The Nolan County District Board of Directors met for the first time in 2011 for its regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, Jan. 24, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.
Various approvals regarding the month of December were made at the meeting. Among the approvals were the minutes from the previous meeting and several financial items. The bad debt write-off list, accounts payable and payroll, and the financial statements from December 2010 were all approved.
Total revenue for the month of December 2010 came in under budget, while a great outpatient month was reported. The total revenue reductions and operating expenses also came in under projections, but the current numbers that were presented were an improvement from last year.
Also presented with the finances was the quarterly reserve funds analysis. This presentation led into viewing the investment strategies for 2011 in regards to the PT and Reserve funds. Approval for the strategies in both funds were made by the board.
Several items, while they were not action items, were reviewed with the board during the meeting. A quality report spanning from the third quarter of 2009 through the second quarter of 2010 was presented, with the hospital receiving their best score ever of a '2'. The score received by the hospital comes in better than the national rate.
Included with the quality report was the report with the Hospital Quality Alliance. While the hospital received a good report, specifically in the area of imaging efficiency, there is still room for improvement. However, new measures will be implemented this year in the report.
The Quality Report also coincides with the 2010 PI Report from the third quarter that the board also reviewed. In the PI Dashboard Report, the hospital received high marks of 100% compliance in two areas. Also, a 10% improvement was seen in another area.
The RPMH Home Health Agency Evaluation was also presented at the meeting. This annual evaluation addresses various quality indicators. The evaluation boasts that improvements have been made, and the revenue is better than last year.
Several items of new business were presented at the meeting as well for which approval from the board was needed. Three of the items presented were for purchases. The board approved the purchase of 340b software, a drug program which discounts pharmacy drugs for all outpatient visits. The board approved the purchase, and great financial savings will result from the purchase.
Another approval made was for the purchase of a new walk in freezer. The current freezer is about 35 years old; the newly installed freezer is expected to last just as long. McKinstry Construction will be in charge of the installation and will also make efforts in their work to prevent any types of water leaks, as seen with the current freezer.
Yet another approved purchase was that of a new dietary trayline. A few vending machines that are currently in place will have to be removed to add the new trayline. However, more options will be given — including a salad bar — and extended hours will be implemented with the new trayline.
One particular item considered by the board was the proposal for renovations in the Med-Surge rooms at the hospital. McKinstry Construction would once again work with the hospital in this project and have already made suggestions in architectural designs. The company has also presented a schedule and timeline of the project, and the work would be done simultaneously by McKinstry with other projects in the hospital. Funds are available for the project to begin and the hospital has even applied for a state grant. After some consideration, the board approved the room renovation proposal.
Also receiving approval from the board were various documents. The Physician Recruitment Policy was reviewed and approved in an effort to keep everyone informed and in line with the hospital's compliance plan. The compliance plan, which was also approved, saw a few changes from the plan which was set into place around 10 years ago. Another approval made was for a much extensive version of the Code of Conduct.
Other documents looked at by the board were the Commissioning Community Health Needs Assessment, which offers plans for recruiting. The rules for the assessment have changed, however, in that a survey should be conducted every three years. The last survey by the hospital was done around six years ago.
The hospital has two options in conducting the survey — by phone or in print, in which the results received from the survey would be tabulated and made into statistics. The board approved for the assessment to begin immediately.
The policy on Medical, Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner students were also reviewed. Only a few changes would be made in the policy, in that students would upgrade from 'observation only' to actually assisting patients with medical staff supervision. The board approved the change in policy.
A few other approvals were made, including one for physician credentialing. The 2011 Board Election was also approved and is slated for May 14. The board also approved and adopted an amendment to Article IV of the Bylaws of the NCHD for the sake of clarification. The board will look over the amendment next month.
The administrator's report was presented at the meeting as well. Dr. Ronnie Dennis, OB/GYN, has received approval to start seeing patients in Colorado City. Starting in March, Dr. Dennis would see patients on the first Tuesday of each month, thus increasing his patient base.
The new website, as presented in the report, is also up for viewing. While it still can be accessed with the same address, the website boasts new features such as applying for jobs online. The hospital will still continue correspondence with marketing representative Steve Jolly in order to make the site the best it can be.
The board was also informed of a special event that will take place on Feb. 4. National Wear Red Day will be celebrated throughout the hospital, and volunteers will be hosting a reception during the morning. Also, screenings will be given in the hospital classroom during that time.