December 01, 2010 Edition

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Resident census down at LHNC

The Board of Governors of Lawrence Health Services met Nov. 22 and heard several reports regarding Lawrence Hall Nursing Center and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

The current resident census at LHNC is 164, with a budget set for 168 residents.

The financial report was given by Vanessa Wagner, chief financial officer. The net income for the month was $60,730, with a year-to-date income of $267,159 and a year-to-date budget of $267,904.

Wagner stated that the net income is lower than budget due to the low resident census. Board member Lila Floyd suggested that board members provide community education to the elderly and their family regarding nursing home placement.

Director of Nursing Sharon Clements presented the quality and safety report, which indicated that other infections, primarily upper respiratory, were above the nursing center's self-imposed target.

Clements and Dr. Ted Lancaster, medical director, also provided board members with a detailed description of the definition of a fall according to The Office of Long Term Care.

Newly appointed LHNC Administrator Linda Smith stated that she is trying to become more active in the community. She has submitted her application for membership in the Rotary Club of Lawrence County and also attended a Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event.

Smith reported that she is currently re-working several job descriptions to reflect new job titles and duties for several administrative staff members. Issues identified in a recent employee satisfaction survey are also being addressed.

Debbie Wheelis was appointed assistant director of nursing, and several board members stated that morale has improved in recent weeks.

The audit committee report was given by board chairman Bill Maxwell and Lambert. The report showed that the nursing home's financial performance has declined due to increased salary expense but is still profitable.

The hospital lost $273,264, while the nursing home profited $744,029. The foundation made $106,158, mainly due to capital campaign donations.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital

President of Lawrence Health Services Terry Lambert provided the quality and safety report, and noted that LMH is still meeting core measure criteria at 100 percent for congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

The Voluntary Hospital of America (VHA) awarded LMH the "Clinical Improvement Award" and the "Clinical Excellence Award" for achieving results related to congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

The Arkansas Hospital Association also recognized LMH for participation and excellent results in the "Stop Blood Stream Infections" project.

Healthcare associated infections were at zero percent for the month. The average length of stay for acute care was 3.10 year-to-date and 20.25 for swing-bed patients. The readmission rate for the targeted Medicare diagnosis was at zero percent.

Junior Briner, vice president of support services, gave the environmental safety report and informed board members that LMH is still meeting facility goals and joint commission standards. Briner also informed the board that LMH will participate in a national disaster drill that will last for five days.

LMH signed a contract with Suddenlink to provide fiber optic service from LMH to St. Bernards Hospital in Jonesboro. The service will enable LMH to operate its electronic health record system hosted by St. Bernards. The process should take roughly three months to complete.

Board members approved several medical staff applications and approved recommended changes to the medical staff bylaws and rules and regulations. In addition, members also agreed to allow non-affiliated physicians to participate in committee work. Lambert presented the medical staff report.

Wagner gave the financial report, which showed a loss of $74,425 for the hospital, $1,422 more than the budgeted loss of $73,004. Lawrence Health Services lost $13,695 for the month.

Board members approved a sales tax transfer of $88,000, professional liability insurance for Dr. Paul Vellozo for $6,651, directors and officers insurance for $6,270 and an hourly increase for emergency department physicians of approximately eight percent. Wagner stated the adjustment was made to stay competitive in the market to maintain quality physicians.

The board also authorized a payment of $2,806.35 out of the self-insured trust for legal expense.

Foundation

Wilma Jones provided the foundation report and noted that Home Medical has moved into their new building. She also noted that the Blue and You Get Fit Lawrence County grant is still active but will be completed at the end of the month.

The annual golf tournament held at Sage Meadows Country Club in Jonesboro was a success and netted approximately $11,000. The Christmas Gala, which is sold out, will be held Saturday.

Four rooms remain available for sponsorship. Sizeable contributions and pledges have been made to renovate the nurses' station and replace floor tile in the hospital. The board approved foundation expenses in the amount of $22,510.90.

The board also approved a budget of $35,000 for the nurses' station renovation and $30,000 for floor replacement.

Lambert noted that the sisters from St. Bernards will hold a prayer service for the facility on Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the Nursing Home Chapel.

The employee Christmas dinner will be held in the family waiting room in Lawrence Hall on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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