Cox said the increase can be directly attributed to the addition of the specialists, who are now performing surgeries at EMH. A majority of the increase in surgeries were in the are of gynecology and ear, nose and throat, two of the areas now served by Lake Russell Specialty Healthcare Services.
The success of Lake Russell Specialty Healthcare has drawn the attention of other specialists as well. At least two orthopedic specialists have shown interest in practicing in Elberton and one has begun the process of gaining credentials in the hospital.
Cox said the specialty clinic is having a significant impact on utilization of the hospital. Elbert Memorial performed 90 surgeries in December 2016 as opposed to just 36 in December 2015 for an increase of almost 200 percent.
The increase in surgeries impacts the entire hospital, according to Cox. Other departments, which directly and indirectly support the surgical department are also affected. The hospital has also seen an increase in utilization of the radiology and lab tests.
Cox said the public is learning that Elbert Memorial takes good care of their families members and friends here at home and the current leadership is aligning the hospital to be viable for the future.