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The Nolan County Hospital District board of directors met with the president of the Texas Midwest Emergency Physicians during their monthly meeting held Monday evening at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH).
This month, RPMH began using doctors from this group within the emergency department. The group not only provides coverage for the Sweetwater hospital but for Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene as well.
Dr. Bobby Lawson has worked at the Abilene hospital for the past 25 years, and has been part of the Texas Midwest Emergency Physicians for the past 17 years. In this new venture, he shared that he is honored to work with RPMH and is looking forward to the continued relationship.
The board made the decision to use the group in order to provide a better experience for patients who come to the ER (emergency room) by offering top quality care. Additionally, the board wants to ensure that the department has a welcoming environment and also takes time to educate patients during their visit.
Dr. Lawson explained that the perception of emergency rooms has evolved over time and is now the "front door" of hospitals, thus a good first impression must be made. He said that the strong impression can be attained through the combination of good medical care and patient satisfaction, which are top priorities.
The goal is for Dr. Lawson to attend medical staff meetings and visit the board on a quarterly basis in order to learn about the campus and its operations. The program is still in a transitionary period, but a plan is in place to develop a patient survey questionnaire in the future due to the fact that the Internet-based evaluation is no longer available.
Various departments within the hospital have been pleased already with the ER staff, while Dr. Lawson praised the staff and facilities of RPMH. While feedback has already been received, continued dialogue was encouraged by Dr. Lawson.
Also during the meeting, hospital administrator Donna Boatright gave a brief report on the possibility of recruiting more physicians, along with an update on the ongoing construction on the hospital campus. She added that the expansion proposal given by Buzzi Unicem during the September meeting would be brought before the company's board at their meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30.