Upon completing its first month of operation on July 2, the St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center (CSCC) already was exceeding patient volume expectations.

“In the first nine days alone, we had 1,100 visits to our physicians and provided 800 ancillary services such as therapy, X-rays and blood draws,” says Robert Rothbaum, MD, Washington University gastroenterologist and the CSCC’s department of pediatrics medical director. “As we expected would happen in an environment of consolidated services, we are achieving efficiencies and flexibility not possible in a more complex hospital environment.”

Appreciative families often cite as assets the facility’s accessibility and plentiful parking, child-oriented atmosphere, and the friendly, helpful attitude of staff members from both Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM). Setting the tone for families’ CSCC experience are Guest Services representatives and volunteers who immediately greet visitors upon their arrival.

The CSCC’s surgical services premiered on June 18, and the effort made prior to opening to carefully plan workflow has resulted in quick turnaround times that benefit both surgeons and their patients.

“This truly is a partnership between these two leading institutions—the building is jointly owned, staff members from both entities received training together, and all the common-use areas are shared,” says Julie Bruns, the CSCC’s Children’s Hospital director. “Our focus is on developing a partnership through which we achieve our common goal of a culture of caring for our patients and their families.”

In support of this goal, a daily morning meeting of department representatives helps identify challenges that may need to be addressed. “For instance, if there is a shortage of phlebotomists on a given day, arrangements can be made to have pre-op nurses help out,” says Dr. Rothbaum. “In this way we are creating communication among the CSCC’s various groups and supporting a unified effort at problem solving.”

Another convenience of the CSCC is that many times referring physicians may send patients for radiology exams and blood draws on a walk-in basis.

The St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center is located at Mason Road and I-64 in West St. Louis County and provides clinic space for many WUSM pediatric and surgical subspecialists. The facility houses three operating rooms, a procedure room, a laboratory, therapy services, imaging and infusion centers, and a Pediatric Acute Wound Service (PAWS).

For more information or specific questions about the CSCC, physicians may call the Children’s Direct physician access line (800.678.4357).