BOSTON - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has launched its Chest Disease Center (CDC), an outpatient chest care center integrating surgery and pulmonology at one clinical site.
For the first time, thoracic surgeons, interventional pulmonologists and gastroenterologists are working together in one setting. The team also includes doctors from medical oncology, nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, general pulmonology and sleep medicine. Patients with chest-related symptoms are given complete evaluation and treatment options for problems ranging from lung cancer and emphysema to airway obstruction and swallowing difficulty.
"The new center will facilitate the collaboration of staff from several disciplines in a way that has never been possible before," said Malcolm DeCamp, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery. "This will enable the CDC to provide a level of multidisciplinary care not seen elsewhere."
One of the most appealing aspects for patients will be eliminating the need to go back and forth between specialists and according to Armin Ernst, MD, chief of interventional pulmonology, the hallmark of the center will be the service-oriented approach.
"We're providing service to our patients in the form of more comprehensive and convenient care and service to physicians in the community, who will receive detailed and comprehensive follow-up information," said Ernst.
For example, a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) who comes to the CDC will have the advantage of a team of specialists evaluating the case at one time to determine if he or she has emphysema or chronic bronchitis. The immediate collaboration between doctors provides better diagnosis and decreases a patients overall number of hospital visits.
The center also has a single access phone number that allows callers to book an appointment with any CDC clinician.
"Referring physicians will have the knowledge that their patient is getting the most comprehensive evaluation and does not have to return multiple times to the hospital to be seen by the full team," said Ernst.
The CDC will be expanding over the next year and is slated to open a number of new suites this coming spring.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu.