by Bobby Anderson, RN, Staff Writer
For more than three decades, Paula Price, MPH, MSN, RN has worked for the Norman Regional Health System.
The vice president of strategy and growth has seen her hospital do a lot of great things but the recent week-long Fall Festival brought a smile to her face.
After all internal audits were completed and approved by the hospital board, Norman Regional announced the system had met or surpassed all of its operational goals for the previous fiscal year which ended June 30.
That not only meant a comfortable operating margin but an opportunity to reward all healers for reaching those goals.
“It was to thank them for all their hard work last year. We really had a successful year and worked very hard to make sure we met our quality, service and operational goals for the year,” Price said of the week-long festivities. “Because of that and how hard our employees worked we wanted to thank them in a different way.”
The week kicked off with the hospital bringing in local food trucks and parking them in front of each campus for both day and night shifts.
Every employee was treated to a free lunch or dinner. Gyros, barbeque and other items were available for employees to pick up free of charge with a drink and all the fixings.
“We had no idea (how busy we would be),” one vendor said while cooking made-to-order tacos as quickly as she could.
On Tuesday massage therapists were brought in and set up near the cafeterias. Employees were offered complimentary five-minute chair massages.
Hump day brought a car wash service to the hospital where employees could valet their cars and have them detailed during their shift.
Once their shift was over they were treated to a clean car for the ride home.
“We received a lot of emails and verbal thanks and appreciation that we did something different, something fun and novel for us,” Price said. “They really appreciate that we recognize how dedicated they are to patients, care and all the hard work they’ve done.”
“It’s been fun for both of us for the executive team as well as the hospital board.”
Prior to her current role, Price previously served as the Health System’s Director of Health Promotion and Community Relations for the past 20 years. Her healthcare experience includes nursing, public health, community relations, marketing and communications.
Free drinks were offered all day Thursday and then employees were given the freedom to wear any college apparel of their choice during their shift.
Fiscal year 2018 was a good one for the system – one of only a handful of municipally-owned hospitals in Oklahoma.
Price said the hospital saw nearly 17,000 admissions with 2,515 babies delivered. Some 270,000 outpatient registrations were logged as were more than 95,000 emergency department visits.
The system before more than 89,000 imaging exams, had 265,953 physician clinic visits and 243,417 physical therapy treatments.
More than 3,400 heart caths were performed.
EMSSTAT made more than 20,000 combined runs in the Norman and Moore services areas.
The hospital was able to provide more than half a million dollars in contributions to Norman Public Schools and make a community contributions in excess of $1.7 million.
The system was honored numerous times including:
* Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade “A” for both Norman Regional Hospital and Norman Regional Healthplex
* Women’s Choice Awards for Best Hospitals for Stroke Center and Bariatric Surgery
* American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Award EMS
* American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award
* Chest Pain Center accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care
* Certified Healthy Business Excellence for the 15th consecutive year
* Providing a virtual pediatrician for Norman Public Schools
* Proving health and wellness education to 16 schools in Moore and 17 schools in Norman.
Price said the results warranted more than just a thanks to employees. Gainsharing checks were also distributed by each department manager.
“It just reminds you of how important it is and what health care workers and professionals do on a daily basis,” Price said. “They’re so dedicated to their patients, to one another and to the health system because they know what we do is improve quality of life for people and help them heal.”
“When you see that in action and set goals that are a challenge but achievable, I had no doubt we would reach them because when we started down this journey … you could tell and feel we were going to achieve what we needed to to do for the year.”
“It’s so rewarding to see how hard everyone worked and then to appreciate them for that.”