September 2, 2009 Edition

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LHNC remodel nearly complete

It was reported that renovations at Lawrence Hall Nursing Center are nearing completion at the Lawrence Health Services Board of Directors meeting on Aug. 24.

All of the wallpaper, throughout the facility has now been replaced. In addition, all of the new artwork has been hung. The new floor tile should be complete within two weeks, and the final stage will be waxing all the floors.

"Although the project is not fully complete, it is easy to see that the renovation is a wonderful improvement for the residents, visitors and staff," Terry Lambert, president of Lawrence Health Services, said. A Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event will be scheduled in the near future to showcase LHNC's new look.

Vanessa Wagner, chief financial officer, informed the board that LMH recorded a loss in July of $4,917, much better than the budgeted loss of $109,583. LHNC showed a profit of $71,009, so the overall operation had an income of $66,092.

Wagner said sales tax support helps Lawrence Health Services not only provide healthcare for the area but also provide approximately 330 full-time jobs.

"Without sales tax support, LMH would not be able to function," she said. "LMH currently receives a half-cent sales tax. Many county hospitals in the state receive a full cent to provide needed healthcare and jobs."

In other business:

  • the board approved the purchase of a new modern oven for the dietary department from Direct Supply, the lowest bid, in the amount of $5,045.77.

  • Sharon Clements, LHNC director of nursing, reported that both clinical and non-clinical quality assurance items were near or exceeded self-imposed targets.

  • Lambert reported that The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations surveyed the Home Medical Equipment Company for two days in August.

    "The surveyor indicated that she had surveyed about 250 agencies, and Home Medical Equipment was one of the top," he said. "The final report showed only three minor items for improvement, which were immediately implemented."

    An Accreditation Award letter is expected within days. Having Joint Commission Accreditation will allow the agency to continue providing services to Medicare patients.

  • Rosalind Casillas, LMH director of nursing, reported that the hospital has met its Core Measures criteria 100 percent since June of 2008 except for one quarter. She said that quarter the hospital was at 95.5% on one measurement for pneumonia due to a medication being delayed a few minutes.

    "The latest report from the State Peer Review organization still shows Lawrence Memorial ranked as number one in the state of Arkansas," Casillas said. She also reported that the healthcare-associated infections were far below the national rate.

  • it was noted that LMH's overall patient satisfaction score, based on patient surveys completed, was up to 90 percent from 85 percent in June. The satisfaction rating for the emergency department was 85 percent.

  • it was reported that the Foundation has unanimously voted to fund the renovation and furnishings for the first patient room for the Golden Jubilee Campaign. This campaign hopes to raise money to renovate and furnish all 25 patient rooms at the cost of $5,000 each. This first room will be used as a model to show potential donors.

  • the annual golf tournament date has been set for Oct. 17, with a rain date of Oct. 24 at the Walnut Ridge Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament fund healthcare scholarships for graduates of Lawrence County Schools.

  • Lambert reported that he would be attending a meeting with Rep. Marion Berry, hosted by St. Bernard's Regional Medical Center, on Aug. 28. The meeting was for healthcare leaders in the area to share issues and concerns with Berry.

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