Skip to contents
In This Issue:
When the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center opens this spring, outpatient services will be more efficient than ever in the Watkins Cardiovascular Clinic. The clinic, on floors two and three of Shapiro, will house all BWH outpatient cardiovascular services, including multiple specialists and advanced diagnostic testing.
“This space is a big step towards fully integrated outpatient care across the spectrum for medicine and surgery,” said Susan Jackiewicz, the new practice administrator for the Watkins Cardiovascular Clinic. (See page 2.)
More than 60 physicians, fellows and nurse practitioners will practice in the 30 exam rooms in the Watkins Clinic. Specialists will be more interactive with one another around the patient to enable more comprehensive care. The clinic will be more integrated to meet the needs of complex patients through specialty clinics, such as a genetics program that brings together a surgeon, cardiologist and genetic counselor. Also in the works are a Complex Valvular Clinic, where patients will see both a cardiac surgeon and a cardiovascular interventionalist, an Integrated Vascular Program with co-located vascular surgery and vascular medicine clinicians, and a Thoracic-Aorta Clinic with a cardiac surgeon and a vascular surgeon.
“Our goal is to make the consultation and diagnostic process as helpful as possible, so patients can minimize visits while obtaining the best care ,” Jackiewicz said. “The Watkins Clinic also allows us a mechanism to improve follow-up and long-term care because we’ll be able to track our entire cardiovascular patient base.”
She added, “It really is a very different model for us. We’ve been limited in process improvement in the past by space, and now we have plans in place to increase efficiency and improve the overall patient experience.”
For starters, the Watkins Clinic is designed to better ensure patients’ privacy. Patients will check in for appointments at a front desk area. But on the way out of the exam room, they will stop inside one of several small offices and sit down with an administrative staff member to schedule follow up appointments, similar to the way the Fish Center at 850 Boylston St. operates.
“Patients will be able to sit down in that space, take out their calendars and talk with another person rather than rushing to figure out an appointment time at a busy front desk area with other people waiting,” Jackiewicz said.
The Watkins Clinic also will work on minimizing patients’ wait times. A new electronic patient tracking system developed by IS will debut at the clinic, allowing staff to see how long a patient waits in the waiting room and the exam room before a medical assistant and physician arrive, as well as the wait times for any labs needed.
“With patient tracking, we’ll be able to look at efficiency in a data-driven way and make improvements based on that data,” said Jackiewicz, who is also determining how to integrate services including nutrition, diabetes management and interventional radiology that are very much used by cardiovascular patients.
The Edward G. Watkins Family Foundation donated $15 million to BWH to help fund construction of the Shapiro Center. The clinic is named in honor of the Watkins family.