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OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/18/13) –After seven years of planning, building, and developing, the dream of a new hospital complex in Owensboro is about to be realized.

The new Owensboro Health facility, measuring approximately 750,000 square feet, offers a more concise layout than the existing hospital in just about every facet of service offered.

During a recent tour of the facility on Pleasant Valley Rd., Owensboro Health spokesperson Gordon Wilkerson told SurfKY that on each floor of the new hospital, patient services were set up to match corresponding physicians’ offices to help cut down on the response time in the event of an emergency situation..

“When treating trauma patients, minutes count – (being able to respond faster) can make a big difference in patients’ outcome. This is a safer, up-to-date facility, and one we can expand and grow with.”

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Wilkerson said the adjacency of specialists’ offices to the corresponding hospital services aren’t the only area of improvement in the newly constructed hospital. Other upgrades include larger patient rooms (about one-third larger than the patient rooms at the Triplett St. hospital location), changes in the way nurses can monitor and stock patients’ rooms to make nursing services more efficient, and the placement of a helipad directly next to the emergency room are just a few of the changes the new hospital will offer to improve patient services.

Wilkerson said the existing hospital’s helipad on the rooftop of the building opposite the emergency room is less efficient when treating patients. As for the larger rooms, he pointed out that studies have shown people who have visitors tend to recover faster.

Owensboro Health is currently licensed for 477 beds, but won’t start off with that many at the new hospital. However, Wilkerson said, the facility has been constructed in a way to allow for adding one of three additional floors in the future.

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Other additions to the hospital’s new facility include a pharmacy service, a “hospitality suite,” and a five-story medical office adjacent to the hospital.

Of course, the hospital will be retaining its policy regarding tobacco. The new hospital will also be a “smoke-free campus,” meaning no smoking will be allowed anywhere on the hospital grounds. Wilkerson said while the idea isn’t mean as a “smoking cessation” program, hospital staff will be able to offer what he called a “nicotine replacement protocol” for patients to help alleviate the effects of withdrawal they might suffer during their stay.

The new hospital is set to officially open on June 1 with a “patient move” scheduled for that day.

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Dennis Beard
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Dennis Beard

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