Providing comprehensive health care in one location was the guiding vision behind the new Providence Medical Park in Spokane Valley.

"The key in designing it was that it was convenient for patients, and the second thing was that it was efficient for people that work here," says Kathy Tarcon, chief operating officer of Providence Medical Group. "The architects were there to put our ideas in place. They influenced the feel of it — the lighting and things. But we had teams of physicians, nurses, medical assistants and managers that actually put together and designed each different place." The $44 million facility sits on an 11-acre site with ample parking, just east of the Sullivan Road exit off of I-90.

Efficiency begins at the central hub, where patients check in and receive a badge containing a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. They are then given a room number, "just like you would check into a hotel," says Tarcon. From there, providers will come and go through the room's private entry — preserving patient confidentiality and avoiding lengthy stays with potentially infectious people in a waiting room. Physicians also wear badges, allowing them to easily locate colleagues for a consultation. All that efficiency plays into an additional goal for the building: "The other really core piece of this building is to provide the care at lower cost," says Tarcon.

The urgent care center, where services can be provided at much lower cost than in a hospital ER, has been "stepped up" to offer full lab and radiology services from 8 am to 8 pm every day, with a Rite-Aid pharmacy also on the premises. Family and internal medicine, as well as specialties including cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology and orthopedics, will be available in coming months.

The airy building and grounds are designed to mitigate the apprehension that can come with a doctor visit: Thomas Hammer coffee in the lobby, a small chapel and a nearby labyrinth offer respite. "We're hoping people will just come in and have a cup of coffee," says Tarcon.

Artists and Creatives Holiday Show & Sale @ Woman's Club of Spokane

Sat., Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
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About The Author

Anne McGregor

Anne McGregor is a contributor to the Inlander and the editor of InHealth. She is married to Inlander editor/publisher Ted S. McGregor, Jr.