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by Brenda Grose
Another month of positive reports were presented to the Ringgold County Hospital Board of Trustees when they met for their regular monthly meeting, Monday, December 16.
Missy Walter led off with the financial report showing a profit of $11,375.00 for the month of November and a resulting $313,620.00 year-to-date. In line with the profitable numbers, there were 29 inpatient discharges, 69 skilled care days for the month (more than double the budgeted amount) 3 inpatient surgeries and 24 outpatient surgeries. Dr. Bruce Ricker, chief of staff weighed in on the number of admissions, noting the outbreak of RSV among the pediatric population added to the number of admissions.
In additional information shared from the accounting department, Walter stated a decision was made to stay with the accounting/auditing services of Seim Johnson. The possibility of making a change was discussed at the November meeting, but in light of recent employee changes within the accounting department, it was decided to enter into a five year contract with the firm. Board members noted their approval and satisfaction with the services received for several years with Seim Johnson.
Administrator Gordon Winkler gave the board an update on a printer replacement project underway. Infomax recently completed an evaluation assessing location and need of current printers and put together a proposal. New copiers will have a security badge. This new security feature allows information to be sent to a printer, including information with personal health information included in the printed material, but nothing is actually printed until the person printing is physically at the machine to receive the document. Infomax began changing out printers the first week in December. The new printer system will be standardized throughout the hospital with standard printer cartridges, eliminating the need for multiple printing supplies on hand for each different printer. Winkler said the new system will provide an estimated $20,000.00 savings to the hospital and reduces the number of printers from 42 to 30.
Winkler also reported on certifications requested for the existing helipad. Since the helipad was built, advancements in medical services prompted the request of helicopter services that all facilities have an FAA instrument flight rating certification. A proposal to obtain the certification was submitted by the hospital in March of this year and the first week in December a response was received. A site visit for evaluation and inspection was set up and completed recently, however the expected certification has not yet been officially received.
Noting other changes on the horizon, Winkler advised the board he and the IT steering committee are currently looking for the direction and what decisions should be made regarding upgrading/changing providers and/or software for electronic healthcare record keeping. Of particular interest is finding a system capable of transmitting integrated information between the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic and RCH. Currently the clinic and hospital utilize two different systems which have limited ability to integrate information. Winkler added these were the best available options when electronic health records were introduced and required; however, new systems now include integration that would allow an easier flow of information between MAMC and RCH.
Winkler closed his report for the month informing the board of a possible physician recruit now a 3rd year resident. Dr. Katie Willcox, Dr. Ricker and Winkler had a conference call with the resident. A visit to both the clinic and hospital is likely to be scheduled in January.