Parkview LaGrange Hospital has something most hospitals do not.
Like other outlying hospitals in the Parkview Health network Healthcare Network, it has state-of-the-art facilities: an on-site MRI, a CAT scanner, mammography department, a cancer chemotherapy treatment center, a helipad near the emergency room, large private rooms, and even boasts a brand-new half-mile fitness walking path.
But unlike Parkview's other satellite hospitals, it offers clients a four-stall buggy barn. Located in LaGrange, in LaGrange County, it has many Amish patrons. According to Rob Myers Sr., vice president and chief operating officer at Parkview LaGrange Hospital, the area has a large Amish population – 45 percent, according to the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp.
“When they come to the hospital they usually bring the whole family, and they needed somewhere to park the buggy,” Myers said.
The barn has four covered stalls and a source of water for the horses. One person on the hospital staff works exclusively as a liaison between the Amish and the hospital. Myers said this allows the hospital to have a better understanding of the types of services the Amish need, and also gives the hospital a chance to do some health outreach into that population.
Parkview LaGrange Hospital opened its new building July 17, 2008. Parkview had bought out the former LaGrange Hospital in 2005, which was owned by Kindred Healthcare. The original hospital had been built in 1950 and only had one operating room. Like the old building, the new critical care hospital has 25 beds, but they are all larger, private rooms. Situated on 13½ acres, the square footage of the hospital increased from 50,000 in the old building to 75,000 in the new three-level building.
They have eICU technology in two critical care rooms, where each room has a monitoring system with cameras that relay patient information back to the nurses' station and can connect with Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, where a specialist can help with diagnosing a patient, without the patient needing to be transferred.
Now, nearly four years after the new hospital opened, Myers said they have seen an increase in the number of patients and have adjusted their staffing accordingly. They have two state- of- the- art operating rooms, and the hospital has increased its number of orthopedic procedures. In fact, its orthopedic operations have increased enough that it is looking to hire a full-time orthopedic surgeon.
Last year the hospital added a new medical office wing. It has also added an oncology area and a mammography department. Myers said the only thing holding them back from a larger expansion would be the amount of parking. They currently are at their limit.
According to John Perlich, Parkview spokesman, the hospital employs 244 people with the addition of some rotating staff, primarily doctors from Fort Wayne who work a few days a week in LaGrange.
Currently the hospital has 20 doctors and 72 nurses on its staff; last year they performed 1,100 surgeries. In 2009 they had 8,711 ER visits; by 2011 the number had climbed to 8,991. In 2009 they had 1,291 inpatient discharges, and in 2011 they had 1,198 – a decrease, but they increased the number of outpatients they served from 19,418 in 2009 to 20,267 in 2011.
According to Perlich, the patient-nurse ratio for Mmedical/Ssurgical nurse-patient ratio is one nurse to four patients; in the constant care unit it is one nurse to three patients; and in obstetrics it's one nurse to one patient for labor and delivery, and one nurse to three patients for postpartum.
Myers said they believe in giving back to the community and support organizations in that include the Council on Aging, the City Chamber of Commerce, 4-H, LaGrange County Youth Conference and the Relay for Life.