April 06, 2011 Edition

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Hospital receives accreditation

Rosalind Casillas, director of nursing at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, informed the Lawrence Health Services Board of Directors at its March 28 meeting that the hospital, as well as Home Medical are fully accredited by The Joint Commission for the next three years.

Casillas reported that the hospital's follow-up to recommendations from the commission's August 2010 survey were approved extending the accreditation.

Linda Smith, administrator for Lawrence Hall Nursing Center, reported that the nursing home staff continues to prepare for a survey from the Office of Long Term Care.

Mock surveys are being conducted to prepare and look for improvement areas.

Vanessa Wagoner, chief financial officer, reviewed financial reports for January and February. While Lawrence Memorial showed a $103,389 loss in January and a $79,617 loss in February, LHS as a system showed a profit each of those months. The system showed a year to date loss of only $23,570, well below last year's figure of $114,128.

In other business:

  • Smith reported that all of LHNC's quality indicators were within the target limits. The fall rate with injury was at zero for the month, and other infections dropped to only 7 percent during February. The average daily census was 163 for February.

  • Casillas reported that the hospital is still meeting Core Measure criteria at 100 percent as reported to the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care. Readmission rates were at zero except for a 1 percent rate in January for congestive heart failure. "A low readmission rate is an indicator that patients are being cared for appropriately during their hospital stay," Casillas said.

  • Smith discussed difficulties in recruiting certified nursing assistants, especially for the 3-11 shift. As a result, the incentive pay for the 3-11 and 11-7 shifts were swapped. The incentive increased for all 3-11 CNAs. Currently, 11-7 staff will see no change, but new hires will be paid using the new schedule. In addition, LHNC has offered a $500 sign on bonus for CNAs meeting the established qualifications.

  • Junior Briner, vice president of support services, gave the environmental safety report for January and February, which reflected continued compliance with the facility goals and The Joint Commission.

  • LHS President Terry Lambert discussed some programs that are being used to help improve operational performance. A 340-B Drug Discount Program was also discussed. The Health Reform Bill that was approved allows critical access hospitals to participate on an outpatient basis. LMH will most likely work with a consulting company if this program is implemented.

  • Briner reported that LMH is now using a fiber optic hookup with St. Bernards. This has increased the speed of transmitting radiology images.

  • The board approved a transfer of sales tax funds to help cover emergency department expenses.

  • board member John Thomison commented about positive remarks he had heard in the community regarding administrative staff attending funerals of Lawrence Hall residents.

  • it was reported that Representative Rick Crawford will be touring LMH and visiting with board members and staff on April 11.

  • Briner announced that LMH will be participating in a nationwide disaster drill regarding earthquakes on May 16 and 17.

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