by Bobby Anderson,
Christine Weigel, RN, arguably has one of the best nursing jobs in Oklahoma City.
Not only is she vice president of clinical services and system chief nurse officer for Community Hospital, but she recently opened the metro’s newest hospital.
Community Hospital North opened in early June and it’s already poised to be a high-volume facility patients are eager to utilize.
“I think we wanted patients to understand they are the center here and that they’ve got a nurse that is right there at the bedside,” Weigel said, taking a break from her busy schedule to offer a tour of the new facility. “We have an all-RN staff and truly all that was for the patient to be in the center of it all. That has made a huge difference in how it was designed. Everything was a touch that was easy for nursing which makes it that much easier for the patient.”
The look and the feel of the two-story facility is not only elegant but efficient. Rich wood flooring is complimented by large amounts of natural light.
“We really went for that high-tech but soft touch,” Weigel said. “We really wanted it to look more like a five-star hotel so it’s nice and comfortable. There’s a lot of high-technology and everything is integrated.”
Technology accents along the way all the way from the information screens in the front lobby to the advanced robots in the OR.
But it all blends seamlessly to give an atmosphere of a smaller, boutique hospital.
“Patients get to the point where they are already so anxious just when they come in the building so what we were trying to do is every piece of their experience was something that should be calming for them,” Weigel said. “Nothing should be frustrating. Nothing should be more tension to a patient. We want that quality of care that makes them get comfortable and feel comfortable in the environment.”
The hospital’s concierge service takes family and visitors directly to a patient’s room when it’s time. Patients are also tracked during every step of the way to allow both physicians and families to know at what stage and location they are in their procedure and recovery.
Family consultation rooms allow physicians and families to meet and discuss how a procedure went and what the next step in a patient’s recovery will be.
The patient rooms themselves are large and feature separate nooks for family members to pull out and sleep or check emails at the built-in desk. A curtain allows easy separation so family members can get sleep at night and not be woken by staff rounding.
“The patients are thrilled with the amount of room they’ve got,” Weigel said, noting each room has bedside computers for nursing.
Community Hospital’s north campus is located on the east side of the Broadway Extension, just north of Britton Rd in north Oklahoma City.
The Community Hospital north campus features 14 inpatient beds and eight operating suites, each equipped with the latest technology for orthopedic, plastic, pain management, ENT, endoscopic and general surgical procedures.
The expectation is that orthopedic and spine surgeries will account for much of the facility’s volume as well as pain management but Weigel says there is plenty of room for more general surgery.
“It’s more of a generalist type of facility even though in the past we’ve been more ortho-spine but I think it’s growing,” Weigel said. “We’re almost out of OR space already so the growth is just incredible.”
The hospital shares a license with the original 49-bed location in south Oklahoma City and Weigel said it compliments the existing facility in every way.
“The patient experience is the same. We’re very blessed with very high patient satisfaction,” Weigel said. “We’re beating Oklahoma City and we’re beating the nation. It’s not really an offshoot (location) but a world unto itself.”
Located right off of Broadway Extension, the new hospital offers easy access from north of Edmond to down south into Norman.
Weigel said some surgeons are drawing patients from as far away as Kansas. The addition of more younger surgeons specializing in shorter hospital times (one doing a total hip with a next day discharge) is already increasing word of mouth.
“The outcomes are incredible,” Weigel said. “Low to no infection rates which is huge and low complications … they’re doing a really good job.”
The hospital has recently earned several honors including a center of leadership distinction in pain control.
Weigel notes that some of the hospital’s post-operative successes can be attributed to mandatory education courses required before the patient even comes to the hospital.
“It’s all in advance,” Weigel said. “Ninety-nine percent of the time we get someone to come with them that’s going to be their caregiver so they understand the exercises and they know what the expectations are.”
The new facility is impressive but Weigel knows buildings don’t heal people.
“I don’t have to go looking for nurses or any staff,” Weigel said. “They come looking for us. We’ve got the knowledge that if we take really good care of our employees they take great care of our patients.”