BMH: ‘Evolutionary changes’ in treatment

Thomas Wells | Buy at Construction will be ongoing for years for the new Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford.

Thomas Wells | Buy at
Construction will be ongoing for years for the new Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford.

By Errol Castens

Daily Journal Oxford Bureau

The new Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi is still years from its opening date, but hospital administrator Bill Henning said technology is far from standing still at the existing facility.

“A lot of what we are working on is evolutionary changes,” he said. “What’s the next way of doing something? We’re trying to stay on the cutting edge of medical care.”

Henning made his remarks Tuesday to a gathering hosted by Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Foundation.

The first technology he outlined is literally “cutting edge” – the Diamondback 360 Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System. The diamond-coated device grinds away hardened artery plaque that more traditional approaches don’t rectify.

“It reduces the need for open heart surgery and offers shorter hospital stays and much less risk than bypass surgery,” Henning said.

The Endo Wrist Stapler on the daVinci Robotic Surgical System allows hand-guided mechanical manipulations during colorectal and other abdominal surgeries while Direct Anterior Approach Hip Replacement uses a unique operating table to reduce side effects of hip surgery.

“It allows the surgeon to come at the hip from a different angle, with less muscle cutting and less surgical trauma,” Henning said, noting lower risks and faster recoveries.

The Endobronchial Ultrasound allows pulmonologists to direct instruments through an anesthetized patient’s airways for biopsy rather than going through the chest wall, providing same-day release from the hospital, Henning said.

The Baptist Diagnostic and Cancer Center will gain a linear accelerator, which more tightly focuses radiation on cancerous cells and spares more healthy ones, by next summer. The facility’s outpatient chemotherapy center capacity will also be expanded from eight patients to 20.

Henning said the new hospital will offer the same 217 patient beds as the existing one because treatment is increasingly done on an outpatient basis.

“Ninety percent of the people who come into the hospital never check into a patient’s room,” he said.

Site work on the new hospital, including roads and drainage systems, will continue through much of this year, with a planned opening in late 2017, Henning said.

“A lot of people don’t realize what a great medical staff you have here – a lot of quality physicians and specialties that you wouldn’t see in a lot of towns of 50,000,” he said.

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