NORMAN — The Norman Regional HealthPlex has received a good report at its nine month checkup, according to Daryle Voss, Norman Regional Health System vice president and chief administrative officer.
“We feel pretty good about it,” Voss said.
Norman Regional Health System’s newest hospital opened to patients in October 2009. It’s situated on the west side of Interstate 35 at the Tecumseh Road exit.
Voss said for the most part, he hears positive feedback from the public. Doctors and patients like the new venue.
“It’s met all our of expectations,” he said. “Constantly, wherever I go, they tell me they had a good stay and enjoyed the newness.”
HealthPlex physicians treat patients in cardiovascular, neurology, orthopedics and spine and women’s and children’s health departments.
Voss said the HealthPlex has undergone a few modifications since it welcomed patients almost a year ago.
“All in all, we’re pleased with the overall design and layout of the building,” he said.
Last year, Voss said administrators took approaches from the book “If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently” by Fred Lee when deciding how to design and run the HealthPlex.
The philosophy is working, Voss said. Patients support the hotel atmosphere.
“People like that the rooms are spacious. Everybody loves being in a new building,” he said.
At the HealthPlex, patients and visitors don’t share elevator rides. Also, visitors must check in at a security entrance before they’re allowed to visit patients in their rooms.
Patients also are treated to room service.
Voss said that idea has been well received. The staff continues to update the menu and tweak the ordering process.
“It’s a pretty sophisticated program,” he said. “We’re not where we want to be yet.”
Voss said from the volume standpoint, the hospital has grown in orthopedic surgical cases.
“They’re up 12 percent this year over last year,” he said. “That’s a really good stamp on growth.”
Voss said the health system’s total joint replacement program was certified by the Joint Commission. Orthopedics isn’t the only area where business is increasing.
“Lab, X-rays and outpatients registrations continue to grow every month,” he said.
Voss said about 34 patients are treated each day at the Chest Pain Center. That number has doubled since October.
“We opened with about 15 a day. As a system, our ER visits at the three campuses are up 6 percent over the last year as well,” he said.
Orthopedic and cardiovascular cases are up, but the hospital is seeing a downward trend in one area: elective procedures.
Voss blames that on the economy.
“The recession still continues,” he said. “Consumers are still being frugal with health care dollars.”
Voss said patients are deferring elective surgeries. People have put those type of procedures on hold.
As the HealthPlex approaches its one-year mark, administrators are dealing with staffing levels.
“We’ve had to send more staff from other campuses here to the HealthPlex and also re-deploy staff members to the Porter campus,” Voss said.
He said staff members also would like to cut down on interpatient transfers. That happens when a patient arrives at one NRHS hospital but needs proper treatment at another.
Voss said EMSStat paramedics have done an outstanding job accommodating NRHS.
“We will never be able to eliminate intercampus transfers,” he said.
Since October, doctors have admitted 4,000 patients, Voss said. Physicians have performed 21,000 outpatient procedures and 3,000 surgeries, he said.
“The other thing we’re excited about is the robotical surgical program,” he said.
Last month, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority unanimously voted to lease the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.
“We plan to promote that to the patient population,” Voss said.
Meghan McCormick 366-3539 email@example.com