The opening of the Cox South expansion was only the beginning of a new era that’s now underway. For Chief Hospital Officer Ron Prenger, a self-described “operations guy,” the real excitement lies in adapting to the space and perfecting the way we deliver care. “This expansion will help us take our nationally recognized services to another level,” he says. We sat down with Ron to get his thoughts on what comes next. Here’s what he had to say:
Our ultimate goal is to increase private beds. The new private rooms create an opportunity we haven’t had. We’ve been stretched to move patients quickly and appropriately to accommodate the needs in the current building with limited access to private beds.
A lot of time is spent moving patients – sometimes several times – to cohort by infection or by gender and to accommodate the needs of patients coming through the ER. Each time you move a patient, it requires nurse time, registration effort and work by Environmental Services.
More private beds means that will be less of a factor. Instead of spending energy on moving people around, we can put more focus on patient care.
Private rooms are good for our clinical care, too. We can create a more home-like, more patient-centered environment, which helps us take care of families as well as the patient.
Work is underway to convert the former NICU into a neuroradiology center. We want to support the neuroscience requirements for radiology and accommodate the patient flow.
The former Pediatrics unit on 700 West will get a remodel to give it a functional layout for a medical-surgical unit. The plan is to move oncology from 500 West to 700 West. Then we’ll turn 500 West into a telemetry unit. That’s one of our challenges: having enough space for telemetry. This will give us more options.
The second floor, which connects to the post-partum unit in the Dee Ann White Women’s and Children’s Hospital, will house overflow post-partum and gynecological procedure patients on 200 West. This will give us a strong consistency of services for women on that floor.
200 East will be a general med-surg unit to allow us to flex with volumes and accommodate as many private beds as possible as we work toward 100 percent private rooms.
The biggest challenge is logistics. We’re seeing the same number of patients, but we’re distributing them over a lot of geography. Those adjustments can be a challenge, but we’ve planned appropriately and now we can see how those plans function in practice and work on making it the best for our team and our patients.
We’re also working on the transition between the new and the existing construction. You get the same great care throughout Cox South, but we need to revamp the existing rooms and hallways as quickly as possible. We’ll be working on the existing tower to make sure patients and families have a positive perception of the entire facility.
A time of excitement
With our new resources, we’re taking one of the best medical staffs and best clinical staffs in southwest Missouri to the next level – so watch out!
The Jared Neuroscience Center includes a robust Parkinson’s clinic and we are developing an ALS clinic. The Jared Neuroscience Center gives us the opportunity to bring neurosurgeons, psychiatrists and neurologists closer together – they’ll build on their successes.
Meanwhile, having the women’s and children’s service line closer together will let us move faster and take bigger steps, creating more opportunities to provide better services for our patients.
This is an exciting time for our growth – hop on the train and enjoy the ride.