After a few quarter century aside and a $750 million hospital buyout, the College of Oklahoma Medical Heart and the physicians who employees it have merged into the identical entity, a transfer officers say will enhance affected person experiences and dedicate more cash to analysis.
OU and its School of Drugs consolidated on Tuesday with OU Medical Heart to create the state’s first absolutely built-in tutorial well being system, known as OU Well being.
The OU Well being system will higher serve Oklahoma’s well being outcomes, schooling and financial alternatives as a unified entrance, OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. stated Tuesday earlier than signing paperwork to finalize the merger.
“This second is so vital as a result of for the primary time we’re all coming collectively in a singular enterprise,” Harroz stated. “We’re capable of present affected person care throughout the continuum, not in 25 separate items, not with separate governing boards, not with separate methods, however one laser-focused on the very best remedy for our sufferers.”
The Oklahoma Metropolis hospital cut up from OU 26 years in the past when OU Medical Heart, on the point of chapter, was offered to a Nashville-based firm, Columbia HCA.
The corporate managed the hospital for twenty years till the not-for-profit OU Drugs Inc. purchased it again in 2018 for $750 million.
However, the school physicians nonetheless remained a separate entity from the hospital that staffed them, fracturing the well being system amongst 4 governing boards with competing methods.
Tuesday’s motion formally mixed the well being system, which staffs 11,000 workers and greater than 1,300 physicians and superior observe suppliers, underneath one 15-member governing board.
The board, known as the OU Well being Board of Administrators, could have one third of its members representing the college, a 3rd from the group at massive and a 3rd from the College Hospitals Authority and Belief.
OU Well being Sciences Heart officers say the merger will higher join sufferers within the emergency room or a major care physician’s workplace with specialists for extra superior remedy. Workflow, billing and affected person referrals could be streamlined underneath one employer and data system.
“By unifying the important thing parts of our well being system into one enterprise, we’re making a seamless expertise for sufferers between clinics, facilities and hospitals,” stated Dr. John Zubialde, govt dean of the OU School of Drugs.
Cash made on the hospital will probably be reinvested within the hospital system, fairly than going to shareholders of a for-profit firm, Harroz stated.
The merger will take impact Thursday, however the means of transitioning hundreds of employees members to the brand new OU Well being construction will proceed after the efficient date.
The college promised a further $3 million to boost compensation and advantages to employees after the consolidation is accomplished, Zubialde stated throughout an OU Board of Regents assembly final week.
Some at the Well being Sciences Heart stated the timeline of the merger was too fast.
A gaggle of medical doctors attended the board of regents assembly June 22, interesting for a slower method.
The consolidation is “as high-stakes a choice as it will possibly get for our Well being Sciences Heart and the folks of Oklahoma,” stated Dr. Kate Morris, a surgeon at Stephenson Most cancers Heart.
But, Morris stated she first heard of the potential merger three months in the past.
“To have a go-live date of July 1 when there are such a lot of particulars to iron out in such a big and sophisticated determination appeared very rushed to me,” Morris stated in public remark to the regents. “… I very respectfully request that we pause, that we’ll convey folks together with open dialogue and that we implement this the best manner, albeit slower however with consensus.”
The board of regents permitted the combination unanimously.
Hospital and college officers formally mixed the 2 entities on Tuesday at a signing ceremony in entrance of the Robert M. Hen Well being Sciences Library in Oklahoma Metropolis.
Residents of America’s healthiest states profit from equally aligned tutorial well being programs, Zubialde stated.
“It’s what Oklahoma has lengthy wanted to convey the highest-quality, research-driven well being care and innovation to our state,” he stated throughout the ceremony.
Reporter Nuria Martinez-Keel covers Ok-12 and better schooling all through the state of Oklahoma. Have a narrative concept for Nuria? She will be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @NuriaMKeel. Assist Nuria’s work and that of different Oklahoman journalists by buying a digital subscription as we speak at subscribe.oklahoman.com.