Officials point to Iowa River Landing clinic accessibility as strength of new facility


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The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is dealing with congestion.

The UIHC’s Iowa River Landing clinic will begin seeing patients today following the ribbon cutting on Oct. 6.  The move should  reduce the crowding of patients on campus at its main facilities.

“The purpose was twofold,” said Steve Woodward, a UIHC administrator.  “It relieves some of the congestion at the main campus. The second thing is to create additional space for specialty programs to expand.”

At the Sept. 12 meeting of the state Board of Regents, the UIHC reported primary care had 242,489 clinic visits in fiscal 2012 — an 8,488 visit jump over the previous year. The budget for the year estimated 238,255 clinical visits.

The Iowa River Clinic anticipates seeing 300,000 patients a year at the clinic to offset these hundreds of thousands of patients, UI spokesman Tom Moore said. 

Michael Hensch, the administrator of the Johnson County Medical Examiner Department, said at the Sept. 27 Board of Supervisors meeting that the referral center stretches more than 2 million people with the patients who are most ill being brought into Iowa City.

Part of the large referral zone comes from the UIHC being the only level-one trauma center in the state after a Des Moines hospital lost its rating.

The Iowa River Landing clinic intends to ease the burden.

Once the building is fully operational, the clinic will see 800 to 1,000 patients every day, Woodward said.

“The design of the clinic is for patients and for the providers,” Woodward said. “The new facility provides separate space for the patients and providers, keeping the facility user-friendly.”

While the inside of the clinic will be convenient for its patients, the location will aid accessibility.
“People now have another point of access to get to the providers and health care they can get at the main campus,” Woodward said.

The new facility — while providing relief for the main campus — came with a hefty price tag.
The $73 million clinic will be paid for by patient revenues and bonds — not tuition or tax dollars, Moore said.

The staff for the new clinic will have around 200 members, and while most of the workload in the new clinic will be primary care, the facility will offer expansion of specialty health care, including dermatology, ophthalmology, women’s health, and a diabetes center. 

The new clinic will be a new home to 30-40 licensed physicians.  Roughly 70 percent of the entire staff will be transferred from the UIHC main campus while 30 percent will consist of new hirings.
Not only will the new facility provide quality health care, officials find the accessibility to be an advantage of the new facility. 

“[Its strengths are] its convenience and accessibility to patients in providing world-class health care,” Moore said.

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