Spokane Journal of Business

Northwest Specialty Hospital opens new endoscopy center

Facility addition intended to accommodate demand

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Northwest Specialty Hospital has added a new Endoscopy Center at its Post Falls facility, located at 1593 E. Polston.

Rick Rasmussen, CEO of Northwest Specialty Hospital, says the new center is an 8,700-square-foot addition to the east side of Northwest Specialty Hospital and features two procedure rooms, one exam room, and eight preoperative and post-anesthesia care unit bays.

“This addition puts the facility’s total square footage at about 70,000,” he says. 

Young Construction Group Inc., of Coeur d’Alene, was the contractor on the project, and H2A Architects PA, also of Coeur d’Alene, designed it. 

Rasmussen says construction of the endoscopy center cost an estimated $1.4 million, with financing being provided through Mountain West Bank. He says the building took about eight months to construct and opened June 13.

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. Using an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, doctors can view pictures of the digestive tract on a monitor. There are two basic types of endoscopy: an upper endoscopy, which examines the esophagus, stomach and small intestines, and a colonoscopy, which examines the lining of the large intestine, colon, and rectum. 

Rasmussen says a team of digestive specialists, contractors, architects, engineers, and operational and clinical personnel has worked to design a center with patients’ needs in mind.

“Previously, we’d had endoscopy services co-located within the hospital, but over time, we determined this was an area that needed its own space and special focus,” he says. “We’re very excited to offer this community a high level, stand-alone center that’s dedicated to the care of endoscopy patients.”

Denise Fowler, chief nursing officer at Northwest Specialty Hospital, says endoscopy is a growing specialty at the hospital, which saw nearly 2,500 patients undergo the procedure in 2018.

“Endoscopy is a fast-growing field, and as we’ve grown our program here, the hospital has added new, less invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tools to help physicians in caring for patients with a streamlined approach,” she says. “The number of patients we see for endoscopy procedures continues to build year over year.”

Fowler says this year Northwest is on track to reach a total of 3,200 endoscopy patients, which is double the number they saw during the program’s first year, 2015.  

Christian Malley, who serves as endoscopy manager for the new center, says the addition’s layout has been designed to be patient friendly and private, with individual patients being assigned to their own room where they stay before and after the procedure.

 “We’ve designed the center in a way that should help to coordinate care and improve patient outcomes,” she says. “The endoscopy center has its own admissions desk and streamlined processes to help reduce wait times and provide a better patient experience overall.”

She says the center also includes additional amenities including: patient entertainment screens, a streamlined design for infection control, a process flow designed to reduce procedure times and improve patient comfort, private discharge and secured access, and 0.covered parking for convenient patient access.

Northwest Specialty Hospital, which was established in 2003, is physician owned and operated and offers services ranging from family medicine to neurosurgery.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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