Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma State University Medical Center Looks at Remodeling Maternity Department

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma State University Medical Center Looks at Remodeling Maternity Department

Article excerpt

With its second-phase construction wrapping up and its parking garage project primed to finally start, Oklahoma State University Medical Center is contemplating a $2 million makeover of its maternity department.

The north Tulsa hospital uses separate locations for its labor and delivery and postpartum care areas, said Interim Chief Executive Diane G. Rafferty. The hospital hopes to remodel its existing 10- patient space to handle these functions in the same room, providing not only cosmetic improvements, but better work efficiencies and less stress on mother and child.

Rafferty said OSU Medical Center has received $1 million from Tulsa's Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation toward that estimated 13,200-square-foot project, which Facilities Director Glen Cherry hopes to complete by January 2014.

"It's just a better experience for mom," said Rafferty. "It's a product line of choice. We don't always choose when we break a bone, we don't always choose when we have a heart attack, but we have a lot of choices, women especially, where we deliver babies. So we really want to make it an attractive area."

Because of the bonding relationship women can form with their delivery sites, these improvements could translate into increased future visits to other hospital departments. Rafferty noted studies indicating the leading role women play in making family health care choices.

"It does kind of bond that relationship," she said.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Perry said this could increase maternity traffic 30 percent above the 600 patients OSU Medical Center sees annually.

"At least 30 percent," said Rafferty, noting their advantage with Oklahoma State University's medical school resident teaching program. "We have a lot to offer. It's just the plant and facilities have needed some spring cleaning and some upgrading."

Such efforts would parallel the $25 million-plus in renovations and equipment upgrades launched at that 249-bed downtown Tulsa hospital since the OSU Medical Center Trust acquired it in May 2009.

Within the last month, Tulsa contractor Flintco actually finished some final touches to emergency room and respiratory therapy department upgrades within OSU Medical Center's second round of construction, said Project Manager Kurtis Koenigsknecht. …

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