Allegheny Health Network’s newest hospital making difference in community that needed one

WEXFORD, Pa. — It’s not even a month old yet, but AHN’s new hospital in Wexford is making a difference in a community that didn’t have a hospital before.

AHN Wexford Hospital President Dr. Allan Klapper gave Channel 11′s Lisa Sylvester a personal tour to get a closer look at the setup and some of the different features inside.

Walking down the halls of the ER, the hospital is going full steam ahead after its grand opening on September 30.

“Whether it’s a mom who is in labor, or a patient having a stroke, seconds and minutes really matter,” said Dr. Klapper. “If we can get to the patient sooner, in many cases, it’s a much better outcome.”

The ER has 24 beds with more space, special care for pediatric patients and a setup to get patients registered and triaged at the ER bed.

“It’s taking about two minutes for patients to get to the bed from the time they come into the ER,” said Klapper.  “And it’s taking about 10 minutes from the time they walk in the door to being seen by a physician.”

Dr. Klapper added that after the patient is evaluated, they can get any specialty care quickly because of the way the hospital is laid out.

“Imaging is right here. Lab is right here.  And then the elevators are right here too. So, everything is really close together. It’s just one floor up,” Klapper said. “So, if the patient comes in and needs cardiac catheterization, the transport elevators are in the ER and you’re one flight up. The cath lab is right outside the elevators. So, it’s very close and very convenient.”

AHN started designing the Wexford Hospital four years ago, well before the COVID-19 pandemic. But it opened at a time when hospital beds are in need.

Dr. Klapper stressed every area was designed with special care and thoughtfulness.

Speaking about the tropical mural in the CT scan room, Dr. Klapper said, “if you need to have a CT scan and you’re anxious about going into a confined space, this definitely helps you out.”

The hospital also has a meditation room outside the family waiting area. For children, there is an Austin’s Playroom.

Dr. Klapper stressed everything was designed to be very soothing —like the sleeper sofa, recliner, wardrobe, and reading desk and light in the hospital rooms. There’s also an iPad, so patients can text their doctors.

“When you close those doors, you won’t hear our staff. It’s very very quiet. That was intentional,” Klapper said.

Another feature at the hospital is how staff can convert any room into a negative pressure room, or isolation room. That’s key for managing COVID-19 and patients with other infectious illnesses.