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Norton Community Hospital opens new surgical suite

staff report • Jan 9, 2013 at 10:11 AM

NORTON — Norton Community Hospital unveiled its state of the art, $12 million surgical suite on Wednesday, featuring cutting edge equipment and technology as well as a lot more room.

Surgeons began performing procedures in the new 17,000-square-foot suite on Wednesday. Each operating room is approximately 650 square feet, or about 70 percent larger than the hospital’s old operating rooms. Other upgrades include convenient, covered drop off and pickup exclusively for surgery patients, more privacy for registration and consultation, and recovery bay expansion from three to six beds.

The hospital also plans to place an electronic tracker board in the suite’s reception area to provide patient status updates to family and friends.

“You can go to much bigger hospitals and you won’t find anything better,” said Ann Fleming, vice president for Virginia Operations for Mountain States Health Alliance. NCH is a part of the MSHA system.

The suite includes new endoscopy and gastrointestinal lab areas, a new central sterile supply area, a new cystoscopy suite, an anesthesia work room and improved equipment storage.

The new operating rooms include high tech anesthesia monitoring equipment, LED surgical lighting, an integrated nurses’ station for real time monitoring of all systems during surgery, large audio and video wall screens for viewing by the surgical team, and fully integrated, ceiling mounted equipment mounted on a boom system.

“As one person told me, up here in Wise County we deserve 21st century technology, too,” said Mark Leonard, vice president and CEO of NCH. “Surgical techniques are much different in 2013 than they were in the 1970s when the old operating rooms were built.”

Fleming said facilities are good, but a great staff makes the health care facility even better.

“Bricks and mortar are great and this is absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “But really it is just a tool for our team members. You can have great facilities, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t have great people. And we do.”

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