By Jennifer Rader, Contributing Writer
In 2009, Novant® Health, a not-for-profit, integrated group of hospitals and physician clinics based in Winston-Salem, N.C., acquired Prince William Health System in Manassas. The mutually negotiated acquisition of what became Novant Health Prince William Medical Center was Novant Health’s entry into the Virginia market.
As a result of the merger, the hospital at 8700 Sudley Road joined Novant Health’s expanding system of medical centers, primarily located throughout North Carolina with a hospital also in South Carolina. Novant Health, which formed in 1997, serves Georgia as well.
“We’ve rebranded ourselves to be medical centers because it’s more comprehensive and it gives the consumer more of an identity around what we are doing as a service rather than just a hospital,” said Senior Vice President of Novant Health Northern Virginia Market Melissa Robson, who is president of Novant Health Prince William Medical Center.
The center, which has won multiple national awards for healthcare excellence, includes a 170-bed acute care hospital, behavioral health facility and wellness centers. Emergency, women’s health, cardiovascular and rehabilitation are among the more than 20 types of care provided at Prince William Medical Center. There are also doctors’ offices on its campus.
Over the last four years since acquiring the Prince William hospital, Novant Health has developed a medical group of affiliations with formerly independent physician practices. Its Northern Virginia network includes about 85 specialty care physician practices and 42 primary care practices.
The network’s umbrella of care includes imaging services, surgical centers, an assisted living facility, pediatric dentistry practices and the Novant Health Cancer Center, a nationally- accredited breast cancer treatment facility, formerly The Cancer Center at Lake Manassas. The facility is located in Gainesville.
“[Novant Health has] a whole spectrum of services to offer so you have a completely integrated health care system right in your backyard,” Robson said.
Area residents also have access to top neurologists through Novant Health’s Teleneurology network, which allows medical staff to connect to specialists in other hospitals via videoconferencing. Robson said the process can save lives by enabling quicker diagnosis and treatment of strokes and other neurological disorders, rather than having to wait for a specialist to arrive at the medical center.
Novant’s newest area facility is Heathcote Health Center in Haymarket. Serving the growing population in western Prince William, it includes imaging, outpatient rehabilitation, a laboratory, doctors’ offices and an ambulatory surgery center, as well as 24/7 emergency services.
Building with Caregivers, Patients in Mind
Adjacent to Heathcote, construction is underway on the Novant Health Haymarket Medical Center, slated to open in March, Robson said, with the public invited for a “sneak peek” during a Feb. 22 ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house. The state-of- the-art facility at 15225 Healthcote Blvd. will include 60 private patient rooms and a 24/7 ER, with 20 private treatment rooms. It also includes an eight-bed critical care unit, a medical/surgical unit, expanded inpatient and outpatient imaging and facility- wide telemetry for heart monitoring.
Robson said that the center’s design is patient-centered and provider-driven. Considered prototypical by Novant Health, it will become a footprint for future builds. Clinical staff, including nurses and physicians, gave input into its development, she said. As a result, the design includes adjacency of like services, with a goal of increasing productivity and efficiency and reducing on- floor travel time for staff and visitors. Emergency services are located near imaging services on the first floor, since emergency patients frequently require these services, Robson explained.
Uniquely, there is no centralized nurse’s station, but “nurse servers” instead, which Robson likened to locked stations outside patient rooms. Each room has its own station, containing that patient’s medication, supplies and linens, for caregivers’ quick access. “We were very purposeful in making sure that the providers could be at the bedside taking care of the patients or readily available to patients and family members,” said Robson.
Each patient room will also contain an online documentation station. All treatment notes will be written with the patient and family present. Robson explained, “It is essential that [patients] understand what we are doing … so that [upon discharge] they can better take care of themselves at home.”
Continuing Innovation in Manassas
Meanwhile, the Manassas campus continues to benefit from a healthy investment in medical technology. Three years ago, Novant Health Prince William Medical Center opened a cardiac catheterization lab, giving the center the ability to perform diagnostic intervention procedures. A MAKOplasty®, a robotic arm that assists in orthopedic procedures such as partial knee and full hip replacements, was added in 2012.
The campus is also on the cutting edge of spine care. In June 2012, it became the first facility in Virginia to offer the mild® (Minimally Invasive Lumbar Degeneration) procedure. This outpatient treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis, a painful condition caused by degeneration and narrowing of the lower spinal canal, causes no blood loss and does not require general anesthesia or recovery time, said Robson. Patients walk out with just a Band-Aid® covering the treatment area.
Another new addition, a da Vinci® SI HD Surgical System, allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive, single-site surgery. “The da Vinci allows us to take [surgical] technology to a new level in gallbladder, gynecological, urological and prostate surgeries. [It] allows us to enter a new age in robotically-assisted procedures,” said Robson, a former surgical nurse.
In what Robson refers to as “care beyond the walls,” Novant Health providers strive to maintain a relationship with community members before they are in need of direct service, by encouraging well-patient visits, community outreach and wellness education, she said. “We want to be your choice when you need healthcare [and] also want to be your partners and stewards in keeping you well throughout your wellness journey,” she said.
For instance, during flu season last year, Novant Health teamed with seven local Walmart stores to provide flu shots. Also, throughout the year Novant Health Prince William Medical Center’s Sports Medicine and Concussion Management team works with schools and local sports leagues to reduce and manage incidences of athlete injury.
Robson said that, in addition, plans are in the works to launch mobile mammography, expand behavioral health services and increase support to families affected by autism.
“We are really proud of the journey of the past four years in what we’ve been able to do to keep people at home, meaning in their community, and that they’re not having to travel long distances to get the care and services needed,” Robson said.
As a certified massage therapist, Jennifer Rader also enjoys studying nutrition, wellness, fundraising and freelance writing on various topics. She lives with her son and husband in Manassas. Email her at [email protected]