New $22 million medical complex in Plaquemine big hit

PLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) — Iberville Parish officials predicted six months ago that residents would be eager to have the new Ochsner Medical Complex in the parish.

Since opening in January, Eric McMillen, CEO of Ochsner’s Baton Rouge region, tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1M9Xj99) the $22 million medical complex is seeing nearly double the daily traffic officials had projected would visit its free-standing emergency center and is seeing increased traffic at the facility’s clinic offerings.

“To date, we are ahead of budget with emergency department volume,” McMillen said in an email. “We projected to see roughly 25 patients per day and are averaging about 40 patients per day.”

McMillen said the medical complex also has seen “several hundred clinic visits” each month.

“And we continue on an upward trend,” he added.

The parish was without a local hospital since 2008, when River West Medical Center closed after sustaining severe damage in Hurricane Gustav.

Up until January, Iberville Parish residents were often forced to cross the Mississippi River bridge to East Baton Rouge Parish to find health care treatment.

To solve that problem, parish leaders dedicated $22 million in hurricane recovery funds toward building a new medical center and partnered with Ochsner to manage it.

Justin Cox, operations manager for Acadian Ambulance’s capital district, said the medical complex has had a significant impact on the clinical outcome of their patients.

“Being able to transport a patient now to an emergency department with an emergency physician within a few minutes versus having to travel to Baton Rouge over an hour at times because the traffic is bad in itself has improved patient outcomes,” Cox said.

In addition to 22 patient exam rooms, the Ochsner complex offers general surgery; on-site lab services, including cardiology testing; heart and vascular services; radiology services, including X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound and mammography; primary care; and urology.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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