May 27, 2009 Edition

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Youth to work at hospital

The Board of Governors for Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Hall Nursing Center learned at its May 18 meeting that LMH plans to work 17 individuals through the Workforce Development Summer Youth Program.

The program is for individuals between 16 and 24 years of age. They can usually work six weeks but due to the additional funding, some may work longer. Members of the program will work in various departments including housekeeping, dietary, maintenance and several offices.

It was also announced that Lawrence Memorial Hospital was chosen as one of three hospitals in the United States to receive a free day of patient safety consultation. This consultation was highlighted by a keynote address by Deborah Nadziam, PhD., a practice leader in patient safety services with Joint Commission, which is the accrediting agency for LMH.

Staff members from LMH, as well as other staff members from surrounding area hospitals, were invited to attend the address. Joint Commission Resources and Johnson & Johnson Corporation sponsored this consultation day in honor of National Nurses Week. Quality/Risk Manager, Kim Williams, RN, submitted the winning essay on behalf of LMH.

In other business, the board:

  • heard a report that Terry R. Lambert, president of LMH, attended the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care's Quality Conference along with Darlene Johann, health information management director, and Kim Williams, RN, Quality/Risk Management director. LMH received three awards: Most Improved Award ~ 2nd Place Critical Access Hospital, Validation Award ~ 2nd Place Critical Access Hospital and Innovator Award.

  • heard that LHS made money during the month of April. The improved inpatient census was the main contributing factor. Board Member Lila Floyd took the opportunity to thank the local medical staff for supporting the operation of the hospital and nursing home. "The hospital and nursing home provide a tremendous economic benefit to Lawrence County as well as life-saving care and compassion," Floyd said.

  • was presented with a draft of the 2009-10 operating, capital and cash flow budgets.

  • approved the use of the LaRussa Funds to pay for seven electronic Welch Allen Vital Sign monitors at a cost of $9,070.25. Dickie Smith, administrator of Lawrence Hall Nursing Center, explained that these monitors will improve patient care and safety and will be an aide to the staff who check vital signs hundreds of times each day.

  • was made aware that the health insurance for the employees is expected to increase by approximately nine percent, primarily because of utilization. Due to the tough economic times, the board voted to absorb the proposed increase. LHS will pay approximately $600,000 for employee health insurance during the next fiscal year. Other insurance costs for dental, vision and life are not expected to increase.

  • heard an update from Lambert on the hospital's search for an improved MRI service. The contract with the current vendor is expiring and the hospital hopes to upgrade the current equipment in an effort to provide better patient care and information for the medical staff, as well as decrease operational costs.

  • heard a report from Rosalind Casillas, director of nursing, that the hospital is still at 100 percent compliance rate for core measure criteria for congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infraction. She also noted that the healthcare acquired infection rate is very low and is well below the national threshold.

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