Groundbreaking Healthcare Lives in Dublin

Groundbreaking Healthcare Lives in Dublin

Dublin now offers one of the most unique healthcare experiences in the nation. And it’s part of a larger system that continues to spread its roots across Central Ohio.  

Outpatient Care Dublin, an extension of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, opened in August. The 272,000 square-foot facility is located at 6700 University Blvd. near U.S. Route 33 and Avery Road.

It houses experts from 22 different specialties, including allergy and immunology, cardiology, diabetes and endocrinology, primary care, orthopedics, physical therapy and more.

A Purposeful Project

The purpose: to deliver advanced healthcare to patients while easing the burden on unnecessary travel. OSU took the existing Wexner clinics in Dublin and pooled them into a single location.

 “The goal was to be patient-centric,” said Dr. Arick Forrest, medical director, ambulatory services for The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

That focus deeply influenced the groundbreaking design.

“We looked around, no one has developed anything like this—not just in Columbus but even nationally,” he said.  

For example, the building features a pharmacy so patients can get their prescriptions filled on the spot.

The facility also has a new advanced immediate care center, staffed by emergency medicine physicians. It is open seven days a week, 12 hours a day, and there’s no appointment necessary.

“It’s really in between urgent-level care up to emergency-level care—really trying to keep people out of the hospital,” said Daniel Like, chief administrative officer for ambulatory services for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

And if a patient comes in and needs another level of care, a follow-up appointment can be arranged right then and there.

“How many urgent cares do you go in where you can actually have a plan of care, not just for that particular day, but you actually know what’s happening next?” Like said. “And often on the same day they’re able to do things like set up a rehab or get them the imaging study they need.”

Cutting Healthcare Costs

People tend to rely too much on emergency departments, Like said.

That’s a problem because space needs to be reserved for true emergencies, and trips there can be very expensive. A single visit to an emergency department can rack up a bill of thousands of dollars, Dr. Forrest said.

But the immediate care center costs are akin to those of a specialist’s office, where the expense would be between $200 and $300, he added.

Choosing Dublin

A similar facility, Outpatient Care New Albany, opened last summer at the corner of state Route 161 and Hamilton Road. And Dublin seemed like a natural place to locate the next one.

Cleaning up the fragmented services across the city was already a goal.

But that was far from the only draw.

Within Dublin is a large swath of people who use OSU’s healthcare plan. This includes the university’s faculty and staff. The Dublin location allows Wexner officials to better take care of their own.

Wexner officials were also excited to have a shared vision with city leaders. While that includes offering convenient healthcare, it was also about dialing up the number of available jobs in Dublin. 

“This site has 450 initial employees between our physicians and other providers and staff,” Like said. “And that will continue to grow each year. We’re only at about 50% employment capacity, if that, based on our physical footprint.”

While he doesn’t know if current numbers would necessarily double, he believes they could balloon by about 50% over the next five to seven years. New roles will be both clinical and non-clinical.

And current Wexner employees may want to move their work closer to home.

A Popular Place

So far, the new facility has been incredibly popular, averaging around 900 visits per weekday. That number includes the patient base Wexner already enjoyed in Dublin that were transferred over.  

Those visits have resulted in a steady stream of positive feedback—and not only from patients.

“We’re getting more emails and texts from people that we know that either work there or have been a patient there that have really raved about the convenience and the environment and the culture of the facility,” Like said.

A strong culture was always in the cards when putting together this facility.

“We want people drawn to practice here,” Dr. Forrest said. “We created an environment within the building that’s very focused on the staff so that they want this to be their home.”

It’s important to note this facility isn’t limited to residents of Dublin. Like used its sister clinic as an example.

“Only 25% to 30% of the patients that are going to Outpatient Care New Albany are in the New Albany/Gahanna/Westerville zip codes,” he said. “That means 70% outside of those zip codes are coming to New Albany.”

The reasons it pulls patients from surrounding areas is clear.

“It’s convenient; it’s off the freeway,” he said. “You don’t have to go to campus, and we have free parking with complementary valet. It’s world-class specialty services more conventionally located.”

A Look to the Future

Some services are continuing to come online, however most features are now operational.

And Wexner isn’t stopping at just two sites. A third facility located in Powell is set to begin construction in the spring of 2023 and slated to open in 2025.

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