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No Place Like Home: The Observation Unit at Lee Health Coconut Point

Health Hub
Author name: Lee Health


We like our familiar places. We thrive in them.

That’s the idea behind Lee Health Coconut Point (LHCP) Observation Unit.

When we visit an emergency room during a medical crisis, the last thing on our mind is having to leave and be transported somewhere else for monitoring or treatment. We want to stay in our familiar place.

The LHCP Observation Unit is exactly that—a familiar place that helps keep Estero and Bonita Springs residents in their own community, close to their homes.

“We want the residents of South Lee and North Collier to have access to all the medical services they need, including overnight stays when necessary,” says Joe Ryan, director of ancillary services at Coconut Point. “The observation unit at LHCP allows us to meet many of those needs. Patients can stay close to home without having to battle the traffic across town because they need transport to an inpatient hospital.”

Ryan describes the observation unit as a micro-hospital.

“Patients treated there have access to many of the same diagnostic tests and exams as they would in a traditional big-box hospital,” he says. “The unit is very progressive in its use of technology and relies on telehealth technology to connect patients to physician specialists at main hospital campuses when necessary.”

According to Terry Beasley, director of nursing at Coconut Point, the observation unit has nine private beds, each with a private bathroom.  The unit is adjacent to the emergency department.

“Through telemedicine services, our physicians and staff stay in constant communication with hospitalists and other physicians at our four acute-care hospitals,” Beasley says. “The observation unit is staffed by an advanced provider, a registered nurse, and an emergency department technician, along with our LHCP testing services to meet the needs of our patients.”

Beasley says that during the period Oct. 19-26, a total of five patients were admitted to the unit, three of whom were discharged. The two other patients were transferred for further assessment and treatment at an acute care facility. 

Alex Greenwood, vice president at Coconut Point, says 1,000 patients a month, on average, receive medical care at Coconut Point.

The 31-acre, state-of-the art medical campus and wellness village features Lee Physician Group clinics and diagnostics departments to support consultations from LPG doctor’s offices.

“If a patient comes to the emergency department and needs continued assessment, they may be moved to the observation unit,” Greenwood says. “Thanks to this Observation Unit, so many patients are able to stay in their community--where they prefer to stay--instead of having to visit an acute care hospital across town, farther away from their home.”

According to Greenwood, Lee Health Coconut Point continues to meet the vast majority of the community’s health care needs, more than 85 percent

“Along with making more services available to the community than ever before, we are delivering exceptional care that results in industry-leading patient experience scores,” Greenwood says. “We really want the patients to know we are here for them and want to ensure they get the care they need as close to home as possible.”

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