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Year One: Success

Connie Steiert | Vail Valley Medical Center

One year ago the Vail Valley Surgery Center in Edwards opened with high hopes. The vision was the beautiful new center would better serve the entire valley's medical needs offering excellent surgical treatments in a warm and friendly mid-valley location easily accessible from both ends of Eagle County.

The success was not certain though. Would the valley's residents agree with the vision?

Apparently so. Since its opening in June 2012 the Vail Valley Surgery Center – Edwards has performed more than 2419 cases spanning nine different surgical specialties. In its busiest month this past season the center performed nearly 300 cases.

“It is immensely rewarding to experience such a successful first year – it exceeded our expectation” said Laura Baxley Millard administrator of the Vail Valley Surgery Centers in Edwards and Vail. “We are so grateful to be able to provide world-class services to the residents of Eagle County and our guests.”

VVSC-Edwards is a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center (ASC) owned by the Vail Valley Medical Center and local surgeon investors. It is a place where patients can go to have outpatient surgeries and procedures by the area's best physicians with added privacy and luxury. Designed for short stays – up to 23 hours – the surgery center is proving popular for its excellent care cutting edge equipment and the opportunity to reduce costs by eliminating hospital stays. For instance ACL injuries are a common occurrence in a valley of hardcore skiers. Today's ACL patients typically go home the same day and can be done at an ASC. Many other surgeries and procedures fall in this same outpatient category and studies show there is no difference in surgical success whether these kinds of procedures are performed in a hospital or ASC.

“VVSC-Edwards has proven a benefit to patients and surgeons” states William Sterett medical director for Vail Valley Surgery Centers in Edwards and Vail and surgeon with Vail Summit Orthopaedics. “Patients can rest assured when they have surgery in Edwards they will receive the same excellent care they are grown accustomed to in Vail and can leave the same day to the comfort of their own home. As for surgeons  it is a please to work in this beautiful state-of-the-art facility.”

The services offered at VVSC-Edwards are varied and continue to grow. In the first 12 months 24 different physicians performed procedures at the facility. In addition to orthopaedic and general surgery procedures performed included gastrointestinal pain podiatry urology plastic procedures and ear nose and throat.

VVSC's staff is also proud of their low infection rates. The surgical site infection rate at the Edwards facility is just 0.12 percent – less than 1/10th the National Average.

The success of VVSC-Edwards this first year is also told in its diverse clientele. Some 91 percent of patients treated in the Ambulatory Surgery Center since opening have been from Colorado but patients have also come from 45 different states and 19 patients were from out of the country.

“It was a very gratifying experience to be a part of this project through the planning building and opening process” said Jean Ellis director of Clinical Operations. “Being a part of the team that delivers the excellent patient outcomes we are seeing every day continues to be extremely rewarding.”

"Patients from around the globe and from the Vail Valley alike have raved about the facilities and the care they have received at the new Edwards Surgery Center" said Peter Millett MD MSc and surgeon with The Steadman Clinic. “This really is a 5-star center of excellence.”