by James Coburn, Staff Writer

St. Anthony Hospital is excited about its new four-story St. Anthony Hospital Pavilion. When it opens in late May or early June of this year, the 110,000-square-foot facility will grace Oklahoma as the hospital’s latest expansion on the Oklahoma City hospital’s midtown campus.
It consists of a new emergency room to replace the existing ER. There are two new intensive care units and an intermediate care unit.
The Pavillion represents the crowning point of the 2014 plan. In 2003, Saints made the decision to stay in midtown by investing $220 million to improving and modernizing its campus. The results have been spectacular, adding to the renaissance of downtown Oklahoma City with development and growth.
St. Anthony will have an additional helipad on top of the hospital, said Darla Wilson, RN, director of critical care services.
“One thing very nice about this is you have your emergency room on the very first floor and you have your intermediate care unit,” Wilson said. “And then the third floor is both transitional care and ICU and the fourth floor is all ICU.”
It is designed to expedite health care with the consumer in mind. She said the new addition will reach out to the community in a patient friendly manner that is designed in a way to meet the flow of patients’ needs and that of the nursing staff and physicians.
The nursing staff was instrumental in the design of the complex as well.
“What is really nice is we are increasing bed capacity for the intensive care unit,” Wilson said. “We will be at 36 beds (from 32), but we are also adding a 12-bed transitional care unit that will take ICU patients and overflow step down while waiting for placement.”
Nurses are excited to prepare for work in a brand new facility, Wilson added. She said they have known more beds were needed for patient care and Saints responded.
Every other room will have a lift for the patients to offer good support for the patients and it also makes work easier for the nursing staff when moving them. Enhancements will also benefit the families of patients.
A floor to ceiling window will help orient patients to know day from night even if they are not directly facing it.
“It gets that light into the room,” Wilson said.
Families will have more places to sit and relax in their loved one’s rooms. A longer bench designed for comfort will allow them to recline. All this is possible as the physicians and the nursing staff will be able to reach the patients when needed.
Wilson and her husband moved to Oklahoma City in 1988 and she has been employed at St. Anthony ever since then.
“It has changed so much in this area. And the hospital has changed and it’s just beautiful,” Wilson said. “I love the staff. They are a wonderful staff who care about their patients. They care that they are giving the best exceptional care. They truly have that desire.”
“I think that is what you want from your staff. That is what their heart felt desire is.”
Several things about the new ER make Courtney Myers happy as a registered nurse and, manager of the ER. It will not have two sides of an emergency room as is evident in the current ER.
“Currently we have 15 beds on one side and an additional eight beds. So trying to operate two ERs in conjunction with each other is difficult from a management perspective,” Myers said. “So now we will all be under one roof, so that’s really nice.”
Patients will enjoy a brand new and beautiful lobby. What is especially nice is there will be a private area designated for the mental health population, she said. It will be more therapeutic for the mental health patients to be in during their crisis.
“We looked nationwide at what the premier facilities were doing for mental health patients in ERs and that’s how we designed that area for them,” she said. The ER is designed to model a fishbowl, she said, for better monitoring of activity. As a result, the nurses are also excited about moving into the new building.
“We’ve all seen the healthplexes being built, so the staff is excited to move into a new building as well,” said Myers, who has been with Saints for 18 years.
“It’s amazing to me because this will be the third ER I have had some involvement with. We always had plans that we would outgrow the ER, so to see us outgrow what we thought we would outgrow is pretty amazing to me.”