Šaca Hospital expands its services in the U. S. Steel Košice Public Access Outpatients' Clinics
We are talking with Mr. Michal Pišoja, Director of the U. S. Steel Košice Public Access Outpatients' Clinics and Mr. Ján Slávik, Medical Director of the Outpatients' Clinics, on the intentions of the Hospital in Šaca in the area of medical services improvement, and on the changes planned also for the outpatients' clinics in the Public Access Area at U. S. Steel Košice.
• During the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the outpatients' clinics, you suggested that one of the milestones in the development of Šaca Hospital has been paying more attention to upgrading the medical equipment in the Public Access Area facility. Is improvement of the outpatient clinic's interior a priority? What are your plans?
Mr. M. Pišoja: One of last year's priorities was opening the new operating theater in the Hospital, which can be compared with other state-of-the-art theaters in Europe and worldwide. We knew that after this considerable investment for our patients and physicians we would focus on the Public Access Area outpatients' department, not only with regard to equipment but also in terms of staffing. The changes in the outpatients' clinics have been under way for several weeks no, with new equipment being brought into operation. I´m sure that our patients have noticed these changes in the outpatients' department. We are planning a spatial separation of the clinics, so preventative health checks will be separated from the medical care to minimize contact between sick and healthy patients. The upgrade of the clinics also requires new staff. One of our new physicians is Maroš Varga, MD, who is an orthopedist and head of the Sports-Arthro Center. We want to use his experience in the position of Deputy Director of the Outpatients' Clinics responsible for Outpatient Care. He will be in charge of the clinics' efficiency and outpatient department use, to enable improvement of quality and patient services and to reduce waiting times. Four new physicians and two nurses have been hired in connection with the upgrade and improvement of our services for the patients in the clinics.
• How will the planned upgrade of the outpatients' clinics affect the equipment of the individual outpatients' departments for the general practitioners and specialists?
Mr. J. Slávik: Two new outpatients' clinics will be added and five outpatients' clinics are under reconstruction. We have completed an upgrade of the internal outpatients' department. Today it includes a new gastroenterological outpatients' clinic with a new endoscope for gastroscopic and colonoscopic examinations. In addition, the internal outpatients' department will be fitted with state-of-the-art EKG and ultrasound (USG) devices. The new ultrasound device is already installed in the gynecology clinic. A new mobile X-ray device is used especially for orthopedics, but also for other specialized clinics. In addition, a new mobile anesthetics device is used for minor surgical procedures, enabling performance of such procedures in all of the specialized outpatients' clinics.
• We have also heard about your plans to establish a physio-therapeutic outpatients' clinic with facilities for provision of physiotherapy procedures for patients after surgical operations. Can you describe this plan in detail? When could this plan become reality?
Mr. J. Slávik: We have already expanded the orthopedic outpatients' clinic, and a new outpatients' clinic for medical rehabilitation will be part of it. Our specialists there will provide the basic diagnostic and treatment procedures for patients arriving from U. S. Steel Košice as well as for other patients. New instruments, one of which is installed in only three medical facilities in Slovakia and today we are one of them, will serve for rapid recuperation and for pre-operational and post-operational physiotherapeutic procedures. This outpatients' clinic will be available in the spring of this year. The therapists and physicians have to be trained for work with this new equipment, and then the physio-therapeutic outpatients' clinic will be ready for operation.
• Are you considering strengthening certain specialized outpatients' clinics? Such as the orthopedic clinic that – except for the urgent cases – is operated on the basis of an appointment system, or the ophthalmic department, hich has excessive waiting periods regardless of the efforts of the physicians and nurses?
Mr. M. Pišoja: I have good news for our patients. The orthopedic department has been provided not only with new premises but also with new equipment and staff. The team includes a new physician, who will take care of patients directly in the orthopedic outpatients' clinic in the U. S. Steel Košice Public Access Area. The same applies to the new physio-therapeuatic outpatients' clinic, where not only a physiotherapist but also a physician will be present. By establishing a new operating theater, the health care standard has been improved in the individual medical specializations, and premises have been provided for a new one-day surgery center. This center will be concurrently used by our orthopedic clinic. We expect a reduction in waiting periods for the one-day surgery procedures. In this way, not only is time saved but the hospitalization period is also reduced. The patients are able to return to work or home treatment earlier. Operation of the ophthalmic clinic will also be improved. In addition, we are able to provide a full range of procedures in our hospital. Our ophthalmologists and surgeons have already started with the most complex types of operations involving the eye posterior segment.
• Are you preparing any other new developments in terms of medical care improvement for the steelmakers in Košice and for the citizens of the region?
Mr. J. Slávik: This year we are going to focus on teeth. We want to change our dental department into a family stomatology center for all age categories, i.e. not only for adults and seniors but also for children. Last year we already bought a state-of-the-art ultrasound device for dental hygiene, and this year new instruments and a new dental chair are also planned.
We also intend to bring in a whole range of top equipment for completion of our examination procedures. A new mammograph was installed last summer, and currently a unique magnetic resonance machine is being installed in the Hospital. It will be an open system for all age groups, and even caters for people who are afraid of confined spaces, i.e. for patients with claustrophobia. The new magnetic resonance machine enables faster diagnosing of patients' health issues and subsequent problem-solving with an operation or drug-based treatment.
Mr. M. Pišoja: But this list of changes is not final. We are launching a quality certification process using an adapted version of the US JCI standards through the joint accreditation commission. We will become the first and only hospital in Slovakia that meets the highest quality standards. We also plan to reconstruct the maternity clinic and build the one-day surgery center complex. The patients have certainly noticed that we are continuously trying to improve the environment of our medical facilities, including with music or air freshener, with a library being established in the hospital as well. Together with the management of U. S. Steel Košice, we are trying to complete a full reconstruction of the outpatient clinics building. And more importantly, we are planning to expand the services of our specialists directly in Košice. Shortly, we will open a new outpatients' department downtown, and we are planning additional changes for the patients coming to our outpatients' clinic on Letná Street near the Amphitheater. We want to provide top quality services to the people directly in the city, to seniors, former employees of U. S. Steel Košice, and other people living too far from the Hospital in Šaca.