February 03, 2010 Edition

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Staudt joins LHS
Board of Governors

Bonita Staudt (right), newly-appointed member of the Lawrence Health Service Board of Governors, visits with Linda Smith, assistant director of nursing at Lawrence Hall Nursing Center, at a Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event at LHNC on Thursday.
TD Photo ~ Shantelle Prater

The first order of business at the Jan. 25 meeting of the Lawrence Health Services Board of Governors was to welcome a new member to the board.

Chairman Bill Maxwell announced that Bonita Staudt is the newest member appointed by the Lawrence County Quorum Court.

Much business was conducted during Staudt's first meeting.

Lawrence Hall Nursing Center

Sharon Clements, LHNC director of nursing, reviewed the clinical and nonclinical quality assurance items. The goals set are self-imposed and represent a four percent improvement over last year. Most indicators were at target.

It was noted that 100 percent of the residents participated in some type of activity, either group or in-room. One indicator slightly off target was the infection rate, which is to be expected this time of year, since the onset of flu season.

Dr. Ted Lancaster, medical director, reported that no unusual occurrences or quality issues were reported during the Resident and Quality Assurance Meeting.

LHS President Terry Lambert thanked Dr. Lancaster for his work with the medical staff, nursing staff and consultant pharmacist in an effort to reduce the extensive list of over the counter drugs. Having a more manageable inventory will be less confusing for the staff.

Dickie Smith, LHNC administrator, reported that the average daily resident count was 166 for December, down one from November. LHNC is licensed for 189 beds but has fewer patients due to the demand for private rooms.

Smith also shared some candid shots of the resident Christmas party that was held on Dec. 22. Every resident received a family or facility gift.

The new resident and family visiting area has been furnished and is now complete. The room was showcased at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours event on Jan. 27.

LHNC's financial report was also shared. During November, the net profit was $43,490, while December totaled $53,028. The purchase of a Tom Cat Auto Floor Scrubber for $7,800 was approved.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Rosalind Casillas, director of nursing for LMH, presented the Quality and Safety report. She noted that the hospital's core measure data, as reported to the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, still stands at 100 percent.

She also reported that LMH's healthcare-associated infection rate is well below the national average. The average length of stay for acute care is at 3.33 and was 8.97 for the skilled or swing bed program.

The hospital's mortality rates remain low, having none in acute care or observation for November and December. The swing bed rates were 8.37 and 6.67 for November and December, respectively.

The National Patient Safety Goals #3: Improve the safety of using medications and #7: Reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections were discussed. Casillas shared strategies for improvement in each area.

The two safety areas of focus were: "Practice a culture of safety" and "How do we maintain confidentially?" Each was discussed in detail, giving examples for ways to continually improve. Casillas also discussed the quarterly and annual patient safety reports.

Junior Briner, vice president of support services and the safety officer, offered the monthly environmental safety reports for November and December. He noted that the all hazards emergency management plan had been completed and approved.

He also presented the annual report in significant detail. He reminded the board that the facility's preparedness had really been tested with the ice storm of 2009. It was noted that any deficiencies identified throughout the year had been addressed by immediate repairs or action plans for ongoing or long-term projects.

Lambert presented the Quarterly and Annual Competency Reports. There were 323 competencies evaluated during the year. Four evaluations were extended, which showed a competency percentage of 98.8.

Dr. Kevin Diamond presented the medical staff report noting no unusual occurrences, quality issues or concerns. It was mentioned that the hospitalist program is working quite well. Dr. Diamond also presented the credential applications that had been approved by the Credentials Committee as well as the full medical staff.

The hospital's expenses in excess of revenue for November were $184,915. This was mainly due to decreased revenue in several departments and additional efforts to process bad debt and charity accounts. The net income for December was $1,844.

The average daily census year to date stands at 15.3 up from 12.2 a year ago. The year to date net income for Lawrence Health Service (combined operations) stands at $91,393, which is significantly better than the budget amount. The board approved a sales tax transfer of $80,000.

They also approved a project to replace the floor tile in the halls of the hospital, similar to what was done in Lawrence Hall. The project will be done in eight phases as funds are available for a total estimated cost of $21,573.

Compliance Committee

The Compliance Committee met earlier on Jan. 25 and a report was given by Chairman Lila Floyd. Work continues on a new fee schedule and contract with Therapy Providers, as well as Neurology Associates. HIPAA standards and issues were also discussed.


Wilma Jones, chairman, reported that the Foundation had been notified that LHS is a recipient of a Blue and You Grant totaling $42,270. This grant will be used for a project called "Lawrence County Get Fit."

This project will promote healthy lifestyles for Lawrence County school students, as well as their parents and guardians.

The Golf Tournament proceeds of $11,803.76 and the Christmas Gala proceeds of $2,873.50 were both transferred to the Golden Jubilee Campaign Fund.

The Foundation also recommended to the board that the administrative staff be instructed to develop architectural drawings and bid packets to renovate the former Lawrence County Library building for use as an ancillary area for LMH.

Floyd reported that Room 207 was being set up as a model room displaying the new furnishings and renovations that will hopefully be funded by the Golden Jubilee Capital Campaign. She and Danny Gibson are co-chairs of this project. Their committee is finalizing the printed marketing-education materials.

In other business:

  • the board authorized Lambert to extend the contract with Correct Care, Inc., the emergency physician group, for one year, once the agreement is revised by the hospital attorney.

  • several policy and procedures, as well as manuals, were approved.

  • Lambert shared a letter from the external auditors, BKD, indicating that LMH should expect to receive 100 percent of costs associated with implementing an electronic health record if they meet the "meaningful use" criteria from CMS, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Lambert distributed a document from the American Hospital Association that outlined the meaningful use criteria. He said the 23 areas outlined will be extremely difficult for any hospital to meet.

  • it was reported that County Judge Alex Latham had appointed Lambert to the Intermodal Authority Board of Directors.

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