May 14, 1999

New unit for general medicine patients opened in Round Wing

New unit for general medicine patients opened in Round Wing

The medicine patient care center recently opened a new unit for general medicine patients on the third floor of the Round Wing.

Originally a 28-bed double-occupancy unit, the Round Wing's third floor has been converted to 14 private rooms. The patient care manager is Patricia F. Covington, whose prior job was acting director of nursing at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.

The unit is designed to function without house staff. This seeming departure from Vanderbilt tradition is based squarely on the VUMC mission, explained Dr. Allen B. Kaiser, professor of Medicine and co-director of the general medicine patient care center.

"To achieve our patient care and academic goals with all their attendant financial requirements, we need to grow the patient base," Kaiser said. "However, our medical house staff is currently quite busy managing our existing inpatient population. They work at maximal allowable levels for postgraduate trainees. Thus, any growth in our patient base must occur without dedicated house staff support."

VUMC medicine patients who don't require traditional house staff coverage may be admitted to the Scoville Service, which is structured to directly support attending physicians who admit medicine patients to VUH.

The Scoville Service was named in memory of Dr. Addison B. Scoville Jr., a longtime Nashville physician and VUMC stalwart, who died in 1998.

The case manager for the Scoville Service, Marsha Kedigh, is available to help facilitate the work of attending physicians. At night these patients are covered by internal medicine fellows, board-eligible internists undergoing extended training at VUMC.