The idea is that primary care physicians manage care “in a patient-centered medical home environment,” Norton said. This includes coordinating follow-up visits, the reconciliation of patient records “and really taking responsibility for their health instead of treating their illness when it occurs,” Norton said.
While the coming of the Affordable Care Act and state health care reforms influenced some of the thinking, “our transition is driven more on a change of focus and a change of value internally,” Norton said.
In Salem, the addition may at last provide a unified front entrance to a hospital that has sprawled across its campus over the years. The hospital’s hodgepodge of parking lots will also be reconfigured.
“We have never had a main entrance. We have never had a front lobby, so this will give a new circular drive for patients and families to access the central core and the new front lobby and new main entrance,” Norton said.
The new building will be located at the present site of the building’s power plant, which is at the front of the hospital across the driveway from the surgical center and the main visitor entrance to the Davenport building. There is an ongoing project to relocate the power plant to the back of hospital, Norton said.
Driscoll, in her statement, said the city will work with North Shore Medical Center, neighbors and Highland Avenue businesses to make sure the project moves forward in a cooperative way.
“Key to that effort will be communication, transparency and public input — all of which are necessary for such a major project,” Driscoll said. She said the city has already reached out to state transportation officials to make traffic improvements to busy Highland Avenue, which is state-owned Route 107.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.