Total visits to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are up this year over last year, with patients for the first time being distributed between the main hospital, Quick Care clinics and the new Iowa River Landing site.
According to an operating and financial performance report presented to the Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday, UIHC has seen 5.3 percent more visits to date in the current budget year than last year. Of the 204,198 visits in the 2014 budget year — the first year Iowa River Landing has been available to patients — 27,382 were at the new site, which sits along First Avenue in Coralville.
With that new site option, visits to the main hospital in the current year dropped to 149,266 from 165,572 last year. Visits to UI Quick Care clinics also are down by 769, according to the report.
Since its debut in October 2012, visits to Iowa River Landing have gradually increased from about 6,000 a month that first month to more than 9,500 in August 2013, the report indicates.
Jean Robillard, UI vice president for medical affairs, told regents on Thursday that officials are encouraged by the increase, and he said the facility is not near capacity and is expected to continue treating more patients going forward.
On Wednesday alone, in fact, he said the location saw 691 visits – a new record.
Hospital officials, in their report, also said they’re focusing on decreasing average length of stay, and new data shows those times are trending down even though year over year numbers show increases in the areas of pediatric critical care, adult psychiatric care and newborn care.
Of the total patients admitted to UIHC, the report indicates that a significant portion come in through the emergency department — 60.9 percent. That’s up over 57.4 percent in the last budget year.
Although the number of emergency department visits is stable this year over last, the number of patients admitted to the hospital after first coming into the emergency department is up by 6.8 percent. Officials said that could be the result of more patients with non-critical issues going to the UIHC’s alternate facilities, like its Quick Care clinics.