HaysMed unveils 'one-stop shop'
By KALEY CONNER
Community members and employees gathered Tuesday to celebrate several changes at Hays Medical Center's Breast Care Center.
For starters, the women's health facility has relocated to the first floor of HaysMed, after being housed at a separate medical complex for the past several years. The newly renovated facility opened to patients Sept. 19.
"It's kind of a one-stop shop," said Nicole Spray, a nurse practitioner at the center. "Ladies just basically have to check in and they can get all they need."
The facility offers patient consultations, as well as biopsy and imaging services. Radiologists spend a significant amount of time at the facility, and the overall goal is to help patients get the answers they need in a more timely manner, said Dr. Anne O'Dea, a medical oncologist who specializes in breast care.
When the breast care center was located across town, the facility did not offer biopsies or in-house radiologists. That meant women often had to travel between the two clinics, or come back another day for a biopsy or additional imaging procedures.
"We've seen patients are getting their results quicker," O'Dea said. "If there are any issues we notice on an exam, we're able to oftentimes do additional exams right then or discuss it with the radiologist.
"In many cases, the patient feels like they can leave here with a plan and more information, and hopefully that eliminates the time period in which they may experience any worry or anxiety."
Nurse navigator Ashley Bauck works closely with patients and helps guide them through the process, beginning with initial exams and following through with women who receive cancer treatments.
She educates patients about available resources and also strives to help them coordinate their appointments on the same day.
"Basically, I will be a person to call if they have questions, then I can direct them," said Bauck, who assumed the position in early September. "I'm more of a support person to help them with community resources ... just kind of continuing down the path so it gets done in a timely manner."
It also was announced Tuesday that HaysMed soon will offer 3-D mammography, becoming only the second hospital in Kansas to do so. The new equipment offers sharper images, which increases breast cancer detection, but also reduces the risk of a "false positive," O'Dea said.
"It's particularly good for women who have had issues in the past like fibrocystic disease," she said. "Those are often the patients who do get called back and are told, 'We have to have another picture,' and that is reduced from it."
It's hoped the new technology will be available by December.
The new breast care facility itself offers three exam rooms, three large dressing rooms, a consultation room and additional space for biopsy and imaging procedures. Staff had a hand in designing the facility and wanted the atmosphere to be as calming as possible, O'Dea said.
The space is decorated in shades of aqua and tan, and soothing music plays quietly through a sound system. Hot coffee and tea will be available for patients.
"Overall, it's very calming, soothing, and that was our goal," Spray said. "A lot of people come in with a lot of anxieties ... so as much as we can do to make it a little more calming to them."