August 05, 2009 Edition

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LHS Board hears financial report

Vanessa Wagner, chief financial officer for Lawrence Health Services, informed members of the Board of Governors of Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Hall Nursing that while the hospital posted a loss for the year, LHS overall had a net income of $249,660 for the year.

"Like most hospitals, especially small or Critical Access Hospitals, Lawrence Memorial posted a net loss," Wagner reported at the board meeting on July 27. "The nursing home and the sales tax support made up the difference."

Wagner noted that hospitals like LMH could not survive without tax support, which she hopes will continue to be provided.

"The hospital is a valuable asset for the county, not only for the healthcare provided, but also as the largest employer," she said.

During the meeting, the board also authorized the purchase of eight additional "low profile" beds at a cost of $14,175.08.

"Low profile" beds are used to enhance patient safety for residents who have a greater potential for falls. These eight beds represent the final phase of the total bed replacement plan for the facility.

Dickie Smith, administrator of LHNC, reported that the facility is currently at capacity with a small waiting list, but noted that beds become available on a regular basis.

He said the renovation project, which includes new wallpaper, floor tiles and art work, is nearing completion. The facility plans to host a Chamber Business After Hours event in the near future.

In other business:

  • Sharon Clements, director of nurses for LHNC reported on the quality indicators noting that most measures were within their self-imposed targets and improving.

    It was reported that the new "30 day cycle fill" program for medication administration is working well. The local pharmacists have been very cooperative with this new program. The new software for computerized charting is currently being implemented.

  • Rosalind Casillas, director of nurses for LMH, reported that core measure compliance was at 100 percent compliance for almost a full year. In the second quarter of 2009, compliance was at 95.9 percent due to one antibiotic being given just outside the required timeframe.

    "Comparing to other facilities, large and small, we are most likely still in the number one spot," Casillas said. Casillas also reported that the hospital's overall patient satisfaction score was at 85 percent, based on surveys where LMH received a rating of all fours, the top score.

  • Junior Briner, vice president of support services, reported on LMH's participation in a recent statewide disaster drill. The drill was a full day and tested many of the resources available at the hospital. This was the first time that volunteers from the local Ham Radio Club assisted with communication.

    The board was also advised that Dr. Ted Lancaster has agreed to serve as incident command medical staff coordinator/liaison. He has received special emergency management training.

  • Terry Lambert, president of LHS, obtained approval to sign a contract for reference lab service with St. Bernard's Reference Lab. A reference lab is needed for tests that are ordered by local physicians but cannot be done in LMH's lab. LMH currently uses Quest for reference lab service.

    "Quality is not in question with either reference lab," Lambert said. "It came down to price, and St. Bernard's can save us a few thousand dollars each year based on current volumes."

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