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St. Anthony Hospital

St. Anthony continues to grow with new options

Hospital maintains technological advancements

Posted

If you ask Bert Hargrave, it’s a good sign that his employees really like talking about their work. It means they’re enjoying what they do.

Which is what a boss wants when their employees are responsible for something as important as numerous hospitals’ laboratory work.

“We receive about 2,000 tubes a day for different kinds of testing,” Hargrave, who is the laboratory supervisor at St. Anthony Hospital, said. “We take the blood and other materials we have, and turn that into data.”

When St. Anthony opened in Lakewood a little over six years ago, it changed the city, bringing new employment and health care opportunities to the Union Boulevard corridor.

“It’s been amazing to see what has happened because of St. Anthony, which has become one of our largest private employers,” said Mayor Adam Paul. “There’s a whole new energy in the Union corridor, and they’ve been a great partner.”

Robert Smith, Lakewood’s economic development manager, agreed, and added one only need look at all the development on Union to see proof of St. Anthony’s impact.

“Medical businesses and practices like to be near major medical facilities like St. Anthony’s,” he said. “ Many of these types of businesses have located in the office buildings both on and near the campus. There are at least 60 medical offices on or within a half mile of the hospital.”

Ever since its opened, the facility has gone about growing and expanding its treatment options for those in need.

“We’re looking for ways to be more efficient and easy to use,” said Annette Kancilia, clinical nurse manager at the hospital’s new outpatient surgery center. “We’re streamlining processes at the hospital, while staying right across the street.”

A trip to the hospital’s lab shows the ways St. Anthony has always been looking to innovate, and the newly opened outpatient surgery center highlights its commitment to growth.

A lab for more than St. Anthony

A couple months ago, Hargrave decided it was time to share all the work done in the lab with the rest of the campus’ employees. So he started giving half-hour tours every Tuesday afternoon to any employee who wants to see the work they do.

“We wanted to improve relations between this department and the rest,” he explained. “People use us all the time, but I don’t think a lot of them know everything we do.”

St. Anthony’s lab not only does the bulk of the hospital’s own blood work, urine testing, pathology and more, but it also does it for all 17 Centura hospitals in Colorado and those in Kansas. It generates close to 1.5 million billable tests per fiscal year.

Technicians employ some of the latest and greatest technology to make sure everything is done quickly and properly. The lab has separate areas for blood work, chemistry, microbiology, urine analysis, and a blood bank. It is staffed 24 hours a day, Hargrave explained, and relies on constant communication to ensure employees are prepared for an emergency.

“It’s a nonstop process, sending coolers of the right kind of blood up when there’s a trauma,” said Marty Pack, who works in the blood bank. “There’s a lot of pride in knowing we’re helping to save someone’s life. I really like my job.”

Expanding to separate outpatient

The health care industry has seen a lot of change in recent years, and one is the increase of free standing outpatient services to cut down on costly visits to the emergency room. St. Anthony embraced the change by opening its only outpatient surgery center just across from the main hospital the week of Sept. 11.

“Our two medical buildings are right around 95 percent occupied, so this building frees up space from patients and physicians alike,” said Peter Powers, chief operating officer at St. Anthony. “Being a level one trauma center, it can get really busy in the operating rooms, so having this separate outpatient facility will benefit everyone.”

The facility will start out doing general, hand and non-cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery. By the end of the year, it will also provide sports medicine services.

“We have three operating rooms at the facility, which will allow us to focus on shorter cases, and healthier patients than those who have to go to the hospital,” said Kancilia. “You’re seeing more facilities like these, and it helps us to streamline what we’re doing.”

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