January 2011

New Direction for Central Kansas Medical Center; Focus on Outpatient Services

The board of directors of Central Kansas Medical Center (CKMC), Great Bend, KS, is moving forward in response to the changing health care needs of the community and taking CKMC in a new direction. CKMC plans to focus exclusively on outpatient services, including comprehensive urgent care services, same-day surgery and cancer care.

In a renewed expression of its faith and values, CKMC will return to its roots, with plans to become St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center. CKMC first opened in April 1903 as St. Rose Hospital, named for the Peruvian saint known for her compassion for the sick and poor.

"We are excited by our new focus," said Ron Vratil, CKMC board chair. "Just as the Dominican sisters responded when the Great Bend community asked for a hospital in 1903, we are responding today. Medical care and the needs of our community are different now, so we are transforming our health ministry to assure access to health care services for the Great Bend community now and tomorrow."

CKMC leaders are meeting with community, government and civic leaders, local physicians and Great Bend Regional Hospital to discuss these plans. In addition to urgent care, surgery and cancer services, St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center will provide physician clinics, imaging, laboratory services, outpatient therapies, home health care, hospice and a sleep lab. It will operate in two locations, the Heartland Cancer Center and on the CKMC campus. New investments in clinical technology are planned that will enhance quality, safety and efficiency for patients at St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center.

At CKMC and across the country, outpatient services are becoming far more common than inpatient care. According to the American Hospital Association, outpatient visits are up 200% and inpatient days are down 28% in the past 25 years. CKMC, with 36 beds in operation, averages fewer than eight patients staying overnight per day; and, 80 percent of all services currently provided at CKMC are outpatient services.

For more information, a video about St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center is available on the CKMC website.