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Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi building the future of healthcare

By Callie Daniels Bryant

After two years of construction, Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi will debut its newly-constructed facility that is 513,000 square feet with additional 80,000 square feet of medical offices by fall of 2017.

Located off South Lamar, the new five-story facility is 63,000 square feet larger than its current facility, offering all private rooms for patients.

In preparation, Baptist Hospital staff has been meeting since this past January to discuss how to streamline the relocation of hospital’s current patients and equipment to the new facility.

“While the design and construction phases of building a new hospital are critical, the transition phase is just as important,” said Bill Henning, CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi.

“With so many details to be addressed, it takes staff from all departments of the hospital to fine tune the process so that the transition goes smoothly,” he said. “With the guidance of our planning and transition consultants and the dedication of our hospital staff, we feel certain we will have gone through every exercise and talked through every detail by the time we move to make this transition a success. “

The hospital is working with Covalus, formerly Balfour Resource Group, to guide the staff through the transition planning and will stay with the hospital on November 25, 2017 for the patient transportation to the new facility.

Baptist Memorial Hospital’s assistant administrator, Peyton Warrington, said, “This company helped our sister hospital in Jonesboro, Arkansas relocate two years ago.”

Since February 2016 three 15-member committees have been meeting once monthly and will meet twice monthly beginning January 2017. These three committees focus on building loads, staff orientation and patient relocation.

The building committee focuses on how the hospital staff will install all of the new and relocated equipment and furnishings. For relocated equipment, the group is factoring into their origin and destination, transportation and dock space as well as the timing of when the contractors will need them and when the hospital can release the equipment.

The staff orientation committee focuses on ensuring all hospital employees and physicians know the new locations of the equipment as well as overseeing their training for the new equipment and building.

Lastly but most important of all, the patient relocation committee focuses on the actual patient move that Warrington estimates will require from eight to 10 hours.

“We have identified and will contract with additional ambulances and transport services to assist in transporting critical patients via ambulance and a wheelchair van for less critical patients,” Roberson said.

The patient relocation committee will see that a nurse is with each patient during the entire move from the time they leave the hospital to the time they are placed in their new room.

“We won’t know how many patients will be transported until closer to the actual move date, but we anticipate between 75 to 80 patients based on previous years’ census over Thanksgiving weekend,” Warrington said.

The patient committee has factored into the patients’ conditions and their needs during the relocation to determine whether they can go by the wheelchair van or an ambulance as well the patients’ origin and destination between the two hospitals. The committee will decide on any key staff member who will accompany the patients.

“The goal of patient move team is to plan a move that incorporates safety, efficiency and comfort for all our patients,” said Mark Ottens, Chief Nursing Officer of Baptist North Mississippi

The new hospital will have 217 beds as well as upgraded medical and surgical services. Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Memphis estimated the hospital’s economic impact at over $241.2 million with provision of 2,141 full-time and part-time jobs. The expansion may increase the hospital’s economic impact for the city and Lafayette County as well as providing access to quality medical services in north Mississippi.

“We are looking forward to sharing the new hospital with our community,” Henning said.

This story by freelance writer Callie Daniels appeared in our special publication Good Health.