The Norman Transcript

November 25, 2013

Norman hospital authority approves $2.3 million in capital equipment purchases

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The Norman Regional Hospital Authority approved $2.3 million in capital equipment purchases Monday.

Those purchases include $430,000 for storage and infrastructure upgrades for the information technology department.

“We spend more to keep the old than to get the new,” COO Greg Terrell said.

The new system will protect internet access and have automatic redundancy. Following the tornado, internet was down for hours, Terrell said

Electric Midas Rex sets for surgery will cost $52,00. The drill system is used in spine surgery, Terrell said. Surgeons have requested the replacement. The new equipment will use electric drills instead of pneumatic drills.

A canopy drive-through at the HealthPlex was destroyed by the storms this spring. That $104,000 expense will be covered by insurance, Terrell said.

The largest expense will be pharmacy equipment upgrades to be purchased from Carefusion for $1.7 million.

“This is a package bid,” said Dr. Darin Smith, director of Pharmacy Services and Performance Improvement.

The pharmacy’s system is automated, and the new components will replace obsolete equipment and will be more compatible with the rest of the system, Smith reported.

“We supply drugs to all of the campuses,” Smith said. The carousels help us pull (drugs) and do that in a very efficient way.”

CFO Ken Hopkins reported that October net revenue was $29 million, which is 4.1 percent above budget predictions of $27.8 million. October net revenue was $1.2 million favorable to the budget, he said, while adjusted discharges in October were 2,989 compared to a budget of 2,924 — 2.2 percent favorable.

Not unexpectedly, October operating expenses also exceeded budget predictions, coming in at $28.9 million, 4 percent above the $27.8 million anticipated.

Richie Splitt, chief administrator for the HealthPlex and Moore Medical, said the temporary emergency department and lab facilities going into place on the site of the former Moore Medical Center are on schedule to open Dec. 2, pending inspections this week.

In other hospital board news, Smith reported on performance updates and other quality assurance initiatives. Norman Regional Health System’s emergency department and urgent care facilities are following state recommendations for opioid painkillers, Smith said.

Oklahoma is ranked No. 1 for hydrocodone use, a statistic the state said should not be proud of, Smith said.

He reported that statistics indicate 71 percent of unintentional poisoning deaths involve prescription opioid pain killers. For that reason, new guidelines have been issued.

Emergency rooms will not:

· Prescribe long-acting opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl patches or methadone.

· Prescribe more than a short course of opioid painkillers — in most cases, three days.

· Refill lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions.

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