May 6, 2009 Edition

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LMH receives FEMA check

The Board of Governors for Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Hall Nursing Center learned at its meeting on April 27 that LMH has received a small check from FEMA for some equipment that was damaged by the January ice storm.

It was discussed that receipt of this check should indicate that the facility should soon receive the next check, which is anticipated to be around $49,000.

Terry Lambert, Lawrence Health Services president, Junior Briner, vice president for Support Services, and Vanessa Wagner, chief financial officer for LMH, told the board that it had been a pleasure to work with Danny Max, the FEMA project manager assigned to the hospital's case and that he was extremely helpful.

New telemetry monitoring system

The board also learned that the new telemetry monitoring system has been installed and training was to take place on April 28 for the nursing staff and monitor techs.

Rosalind Casillas, director of nursing, said, "The new monitoring system that was installed has enabled both the ED and Med-Surg the ability to monitor each other's patients. Our roll away monitor will be used at the bedside on Med-Surg, during traumas, and used each Wednesday during GI day.

"The system is very user-friendly and in the future, we hope to purchase the software for the physicians to be able to monitor their patients from their office or at home. With the new system, we are able to offer continuity of care from the ER to Med-Surg."

Radiology Dept. Inspection held

The Arkansas Department of Health Radiation Division inspected the Radiology Department on April 27. The department, including equipment, policies and procedures, as well as staff, was found to be in full compliance with state rules and regulations. No deficiencies were noted.

H1N1 update

The board was briefed on the information the hospital has received on swine flu. LMH management is being briefed on a regular basis by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Hospital Association.

Debbie Tucker, RN, infection prevention nurse, is overseeing the readiness to deal with the potential outbreak.

The hospital has seen several cases of the influenza A but no "swine flu" at this time. Patients presenting to the hospital or Family Medical Clinic with flu-like symptoms are asked to wear a mask.

LMH receives recognition

Kim Williams, RN, quality/risk management director for LMH, was notified by the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care that LMH had met the criteria for three Quality Awards during their upcoming Quality Conference on May 19-20 in Hot Springs.

LMH has won the Innovator Award, Critical Access Hospital 2nd Place Most Improvement Performance Award and the Critical Access Hospital 2nd Place Validation Award.

Lambert and Darlene Johann, health information management director of Lawrence Memorial, will attend the conference along with Williams to accept the awards.

Lambert praised the physicians, pharmacists, nursing staff and other staff for the excellent teamwork needed to win these Quality Awards.

"We are proud of everyone for providing quality care, and we hope the community is proud as well," Lambert said.

Electronic health record

The board reviewed a timeline regarding President Barack Obama's Economic Stimulus Package as it relates to healthcare. The package encourages all hospitals and physicians' offices to implement an electronic health record.

It was reported that the federal government is using a "carrot and stick" approach. The healthcare community will be given financial incentives to install a computerized system starting in 2011. However, if the system is not operating according to their criteria by 2015, penalties will be applied by cutting Medicare payments.

It is estimated that an electronic health record system for LMH could cost approximately $2 million. Physicians are expected to receive $44,000 each to help offset the implementation costs at their offices. They will also face penalties if the implementation deadline is not met.

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