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Patient Care Center Opens for Business

by Rodney Tanaka

May 13, 2010

Read 3 mins

The doctors will see you now.

A revolutionary new approach to medicine is now available to the public. The Patient Care Center (PCC) at Western University of Health Sciences opened Wednesday, May 12, 2010.

PCC, at795 E. Second St., Pomona, brings together a Medical Center, Eye Care Center, Dental Center, Foot & Ankle Center and Pharmacy under one roof – creating a true health care destination for people throughout the Inland Valley and beyond. The Dental Center will open in summer 2010. All other services are available now. Click here to visit the PCC website.

The first floor features the Eye Care Center and Pharmacy. The Eye Care Center has areas dedicated to optometric rehabilitation, such as services for visual therapy and care for people with neurological conditions.

"This new facility for Pomona gives people a chance to have unique optometric services in one place," said Charles Haine, OD, MS, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs for the College of Optometry. "There’s no place like it in the Inland Empire."

Interprofessional education will be in full bloom at PCC, with students and doctors from different disciplines working together.

"It’s going to change the face of health care," Haine said. "No longer will optometrists train in isolation. They will be trained along with other health professionals. If all of us work together, we can manage patients better."

The collaboration between the disciplines within PCC is phenomenal, said Rudolf Mireles, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy.

"Everyone sees the benefits of working as a team for patient care," he said.

The pharmacy at PCC is part of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy Network and will provide flu clinics, immunizations for travel, and many other services. Specific items recommended by the other disciplines on campus, including veterinary medicine, will be featured in the pharmacy, Mireles said.

The teamwork at PCC is already helping patients. Pomona resident Florencia Ibarra was referred to optometry by the medical center because of her diabetes diagnosis. Her daughter, Elsa, brought her to her optometry appointment on Wednesday.

"It’s a nice environment," Elsa said. "Everyone is nice to us. It’s nice and it’s clean and the doctor was really nice and funny."

All of the services at the WesternU Medical Center on 887 East Second St. have moved to PCC. The new site will allow the medical center to double its case load of 1,000 patients a month within three to four years, said PCC Medical Director David Connett, DO, FACOOFP.

The medical center began transitioning to electronic health records about a year ago, and is now paperless in PCC. Electronic records save time when searching for information. For example, if a medication is recalled, staff can sort through more than 5,000 patient records in 15 seconds to flag those taking that medication.

"This is a quality and safety issue," Connett said.

The first patients at PCC were impressed with the new building. Pomona resident James Perez has been coming to the WesternU Medical Center for about a year.

"I like it. It’s clean. It’s nice," Perez said of PCC. "(The appointment) was actually faster than before. I’m in and out. I’m satisfied."

Patients are comfortable working with students here, said Brittany Gallaher, DO ’11.

"It’s a good environment to learn and practice in," she said. "You feel comfortable. There’s a lot of continuity. You follow a patient over a long period of time."

A lot of patients ask for a dentist, so it’s nice that all the other services are available at PCC, Gallaher said.

"Having all these resources together is going to have a huge impact on the community," she said. "Having everything here makes it easy for the patients and, in turn, helps us provide better care."

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