by Bobby Anderson
A new healthcare delivery concept partnering Integris and Emerus Holdings, Inc. is popping up all over the metro.
And the move is creating more options for local nurses.
As part of its expansion initiative, Integris, the state’s largest nonprofit health care system, entered into a joint venture partnership with Emerus, the nation’s first and largest operator of micro-hospitals, to build and manage four new community hospitals.
“Oklahomans have told us they want quicker, more convenient medical care without compromising quality or safety,” said Timothy Pehrson, president and chief executive officer at Integris. “These community hospitals allow us to do just that, bring high-quality care closer to home for many of the residents we serve.”
In February, Integris Community Hospital at Council Crossing, 9417 N. Council Road., opened followed by Integris Moore Community Hospital at 1401 SW 34th St. at the end of the month.
In March, Integris Del City Community Hospital, 4801 SE 15th St, began accepting patients.
Later in May, the Integris OKC West Community Hospital at 300 S. Rockwell Ave., will open.
Emerus Holdings Inc., is the nation’s first and largest operator of these small-format facilities and promises the new sites will bring a transformative concept of health care to Central Oklahoma.
Emerus Chief Executive Officer Craig Goguen said the company is honored to partner with INTEGRIS, an award-winning, highly respected health system brand, as it expands its footprint throughout central Oklahoma.
“Our transformative concept of health care allows great health systems like Integris to expand its reach into the community to provide a variety of patient services that are fast, convenient and economical,” Goguen said.
Christopher McAuliffe, BSN, MBA, RN, CAPA is the Emerus market chief nursing officer and says the new concept will bring options for both consumers and health care workers.
“In addition to serving areas considered underserved in their healthcare needs, the small-scale, fully licensed inpatient hospital is open 24 hours, seven days a week,” McAuliffe said. “It is conveniently located in communities where patients live, work and play, providing them with quick and easy access when they have emergency medical needs. If the patient requires additional specialty services, working with our partner, INTEGRIS Health, we can quickly access appropriate services and make transfers, as needed.”
McAuliffe said the concept is using the same electronic medical record system used by Integris.
The small-scale inpatient hospital provides many efficiencies resulting from its smaller footprint. Parking is ample and accessible, compared to the large hospital setting.
“There are several resources, from a clinical standpoint, that improve quality of care,” McAuliffe said. “We have a CT/X-ray room dedicated specifically to our patients. We do not do any outpatient diagnostics, leaving the RT to focus only on those patients who come through the ED or an ordered inpatient test.
“We also have staff cross-trained to do many different roles. All clinical staff, RT, ED Tech and Nursing staff are thoroughly trained in our lab. This allows us to quickly complete a lab order, from start to finish, without having to wait on the tube system or on another department in a remote location to complete.”
McAuliffe stressed that the hospitals will operate through a teamwork concept that has Emerus numerous awards including the Guardian of Excellence Award for Superior Patient Experience from 2013 to 2017.
These new community hospitals will serve a variety of patient needs including emergency medical care, inpatient care and other comprehensive health services. While the ancillary services vary, each community hospital has a set of core services including the emergency department, pharmacy, lab and imaging.
The rest of the services depend on the needs of the community, but common examples include primary care, dietary services, women’s services and low-acuity outpatient surgeries. The community hospitals offer:
* Health system integration — allowing for care coordination, consultation and seamless transition across the care continuum
* Fully licensed as a hospital and subject to all hospital conditions of participation and regulatory requirements
*Emergency-trained physicians and outpatient ambulatory clinical services on site — ensuring patients receive the highest quality care, when they need it
* Inpatient bed capacity — allowing patients to stay closer to home when lower level admissions/recoveries are needed
* All patients accepted without regard to insurance or ability to pay, including Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare
* Community-based hospitals open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – offering ease of access to our patients
“The joint venture with Integris greatly benefits patients,” McAuliffe said. “In the metro, several of the Integris facilities have been experiencing large volumes of patients, resulting in some challenges. Our 32 additional inpatient beds allow Integris the opportunity to have additional clinical resources.
“The 32 additional ED beds help reduce the strain on the often overcrowded Emergency Rooms Integris frequently experiences.”