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PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — A hospital in eastern Nebraska has completed a transition from being a full-service operation to one focused more heavily on ambulatory surgery.

The changes to Midlands Hospital in Papillion are part of a national move to provide more outpatient care as opposed to inpatient services, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

Midlands opened a $2.4 million ambulatory surgery center last year as part of a larger $4.4 million renovation. The center has a dozen private patient rooms, four operating rooms and one procedure room. Patients tend to stay at an ambulatory center less than 24 hours.

“We’re not going anywhere,” said Dr. Patricia Murdock-Langan, vice president of medical operations at Midlands and Lakeside Hospitals. “We’re here for the community. But we are changing. We want to make sure we’re on the forefront, not the back side.”

Officials decided to implement the shift in care after speaking with community leaders about the area’s needs, said Kevin Miller, president of CHI Health’s Midlands and Lakeside Hospitals. The goal is to provide valuable services without duplicating offerings that can be found elsewhere in the health system, he said.

Midlands has 28 inpatient beds and an emergency department. The hospital doesn’t have a constant staffing of specialists, but can handle about 80 percent of patients seeking help, Miller said. Serious cases are stabilized and transferred to other facilities.

“Anything you bring into our emergency department, we can handle,” Miller said. “Then we decide what’s your best appropriate care.”

The hospital also closed its intensive care unit in April because of declining usage. Miller said closing the unit made sense because it was expensive to maintain equipment and employ the necessary specialists. CUMC-Bergan Mercy, which is less than 10 miles away, has more than 50 ICU beds.

“We don’t need more beds in our metro area,” Miller said. “We have to maximize the resources we have.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald,