MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute to open $2.4M clinic

With an ever-increasing number of patients seeking organ transplants nationwide, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute will open a new $2.4 million outpatient clinic Tuesday.

The new 19,000-square-foot transplant institute space will house everything from the necessary labs, surgeons, nurse coordinators, social workers and financial screeners. A big point of the new design is to solve the major problem for transplant patients of having to make several appointments on different days for different parts of their care. “They can see all of these people in one day in one visit,” said Dr. Thomas Fishbein, director of the institute.

The move is also indicative of a large approach MedStar Health has taken in the region in recent years, for instance with its heart specialty center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the downtown ambulatory care center it plans to open in 2016.

“Interdisciplinary programs are the future of how health care is going to work,” Fishbein said. “MedStar has surged forward pretty aggressively with this integrated approach.”

It’s an important change for the institute. Located in MedStar Georgetown’s Pasquerilla Healthcare Center, the institute will include 17 patient rooms, up from six in its current space. Four rooms and a special waiting area will be dedicated for pediatric transplant patients. Researchers will also be located in the same area so patients involved in studies have smoother access to care as well. It will replace the transplant unit currently housed in a smorgasbord of different offices located on about 11,500 square-feet on former inpatient floors in the hospital.

“When it was built, it was very nice for what it was. It was what we needed,” Fishbein said. “But while we function as an integrated team, we’re not co-located to help us work together that way we should. It’s not optimal.”

The institute recently introduced a new treatment called the Chronic Pancreatitis and Autologous Islet Cell Transplant Program, becoming one of a few centers in the world to offer it. The center also performs liver, kidney, pancreas and small bowel transplants, as well as cancer surgeries. In 2013, the institute performed about 300 transplants, including some patients from the MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Children’s National Medical Center, officials said.

The institute has performed the most transplants of D.C. and Northern Virginia hospitals. By volume, its closest competitor, Inova Health System’s Fairfax Hospital, performed 148 transplants last year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. Inova says it performed the region’s first heart, lung and kidney transplant

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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