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Norman Regional Hospital
Norman Regional Hospital’s nationally recognized, award winning intensive care unit (ICU) is one of three hospitals in the country chosen to participate in a Palliative Care Research Project, supported by the National Institutes of Health. Palliative care is medical care and treatment designed to reduce the severity of symptoms. The primary goal is to reduce suffering and improve quality of life for patients who deal with serious and complex illnesses.
Judith Nelson, M.D., J.D., Professor of Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and an internationally recognized investigator of ICU palliative care and Joan Penrod, Ph.D., a Health Services Researcher with significant relevant expertise in quantitative methods will be at NRH August 28th and 29th for the project. While at Norman Regional they will survey patients and their families about the care they received at Norman Regional’s ICU.
“I am confident they will find Norman Regional Hospital to be an exceptional hospital,” stated employee Debra Ilaoa RN, ICU Palliative Care Research.
Norman Regional has a unique Intensivist program. A full time, board certified pulmonologist dedicated to the ICU is available to monitor and care for patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dr. Mark Camp, Dr. Rebecca Eagle, Dr. John Pirtle, and Dr. Aaron Boyd share these responsibilities.
Patients in ICU have very complicated care. They require constant supervision by healthcare professionals. When a patient’s condition changes the Intensivist, who is already at the hospital, is available to immediately assess the patient and make appropriate changes in their care plan. “Norman is one of the few facilities I’m aware of with in-house physicians monitoring our sickest patients 24 hours a day,” Dr. Camp stated.
The Intensivist program is also unique in how they handle ongoing patient care. At Norman Regional patient care is approached through coordinated clinical care. Each day a team of clinicians including the ICU charge nurse, a pharmacist, dietician, case manager, respiratory therapist, social worker and other highly trained clinical specialists round with the physician. They review, as a team, current patient conditions and what needs to be done to fine tune care. Rounding together allows the physician, real time, to hear the ongoing needs of the patient. Care decisions are made with the entire team in attendance hearing the same thing, at the same time.
“Our program is unbelievably unique. Having everyone round at one time allows you to focus on patient care. It also makes it easier for the family to ask questions with all specialists there at one time,” stated Dr. Boyd.
Patients hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit often are sicker than other patients, and therefore are more susceptible to developing complications. Providing superior care to these patients can reduce the likelihood for complications that could lengthen hospital stays.
“By applying evidence -based measures into a critical care patient’s plan of care, we are able to monitor and measure the overall rate of improvement in our patients. We see our patients as the ‘North Star’. The patient is the only thing that matters,” said Dr. Camp.
Norman Regional Health System has also been recognized by VHA Inc., a national health care alliance for providing excellent care to patients in the ICU. The VHA Transformation of the ICU Award for Clinical Excellence honors organizations that have distinguished themselves from other VHA members by meeting or exceeding national performance standards in specific clinical categories. The hospital was recently honored at VHA’s Transformation of the ICU Collaborative Conference in Chicago on April 2007.
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