|Hospital reaching out to organizations, businesses|
|Written by Chris Lee|
The first of a series of small meetings has taken place between East Phillips County Hospital District Board members and members of the community. Board member Sheryl Farnsworth reported on a recent presentation during the EPCHD board meeting Tuesday, April 26.
The Community Linkages Committee has put together short presentations used to notify and educate members of the community about what the hospital has to offer. The sessions are also used to find out and answer any questions from the public. Each of the five board members will personally meet with either businesses or organizations during the year to find out what people are talking about, what they want answered and anything else that can help educate the public.
Farnsworth said she met with Ag Power Equipment and it went very well.
One of the more common items discussed was the visibility of the emergency entrance at MMH. There was some concern that during a time of panic, the sign wouldn’t be seen and could be missed.
Board member Steve Young met with AARP and Lions Club and said everything went very well.
Another common question that came up referred to x-rays. People wanted to know why x-rays have to be sent out to be read even though the local doctors have read them. The reason being MMH doesn’t have a local radiologist available to read the x-rays.
Director of nursing Claudia Powell said it comes down to a liability issue. Even if the local doctors read an x-ray, there is a possibility something can be missed.
A final issue concerned costs of services offered at MMH. MMH administrator John Ayoub and board members said MMH’s costs are actually much lower than other hospitals in the area. This is something that was covered in the audit report given by Rick Steen of Eide Bailly at last week’s meeting. He noted the hospital should look at their pricing schedule.
Administrator reports activity
Ayoub updated board members on the progress of physician recruitment. He said they met with a family practice physician in early April and had an excellent experience. He also mentioned they were planning to meet with another second-year physician last week.
The second physician comes from a smaller setting and is familiar with smaller communities and small-town living. Ayoub noted they were really excited about getting the chance to meet with this physician because the candidate practices family practice, OB as well as cesarean sections.
Ayoub said the first ear, nose and throat clinic was held April 20 and was received very well. Three doctors from Denver will take turns coming to MMH to offer the clinic. Ayoub said it was full and the doctors really enjoyed the staff.
The administrator also noted ophthalmologist Dr. J. Kevin Belville is scheduled to come May 11 and his schedule is already full. Ayoub said there are many times when an organization works for months to get a specialist’s schedule full and it is great to see Belville’s full already.
Also under personnel, Ayoub questioned the board about the possibility of hiring someone to serve in an information technology tech position. It was determined the position would be helpful because as of now, an IT person visits once a week from Banner Health.
With the increasing technology, the hospital feels it would be a great benefit to have an in-house IT person to take care of any issues that arise. Board members agreed to allow Ayoub to search for someone to fill the position.
Ayoub said he has been working to get a taskforce together to discuss the “grow our own doctor” plan and see where they want to start.
The administrator also said they have signed a contract for electronic medical records for the hospital and are in the process of purchasing the equipment. He said MMH will be the owners of the hardware but it will be housed off site.
The clinic had another successful process mapping meeting. They also brought members of Colorado Rural Health Center to conduct a cycle time analysis of the clinic.
The analysis looked at how much time patients spent in the waiting room and how much time in direct contact with nurses or providers. Ayoub said the clinic is right where it needs to be with the ratio of productive time and visit time.
The analysis found however that patients are still at the clinic too long even though the ratios were good. They are continuing to do process mapping to get the total number of minutes down. Ayoub said the report provided them with a number of good ideas to help minimize times.
In other business April 26, board members:
—held a 32-minute executive session for determining positions relative to matters subject to negotiations.
—received the audit report from Steen of Eide Bailly, LLP.
—approved credentialing for Keith Spellman, Eric Hoyer and Gary Kliewer.