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OSAGE | On Thursday, Jan. 24, area business people and toured the ongoing construction and remodeling projects at the Mitchell County Regional Health Center in Osage.

Sam Taets, Senior Director of Process Excellence, who has been the ongoing liaison between hospital staff and contractors during the project, provided attendees with a tour of both work in progress and finished areas. She also explained the reasoning behind the facility’s layout.

“One thing we want is to provide our patients with private areas,” Teats said.

Throughout the structure, spaces have been built so patient and staff conversations can be held in private.

“We have established areas where nurses can have private conferences with patients, away from the public,” she said.

In addition to an increase in privacy throughout, Taets said the facility is providing a smooth flow for patients. The one registration process, where patients are entered into the clinic and hospital systems, will reduce repetitive questions and communications.

The facility’s layout also moves patients smoothly in one direction through testing and other examinations, without having to back track. Physician’s offices are now more accessible to emergency and hospitalized patients.

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Taets said security was another issue addressed in the planning.

“To get to the upper floors, you need a badge to operate the elevator,” she said. "You can’t go anywhere without a badge.”

While touring the remodeled and functioning emergency check-in area, Taets said a glass enclosed desk provides security and sound-proofing for medical staff when dealing with emergencies.

Shelly Russell, CEO, conducted a tour of the heated heliport. The structure which is three stories high was designed with a surrounding wire grate and outer catch area for the safety of those working with outgoing patients.

“This was the only area on the facility that could have supported the helipad, and the only area that met Federal Aviation Administration guidelines,” Russell said. “We also built this here so we could provide a close, indoor area for the patients.”

While some areas of the facility’s remodeling and construction projects are finished, more areas slated to be completed by the end of February, will a full completion date is set for May.

Kara Naig, director of public relations, said $600,000 of the $2 million project had already been raised.

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