The Norman Transcript

August 18, 2013

Current Norman Regional Hospital system costly and confusing


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

First, I have to begin this letter by saying that Norman Regional Hospital, along with the Norman Fire Department, saved my life in December 2007, and I am grateful.

I do have a bone to pick with the current NRH system, however. In 2010, my husband exhibited the symptoms of a heart attack and we went to the NRH on Porter. This was the only hospital we were familiar with in Norman, having lived here for nearly 20 years.

My husband had, in fact, had a heart attack, but we were told he had to be transported to the new HealthPlex for treatment. This had to be done by ambulance at our expense. He was treated, a stent was placed in his right coronary artery and all was well.

Here is the deal. Last week he was suffering similar symptoms and in the wee hours of the morning we drove to the HealthPlex where he was admitted. After an angiogram it was determined that his heart was not the source of the problem. He was, however, still experiencing nausea and upper chest pain upon his release from the HealthPlex and was told to contact his primary care physician to coordinate other tests to determine whatever health problem he had.

So. Whatever happened to examining other health issues that are extremely evident while already in the hospital? Is the separation of specialties between the NRH campuses really that necessary? Instead of undergoing tests while at the HealthPlex, we had to wait 10 days for an ultrasound while my husband has spent multiple nights with nausea and vomiting at home.

Yes, we could go to the ER on the Porter campus, but that would cost us another co-pay and would have required repetition of many of the tests he had already undergone at the HealthPlex (this has happened to us also; information isn’t always transferred in spite of the computerized records they now use). So, we wait, uncomfortably.

In addition, I volunteered at the Porter campus for several weeks and can’t tell you how many frustrated and sad people I had to direct to the HealthPlex because the patients they came to see were there rather than at the Porter hospital.

I am sure that there is an ultimate plan to coordinate activities among all the NRH campuses, but I believe the current separation is costly to the patient and confusing to the community.

TERRY McHUGH

Norman