December 2, 2009 Edition

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LHS has good month

The Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Hall Nursing Center Board of Directors met on Nov. 23 and addressed issues pertaining to the hospital and nursing home, as well as the Lawrence Memorial Health Foundation.

Lawrence Health Services had a good month financially. The hospital saw a profit of $51,630, while the nursing home posted a gain of $50,069. As such, the year to date net loss stands at just over $4,000.

"Sales tax revenue is included, which shows that LMH is just like most other rural, public hospitals being dependent on tax support," President Terry Lambert said.


It was reported that quality indicators in the Lawrence Hall Nursing Center are near the self-imposed targets. One hundred percent of residents are participating in some type of activity, while 68 percent participate in organized group activities. In addition, 100 percent of the residents are visited by Social Services each month.

During this time of year, various types of infections are a major concern. However, with increased efforts by the staff, urinary tract infections and other infection rates were at target. The average census for the month was 166.

It was reported that all the residents that wanted a seasonal flu shot have been given one. All LHNC employees have also been given a seasonal flu shot as required by the Office of Long Term Care. The H1N1 flu shots will be offered as soon as they are available.

Dickie Smith, LHNC administrator, reported that the furniture for the new visiting room has been ordered and is expected to be delivered around the middle of December.

"The residents and family members are very excited about the resident and family visiting area that was approved by the Board last month," Smith said.

The Board approved a transfer from the LaRussa Fund for payment of this project. Members said they believe this project meets the criteria established by Mr. LaRussa since it would serve residents, as well as family members.


Lambert gave the quality and safety report for LMH. The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care Core Measures for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Pneumonia remain at 100 percent. There were no healthcare acquired infections reported during the last month.

The average length of stay in the skilled/rehabilitation (swing bed) area was 7.59 days, while the acute length of stay was 3.41 days. The overall patient satisfaction score was 83 percent for the facility.

Junior Briner, environmental safety officer, reported that the All Hazards Emergency Management Plan has been written and reviewed and will soon go to the medical staff for review and approval prior to coming to the board for final approval.

The fire alarms and speakers throughout the facility have been tested and repaired as needed so alarms can be heard in all areas. The cost was $4,788. The fire dampers have been inspected according to The Joint Commission standards. Needed repairs total $27,387.

Briner also reported that several administrative staff members attended ICS 300 and 400 National Incident Management System (NIMS) training classes. All members passed the test. With these classes, along with previous ones, LMH now qualifies to receive Emergency Management funds when available.


Lila Floyd, chairman of the Compliance Committee reported on recent monitoring and auditing activities. An in-depth review has been completed regarding billing and collections in the rehabilitation area, which includes physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy contracted with Therapy Providers of Arkansas. It was noted that LMH is no longer charging patients for hot or cold packs.

Another audit of neurology services was performed. These audits were done by Kathy Atchley, compliance coordinator. Larry Davis, compliance officer at St. Bernards, continues to serve as LMH's compliance officer and services the hospital's hotline reporting program.

The board reviewed numerous quality indicators, which were presented by Kim Williams, quality risk manager.

A more in-depth discussion was held regarding the hospital's readmission rate. "LMH is pleased with a rate of 2.25 percent," Williams said. In the proposed Healthcare Reform bills, hospitals can be penalized financially for readmissions within 30 days.

The hospital industry is lobbying for penalties to apply only to inappropriate readmissions, as opposed to those that are unavoidable or no fault of the facility. Many times readmissions are required due to a noncompliant patient.


Wilma Jones, chairman of the Lawrence Memorial Health Foundation, reported that they had received a Blue and You Foundation Grant for $42,270.

The funds from this grant will be used to present obesity programs in all of the Lawrence County schools. The goal of the project is to reduce obesity levels through counseling regarding physical activity and nutrition.

It was reported that the recent Foundation Golf Tournament has yielded approximately $10,000 in net proceeds, which will be used for the patient room renovation project.

An update was given on the capital fund-raising campaign that is being co-chaired by Danny Gibson and Lila Floyd. Members of the board, as well as the foundation board, have personally committed to the effort.

Floyd reminded everyone about the first Christmas Gala to be held on Friday at the Lawrence County Meeting Room from 7-11 p.m. A limited amount of tickets will be sold for the event.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of a processor for the endoscopy equipment for $6,250, insurance for the employed physician for $6,651 and the cost for employee Christmas gifts and directors' and officers' insurance coverage.

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