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OWENSBORO, Ky. (6/3/13) – With its rapid, successful move of patients to the new facility on Pleasant Valley Saturday, Owensboro Health’s Triplett St. hospital complex is now closed, for the most part.

Some services, such as the facility’s cancer treatment center, educational programs for medical students, and primary care offices will remain. However, older portions of the structure are set to be razed over the next few months, said Jeff Barber, CEO of Owensboro Health.
 
As teams were winding down from a nine-hour day of moving patients – which began at 4 a.m. on Saturday, the day the new hospital opened its doors – Barber told SurfKY News the move was projected to have taken as many as 14 hours to complete, but that a great deal of practice and pre-planning helped speed the process up. He said some of the planning included visiting other hospitals where similar moves had taken place, thinking through the various equipment needs, and conducting drills.
 
“All the rehearsing has really paid off,” he said of the actual move.
 
Others on staff were also “elated” – as the two people directly in charge of the two command centers for the move put it – by how relatively simple the procedure went.
 
“We started planning a year ago with three mock moves,” said Vicki Stogsdill, the hospital’s vice-president of nursing and the person in charge of “patient command” for the facility on Saturday. “We set up our command center on May 7 with the last mock move.”
 
She said with each practice, the teams learned something new about the procedure.
 
“We tweaked the plan each time. We imagined everything that could go wrong,” she said.
 
When asked if anything happened they hadn’t imagined, Stogsdill said they only had one challenge but that it was handled quickly and wasn’t a problem. A critical care patient needed to be moved, and the critical care staff offered to move the patient themselves.
 
“I didn’t imagine it would go this well,” she said, noting that all of those scheduled to be discharged or moved had been, as of about 12:50 p.m. on Saturday.
 
Mike Mills, vice-president of ancillary services, called the performance of the teams who worked together to move patients “flawless.”
 
“We had a good process in place,” Mills said. “We’re elated that the staff performed flawlessly. It’s obvious that the training and preparation paid off.”
 
Jacqueline Jaskloski was among the very last patients to be moved. She said the transition went much quicker than she had anticipated. She said medical personnel helped prepare her for what to expect well in advance. 

“I was amazed at how smooth it went,” she said of the move. “They did a marvelous job.”

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In addition to the hospital’s own team of administrators, medical personnel, and volunteers, several other medical teams helped with the process. More than 20 ambulances from other agencies moved patients from the old hospital to the new, a spokesperson said on Saturday.
 
The word most used to describe the new hospital is “impressive,” for many different reasons, as the hospital’s CEO pointed out on Saturday.
 
Barber said the more than 750,000 square feet facility is “one of the safest places you could come as a patient,” and he credited the more than 3,000 staff members, doctors, and other administrative personnel who helped work to put the design of the facility together. He said at the Parrish Street campus, one of the biggest challenges the hospital dealt with was the structure itself and the layout of the facility. A visitor or patient couldn’t always get directly from one level of the hospital to another. The landing pad for the helicopter was considered a bit far away from certain medical departments. Small rooms sometimes made it difficult for nurses to work if there were many visitors, or for more than a couple of visitors to be in a patient’s room at one time. The new facility addressed all of those concerns.
 
The cost to construct the facility was $385 million, not including an adjoining medical office which Barber said has already been completely paid off through hospital funds. The construction project was paid for with bond money, and hospital administrators have said previously they are planning fundraisers to help with the cost.
 
Dennis Beard
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Dennis Beard

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