Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi opens Saturday in Oxford

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Years of planning and construction will culminate on Saturday when the new Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi opens in Oxford. The new hospital is designed to serve Lafayette County and 10 other counties in the BMH-NM service area for decades into the future.

The new facility will feature advanced technology like a hybrid operating room, which allows for less invasive procedures in areas including heart surgery, more room and technology in emergency services and is designed to provide better flow to patients and staff, among other amenities.

“We worked on flow, how to make the hospital more convenient for patients and families and more convenient for us,” said BHM-NM CEO and administrator Bill Henning. “We also built this facility to serve outpatients better. We have 100,000 interactions a year with patients, but only 8,000 are admitted overnight.

“In some ways, this is an outpatient facility with beds attached to it because we have designed this facility for today and into the future. People don’t stay in the hospital as long as they used to (after procedures).”

The BMH-NM move will take place at 5 a.m. on Saturday. A date picked as the weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally a slower time at the hospital since many physician offices are closed for the holiday. Hospital administrators also needed a fall Saturday moving date with no SEC football.

Ole Miss concludes its football season on Thanksgiving Day at Mississippi State, making Nov. 25 a good choice.

Patients checking into BMH-NM at 4:59 a.m. will be admitted into the current facility. The changeover will begin at precisely 5 a.m. on Saturday and any patients checking into the hospital at that time or after will be admitted to the new BMH-HM hospital at 1100 Belk Drive.

The patient move will begin at 5 a.m. Family members with patients will wait in a designated room while patients are set up in the new hospital. Officials anticipate the move concluding by 1 p.m. on Saturday, but don’t know exactly how long the move will take because it depends on how long it takes to get the last patient out of the current facility (any patients in a critical situation won’t be moved until it is safe).

“We will wait as long as it takes,” Henning said. “Patient care comes first.”

Once all patients are relocated the current BMH-NM facility will permanently close. The current hospital complex has been purchased by Ole Miss and the university will eventually renovate it the facility for future needs.

Baptist’s new 600-000-square-foot hospital stands five stories tall, offering expanded services, including:

• A larger emergency department

• Advanced technology

• Larger rooms for patients and their families.

“Saturday will be such an exciting day for our community,” said Henning. “I can’t wait until we begin treating patients in this wonderful new facility. Until then, we will make the move as easy as possible for everyone.”

While the move is taking place on Saturday, drivers are being encouraged to access the new hospital via Old Taylor Road to Belk Boulevard rather than using South Lamar.