Vote yes on 5A and 5B | AspenTimes.com

Vote yes on 5A and 5B

Dear Editor:

The staff and physicians at Aspen Valley Hospital pride ourselves on delivering outstanding care to our community; however, we direly need more space.

I imagine most of you have spent time in our hospital. If you have ever been in another facility, you probably noticed significant differences. AVH was built in 1977 primarily as an inpatient facility. Since that time, health care delivery has drastically changed. When the hospital was built, CT scans and MRIs didn’t exist, privacy was not a concern, rooms were double occupancy, and physician practices were small independent practices located outside of the hospital.

In contrast, health care today is now outpatient-oriented. Private rooms with solid barriers are the standard, and physician practices are on campus. Currently our outpatient and inpatient areas are squeezed together. Patients have to wait in the hallways for outpatient testing, and surgical patients have to be transported down public corridors. In our emergency department, patients are only separated by curtains. Conversations between the doctor and patient are hard to keep private. Our emergency department staff is constantly stepping over themselves and patients due to space constraints.

Some people are concerned that passing this bond will be providing a rent subsidy to the local physicians. Federal law explicitly bars against that. Adding medical office space to our campus will certainly improve the efficiencies of the practices; but it will also benefit the staff and patients we serve. Doctors would be able to come to the emergency department or inpatient ward during their office hours to see their patients contemporaneously. Patients will be able to park near their doctor’s office and avoid all of the accessibility problems that currently exist. No doubt a win-win scenario for the hospital, doctor, and patient.

Please vote “yes” on 5A and 5B

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Greg Balko, M.D.

emergency physician