Dan Bewley, News On 6
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -- The Veteran's Hospital in Muskogee is celebrating a newly remodeled surgery suite. The hospital just finished nearly a year-and-a-half project to improve veteran's health care.
It has been 60 years since the surgery wing of the VA hospital has been remodeled. The hospital's chief of surgery says this new project will help everyone; doctors, nurses, and patients.
Dr. James Smith is proud of the changes to the VA Hospital in Muskogee.
"It's terrific news, I think the veterans here are really going to benefit from this," Dr. Smith said.
Fifteen months of work and $3.2 million went into remodeling the hospital's surgery suite. It's the same size as before, with five operating rooms, but hospital officials say it takes better advantage of the space, updates the technology, and makes for a more cozy environment.
The Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center serves more than 45,000 veterans in 25 eastern Oklahoma counties. The hospital used mobile surgical trailers while the work was being done, the same kind used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Doctors and nurses say it's some simple things that will improve care in the new surgery wing. For example, each room is dedicated to performing specific surgeries and the equipment no longer needs to be moved from room to room.
"Everything that you see here on this tower previously had to be on its own piece of equipment. So by getting it up and out of the way it makes it easier and safer for the staff to maneuver around in the room," said Pat Huber, Nurse Manager.
Before the remodel, doctors here were able to perform 5 or 6 surgeries per day, per room. But now because of the increased room size and improved workflow, they expect those numbers to rise.
The staff says the new surgery suite puts the hospital in elite company which will go a long way to taking care of our veterans.
"We are going to be able to provide our veterans with everything that they'd be able to get, pretty much, at any other hospital and probably better," Dr. Smith said.
The hospital has more plans for improvement in the future, including a new facility that will allow it to perform MRI's.