Health Care and Wellness

Edgewood Surgical Focuses on Patient Comfort

TRANSFER, Pa. – Patients undergoing an MRI at Edgewood Surgical Hospital will encounter something they may not be used to.

Instead of the more common, enclosed tube-like machine, the open MRI machine Edgewood uses has no sides, so it doesn’t completely surround a patient’s body. For a little extra comfort, a seascape-themed mural is featured throughout the room.

“If a patient is claustrophobic, an MRI space can be tight and confining,” says Tom Roskos, CEO of the hospital in Transfer, Pa. “When you’re in here, you’re comfortable.” 

Patient comfort during scans is the main driver for the open MRI equipment and the mural, which is inviting to patients and can soothe their anxiety and stress levels, Roskos says. 

On Edgewood’s website, EdgewoodSurgical.com, a video explains the difference between open and closed MRI, so patients can learn more about the process before their procedure. The MRI procedure is done in about 30 and 35 minutes. 

“I think it’s important to show that process,” he says. “We want to stay on the cutting-edge of technology and make sure we have the equipment, the facility and the space that keeps up with health care.”

The open MRI is just one way Edgewood works to improve patient comfort. The patient satisfaction rate at Edgewood is always above 90%, says Kurtis Gramley, board chairman. 

In addition to comfort, patient satisfaction includes how they are treated, the hospital environment and cleanliness, he says.

“To me, that’s the grabber,” he says. “It’s just how happy patients are to be here.”

Founded in 2001, Edgewood Surgical Hospital serves “tens of thousands of patients” annually, from children to seniors, Gramley says. The hospital specializes in radiology, pre-op testing, podiatry, pain management, orthopedics, ophthalmology, gastroenterology and ear, nose and throat surgery. In the beginning, the idea was to provide the type of care being done in larger, metropolitan areas, he says. 

“Surgical hospitals and centers are fairly common today, but 16 years ago they weren’t,” Gramley says. “The pioneering group of physicians didn’t feel like the greatest equipment was available to people in Mercer County. They wanted to bring that technology, know how and facilities to this area. That was their thought of why we would do Edgewood Surgical Hospital.”

The majority of patients live in Mercer County and its surrounding counties, Gramely says. Edgewood has built a strong patient following by employing reputable physicians, he adds.

“You get patients that are driving an hour to two hours to come here from different parts of Pennsylvania,” he says.

Services are provided in four large operating rooms and two special procedure rooms. Edgewood serves patients year-round, starting at 5 a.m. and wrapping up by 3 p.m., Roskos says.

“Folks seem to time their surgeries for when they fit their schedule, so those can vary throughout the year,” he says.

Outpatient surgeries and other services, such as lab work, X-rays and ultrasounds, are more common at Edgewood, Roskos says. Edgewood ensures its medical staff keeps up with current techniques and advances in medical technology, he adds.

Patients are loyal to their physicians, he says. When they are comfortable with someone they will come back when they need surgery, even if they live out of town or outside the state, he says. 

“Having a strong nursing staff and good leadership is very important,” Roskos says. “Our physicians are always continuing their education in order to provide the best care for their patients.”     

Edgewood has 10 inpatient rooms for overnight or multiple-night stays with pullout beds available for family members. Modern technology keeps overnight stays to a minimum.

“With today’s technology and how physicians do joint replacements, it’s usually a two- or three-day stay,” Roskos says. “Generally, you see better patient outcomes over time because techniques for doing the procedures are less invasive than they were years ago.” 

Two nurses are assigned to each patient spending the night and patient meals are provided by DiLorenzo’s Specialty Deli and Bakery. Nurses assist patients every step of the way, from helping them  in or out of cars to guiding them from the lobby to the changing area to pre-op, he says.

Private recovery rooms are available for pediatric patients or those who need special care, he says.

“Sometimes these environments are intimidating, so it’s better for the families and for the child to be in their own private room,” Roskos says. “It feels more comfortable to them.” 

Edgewood also works to be a low-cost provider to ensure patients “get quality care in an environment that’s appropriately priced,” Roskos says. This year, it added the UPMC Health Plan to its list of insurance plans it accepts, bringing a new patient population to the hospital.

“To me, in three to five years, it’s a facility that’s able to treat and do surgeries for all insurance plans,” Roskos says. 

“The UPMC Health Plan is a tremendous boost for our facility. [Patients] are utilizing that plan and it’s important for all patients and the doctors that partner with us to be able to come to our facility for all health plans.” 

Other plans include adding to its services and providing the same quality of care as larger cities so patients don’t have to travel to Pittsburgh or Cleveland, Gramley notes.

“One of our great strengths is our people,” Gramley says. “Our physicians and staff is what sets us apart and their attention to every patient that comes here.” 

Maintaining its staff of 75 means providing an environment where employees look forward to coming to work, which translates into a better experience for patients as well, Roskos says. 

The hospital’s location at 239 Edgewood Drive Ext. plays a key role in that atmosphere, he says. 

“You’re in a nice, country setting when you’re out here,” he says. “The parking lot is close to the front door, greeted by welcoming faces out front. And we’re utilizing our space to make sure that patients are comfortable and they feel at home.”

Pictured: From a rural setting to an open MRI machine, Edgewood Surgical Hospital is designed to improve the comfort of patients before, during and after procedures, say CEO Tom Roskos and board chairman Kurtis Gramley. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.