By Craig Day, The News On 6

MUSKOGEE, OK -- An area hospital is getting national attention for its environmentally friendly construction.

Muskogee Community Hospital showed off its new medical center in an open house Friday.

After 18 months of construction, the doctor-owned hospital is almost ready to begin serving patients.

"It's just taking care of the patient," said Mark Roberts, Muskogee Community Hospital president. "We feel there's been a void in this town and these guys are putting their money where their mouth is and say we're going to make it different."

The four-story hospital is 100,000 square feet and has 45 private rooms. It is one of the greenest hospitals in the country.

"We are going to take health care to a new level," Roberts said.

The hospital's president says it is the first health care facility in the nation to get an energy star award from the EPA and Department of Energy.

The steel structure, carpet, flooring and furniture are made from recycled materials. Environmentally friendly paint was used on walls.

It also has efficient lighting in rooms, waiting areas and the operating room.

The hospital is going almost completely digital. Officials want to be as paperless as possible, replacing notepads with digital electronic tablets, which is good for the environment and also gives doctors and nurses more time to spend with patients.

With a geothermal heating and cooling system and other energy-saving measures, the hospital is expected to be 24 percent more efficient than a regular hospital.

"When you are saving money there, that allows you to get a better product or lower cost for your customer, your patient, and it allows you to do the right thing for the country," Roberts said.

The green hospital was more expensive to build, but savings will make up for that.

Once state inspections are finished, the hospital is expected to open to patients in early March.