Cornelio Catena, CEO of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and Commonwealth Health, the umbrella group for Community Health Systems’ area hospitals.

“It’s a huge economic contributor to our area.”

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/hospitals-become-key-players-in-region-s-economy-1.1387891

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Ready For Sept. 29 Debut

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EAST NORRITON — The clock is ticking down with last-minute installation work, a required state Department of Health inspection and final cleaning before the doors open Sept. 29 on the $350 million, 146-bed Einstein Medical Center Montgomery (EMCM) hospital on Germantown Pike.

A recent press tour of the five-story facility included working journalists and four aspiring journalists from Gotwals Elementary School. Third-fourth grade teacher Katie Sortino accompanied Yazzmin Hernandez, Amayrami Lopez, Derrick Honeycutt and Zavier Wedderburn as they took notes for a late October edition of the “Healthy Press.”

A crowd of 5,000 to 10,000 local residents are expected at a Sept. 22 “Community Day and Open House,” from noon to 6 p.m., to tour the facility before an official 6 a.m., Sept. 29, hospital opening. Forty to 50 patients at Montgomery Hospital in Norristown will be transferred with six ambulances to EMCM on Sept. 29, starting at 7 a.m., said Beth Duffy, the chief operating officer of EMCM.

Montgomery Hospital had 87 patients on Sept. 5. Hospital administrators will not accept elective procedure patients at Montgomery Hospital close to the closing date to reduce the number of patients requiring transfers.

PhillyInc: Reports See Slow Recovery For Philadephia Area

English: Philadelphia skyline

English: Philadelphia skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The construction cranes that now dot Philadelphia are a welcome sign that some business is getting done, but the steel structures tend to distract the eye from the local economy’s challenges closer to the ground.

The latest quarterly reading of Select Greater Philadelphia‘s leading economic indicators points to mid-2014 as the earliest point when employment in the 11-county region will return to its prerecession level.

A separate analysis of the Philadelphia market by PNC Financial Services Group Inc. recently concluded that the region will continue to lag behind the nation in economic growth, job growth, and income growth.

What’s going on here? Don’t we have an emerging entrepreneurial tech community, a growing business professional services sector, and an enviable cluster of top-notch higher education and health-care institutions?

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20120810_PhillyInc__Reports_see_slow_recovery_for_Phila__area.html#ixzz23AG6vpUA
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Urgent-Care Clinic Opens In Carbondale Months After Hospital Closes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CARBONDALE, PA – When Marian Community Hospital closed in late February, Upvalley residents had no other options for immediate care between Honesdale and Scranton.

Helping fill health care needs in the area, Pioneer City Urgent Care, a seven-day-a-week clinic, has opened to treat anything from bronchitis to earaches and bone fractures.

“Having an urgent-care clinic in our city is vitally important to our residents and the surrounding area,” said Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor, a former emergency medical technician. “This is really the first line of defense with anyone with a medical situation.”

Jaime A. Cook, R.N., practice manager for the clinic and a registered nurse, said people should consider the new facility instead of driving out of the area for medical assistance.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/urgent-care-clinic-opens-in-carbondale-months-after-hospital-closes-1.1350312

Geisinger Commits To $126 Million In Upgrades At Scranton Hospital

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following up on a promise to the community when it took over a local hospital earlier this year, Geisinger Health System Foundation Board of Directors today approved $125.7 million for Geisinger-Community Medical Center, part of a nearly $160 commitment to the hospital.

When Geisinger took over CMC hospital in February, it promised to make upgrades of during a seven-year period to the dated facility.

With today’s announcement, Geisinger commits to an $80 million facility expansion of GCMC, $25.7 million to construct a new physician office building in Scranton and a $20 million project already under way to upgrade the hospital’s information technology system.

Anthony Aquilina, D.O., chief medical officer at GCMC, said the goal is to boost quality of health care in the local community.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/geisinger-commits-to-126-million-in-upgrades-at-scranton-hospital-1.1333161

Wait Time Clocks In The ER? Does That Sound A Little Too Much Like Ordering A Pizza?

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...

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Some local hospital Emergency Rooms already have them.  Some others are considering adding them like Pottstown Memorial Medical Center and Phoenixville Hospital.

I don’t know about you but is this making medical care too much like ordering a pizza or being on hold with your credit card company?  Will patients get discounts and prizes for prompt treatment?  Will employees be rewarded for providing prompt treatment?

Some things take as long as they take.  Do we want medical treatment on the same level as an express lunch guarantee at Bennigan’s?  I am somewhat skeptical of this concept.  Will we be installing deli ticket machines so patients can take a number as well?  Maybe we can put up a digital display like at Redner’s so everyone can see what patient we are on.

Triage takes care of making sure the neediest patients get care first.  Turning the ER into a deli atmosphere does not seem like a step forward IMHO.