When a medical need arises, it is a great comfort to have a physician nearby who can help address the problem and solve it quickly. Now the residents of Gurnee and its surrounding area have that health security blanket close at hand as the town recently welcomed a new, state-of-the-art 75,000-square foot Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) at 7900 Rollins Road.
“There is a compelling imperative in today’s environment to provide comprehensive care that is coordinated, timely, accessible and safe,” said Joseph Golbus, MD, president and CEO of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Medical Group and a practicing internist.
Geography and population medical needs typically determine the location and services a medical group will provide.
“Being in this community provides tremendous convenience for attending to the needs of our patients,” Golbus said. “Making it more convenient for our patients to be able to access their doctors and services is the first step in the delivering quality care they need, instead of getting into their cares to drive miles away. This is a tremendous benefit and we think it can further enhance their quality of care because it enhances the l likelihood they receive the [care] they need.”
The facility, open seven days a week and which augments the services provided by the office location at 15 Tower Court, has the benefit of a wide range of multidisciplinary specialties drawn from the more than 800-member medical group. David Soo, MD, a 26-year Gurnee medical provider who practices family medicine through the NorthShore Medical Group, described the facility’s differences. He explained, “the ACC provides more complete X-ray services, hosts a full continuum of doctors offering services like more in-depth cardiology evaluations and more specialty services including orthopaedics, rheumatology, neurology, pulmonary (chest) medicine and physical medicine in a location that is easy to get to. On the same side, you can see your family medicine doctor. It’s just a seamless service center for care in a location that is easy to get to. There are no lapses in care or in transfer of information.”
Patient information is communicated through the system-wide electronic medical records (EMRs) that the NorthShore University HealthSystem makes available to all its attending physicians and the patients they treat. The EMRs not only allow patients to be able to know what their records say, but allow the treating physicians to share a patient’s medical history, deliver this information to everyone involved in the patient’s treatment – and allow patients to understand their own medical needs.
As an example, Soo said he recently learned of a female patient who had moved to Lakemoor from Montana. The person had seen a neurosurgeon there for a problem. “She had heard about [neurosurgeon] Dr. [Julian] Bailes through doctors in her area and saw Dr. Bailes, who recommended she have the surgery done immediately. Because this Gurnee ACC had opened, she was able to get in right away for her pre-surgery evaluation, and could get all her lab and paperwork done quickly, allowing her to proceed with her surgery in an expedited, more efficient fashion.”
Her surgical outcome was positive due to the seamless communication available to her medical team.
Physicians with staff privileges through the NorthShore University HealthSystem are either board certified or board eligible, with the vast majority in the former category. This means the physician has voluntarily undergone additional training and continuing education, attaining, according to the American Board of Medical Specialties, “exceptional expertise in a particular specialty and/or subspecialty of medical practice. Patients, physicians, healthcare providers, insurers and quality organizations look for [board certification] as the best measure of a physician’s knowledge, experience and skills to provide quality healthcare within a given specialty.”
Anyone who does not currently have a physician or a specialist in an area the person requires can find one online through hospital websites by putting in a zip code for the geographic area best suited to the person’s needs, or by calling a hospital’s general intake number.
NorthShore has more than 100 office locations through the region and four hospitals in the northern suburbs. These are located in Evanston, Glenview, Highland Park and Skokie.
Golbus said, “We have a growing number of physicians and an even larger number of patients.” In Gurnee, he added, “We are geographically well-positioned to serve their needs.”