LG Health is committed to constructing the new center to provide children and families with the highest quality care, delivered with compassion in a child- and family-centered environment. LG Health made a $60 million capital investment to construct the new, six-story Frederick Building to expand Lancaster General Hospital. An additional $9 million in philanthropy from the community will take the new Pediatric Inpatient Center from good to great. Generous community members have the ability to transform this space from a sterile medical facility to a comforting, healing environment for children and families. No child should have to experience inpatient hospitalization, but the reality is, nearly 20,000 children visit our emergency department each year and many require some level of acute inpatient care. In addition, philanthropy will support the new Child Life program through programmatic and endowment support. Together, we can transform the hospital experience for children and families in our community.
The current pediatric unit, located on the hospital’s third floor (east), was outfitted 30 years ago. Health care has evolved in many ways over the past few decades making it difficult for our 8,228 square foot unit and small patient rooms to accommodate new equipment, technology and patient care team models. We need ample space to respond to medical advances, while ensuring a comfortable environment for our patients and their family members to heal. The old space served our community well, but no longer meets our high standards.
Now that Lancaster General Health has an alliance with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia—one of the country’s top-ranked pediatric hospitals— specialists from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and LG Health pediatricians work side-by-side at Lancaster General Hospital, Women & Babies Hospital and the Suburban Pavilion to deliver medical excellence in a variety of specialties.
Special pediatricians, called “hospitalists,” work at Lancaster General Hospital 24/7 to provide children with high-quality care. CHOP’s board-certified hospitalists will staff the new center and will communicate directly with local primary care providers to coordinate aftercare. CHOP physicians are internationally-recognized experts in every pediatric specialty, including cancer, cardiac care, fetal medicine, orthopedics, neonatology, gastroenterology and urology. While some of these acute care services may still require travel outside of Lancaster County, the partnership ensures care coordination will be seamless and family-centered.
Currently, with CHOP hospitalists providing care here and having a direct connection to CHOP for consulting when needed, we are able to keep more children on our unit and close to home. Direct connections with CHOP specialists have already been established that allow us to respond quickly to more complex cases or emergent situations when needed. Enhanced technology in the new center will allow for tele-consults in rooms to assess patients, talk with families and more fully utilize our relationship with CHOP. We are committed to caring for as many children as possible at LGH.
Yes. The trend in health care is to encourage a shorter length of hospital stay. While the number of children we are treating will increase given our relationship with CHOP and with the completion of our new pediatric center, the length of stay will continue to decline. Detailed planning analysis and forecasting suggests that the planned 17 beds will be adequate to treat our children today and for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, the current unit does not provide the support space needed for patients and families. The new center will provide additional areas for respite, interaction, play and family support. These support spaces and added amenities are vital in creating a healing environment for our children and their families.
Right now, we are able to perform routine pediatric surgeries (i.e. appendectomies) and provide local access to outpatient specialty services for pre- and post-operative care that is needed with more complicated surgeries that would be performed at CHOP. With the advancements and support that will come with the new Pediatric Inpatient Center, we anticipate being able to accommodate more complicated surgical cases within about three years.
If a pediatric patient is admitted to LGH with primary behavioral health needs, any immediate medical needs are treated first and a transfer plan is typically put into place to ensure the behavioral health care is provided in the appropriate setting. Upon the opening of the new Adolescent Unit in Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital (part of LG Health), adolescents ages 14-17 will be able to receive specialty, age-appropriate care locally.
We have CHOP hospitalists caring for our pediatric patients and we have direct lines of communication established for consulting with CHOP when it’s required, keeping more children close to home.
When travel is required, our social workers and care managers currently serve as liaisons with CHOP to assist families with transportation arrangements and access to support services within our community, as well as in Philadelphia. These staff members also assist families who come in through our ER here at LGH. They are able to help with medical care transfers, as well as insurance questions/authorizations, scheduling follow-up appointments and identifying other necessary resources.
Dedicated pediatric nurse navigators will be on staff within the next 1-2 years to serve as educators and advocates for the patient and their caregivers throughout their care experience. As part of their role, these navigators will also serve a concierge function for families traveling to CHOP.
To date, CHOP has 17 community hospital alliances, including the growing relationship with LG Health. These partnerships exist within hospitals and medical centers across southeast Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.