Purchases discussed by RPMH board

The Nolan County Hospital District Board of Directors met for its regular meeting on Tuesday evening, July 26, 2011 at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH).With the new fiscal year approaching, the board reviewed the 2012 Capital Budget, being presented a handout which is broken down by department, in which the purchases are broken down by need as well as price.Several significant details and potential purchases were highlighted, such as an improved nurses' call center in the ICU as well as in Obstetrics — as the current call center in that department has been in place for quite some time. Some needs were also noted for Surgery and Radiology, though some of the items to be purchased are dependent on the hiring of an orthopedic surgeon. Other purchases to be considered were toward new technology and software updates.The board approved the capital budget, yet its approval does not indicate that each item will be purchased. Each individual purchase will be brought back to the board for considered approval based on the need and finances.In addition to the budget and new fiscal year, the budget calendar was discussed and several dates were set. A budget workshop is slated for Monday, August 22, which is separate from the regular meeting scheduled for Monday, August 29. At that meeting, if everything is finalized, the board can accept the budget and tax rate.However, should there be some significant changes, two public meetings would be held during the timeframe of August 29 and September 15. Following the public input, a meeting would be held on September 15 to adopt the budget and tax rate. The regular meeting for the board in September will then take place on Tuesday, September 27.The financial statements from June 2011 were reviewed and approved also, in that overall, only a $700 difference was seen. Total revenue looked very well as a result of a $50,000 grant and in operating expenses, savings are being seen following the continued facility updates done by McKinstry.Also approved in finance were the accounts payable and payroll for the previous month, as well as the bad debt write-off list for June 2011. An informative report was given on the quarterly Reverse Fund and Physical Therapy Fund, yet no action was required.Furthermore, approval was given to purchase two new items for the hospital. The X-Ray Viewer PC is a needed purchase which will not be too costly; the Chatt TX Traction Package for Physical Therapy will be bought with Physical Therapy funds. The board also adopted and approved the 2011-12 Strategic Plan. No changes had been requested and the final adoption of the plan allows the board to move forward with the process. Also, following review, approval was given on the Credential Files, the 1st Quarter 2011 PI Report, and the minutes from the previous meeting.Additionally approved was the appointment of board members to several committees. The Finance committee will consist of Kirby Andrews — who will serve as the committee chair, Wayne Chowning and Jose Villafranca; the Building and Grounds committee will include committee chair Carlos Alvarado, Villafranca, and Steve Holcomb. The Joint Conference committee will be led by Linda Kite and will be made up by Alvarado and Karen Rainbolt. The Board Chairman, elected last month, is Steve Holcomb and Wayne Chowning will serve as the Vice-Chairman.In the Medical Staff Report, Dr. Larry McEachern stated that they are excited and anxiously awaiting the Hospitalist program. The program was discussed at the April 25 meeting, in which hospitalists are doctors who care entirely for hospitalized patients and work alongside the patients' family physician toward continual, accessible care for the patient.The potential start date was slated for next month, but as interviews with candidates are scheduled for August, the date will be postponed for a month in order for a successful start in September.During the Administrator's Report, Donna Boatright noted several works in progress, including an update on the facilities. An inspection that was planned for the 12th did not take place, but it is now scheduled for the 4th. Finalized plans for Phase 2 of the project headed by McKinstry are being looked at also.In preparation for the Hospitalist program, several office moves are underway in which successful transitions are being reported. Physician recruiting in the month of July was also reported as going well.Regarding marketing following the community outreach meeting, the hospital participated in the water drive for area firefighters and the local 4th of July parade. Both events proved to be successful and the hospital will continue in their outreach efforts.On August 14, an orthopedic surgeon candidate is scheduled to be at RPMH, while an interview with another candidate is being set up at the present time. As the process continues, the board and medical staff will be heavily involved in the matter. And just as other local entities, the hospital has been working on the redistricting process, in which it was determined that redistricting will have to take place. Though early expectations were to not have to perform some realignment, a decrease in one district was found. The process will continue throughout the following months as it will be discussed at next month's meeting, with public hearings to be held possibly in October.