Alva Review-Courier -

Equipment purchased for Share Medical Center

• RSV on the rise

 

November 27, 2022



The Alva Hospital Authority approved the purchase of a nurse call system and an air handling system for surgery during their Tuesday meeting. The four trustees present were Chairman Jason Gaisford, Dr. Ken Brown, Dr. Halah Simon and Dr. Scott Burk.

Promising Visit with Orthopedic Surgeon

Share Medical CEO Kandice Allen reported a visit with an orthopedic surgeon considering coming to Alva for scheduled dates. “I’m hoping here in the next week or two that we get the news that he has signed the contract,” she said. “He was onsite last Friday, and it seemed to go very well. He’s excited about the space and felt like this would be a good match.”

Allen reported that hospital clinics, the ER and urgent care have all been quite busy. During October, the downtown clinic had 630 patient visits, the west end clinic had 490, urgent care had 622, the Waynoka clinic had 45 and the Freedom clinic had 22 for a total of 1809, according to the written report. In addition Dr. Hummel did seven cataract surgeries and Dr. Gregg did a total of 11 general surgical procedures.

Amanda Stauffer, C-RT (certified respiratory therapist) has signed a contract to assist in providing services as needed with the current concerns for RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and limited bed availability.

Share Medical’s HR department has been looking at the hospital’s wage matrix, making sure that all employees are paid appropriately and competitively, Allen said.

Expenses Higher Than Income

Share Medical CFO Angelica Brady said hospital budgetary issues have been resolved, which allowed them to get payment holds released. With that revenue coming in, they were able to decrease accounts receivable by about $300,000 in October. Accounts receivable balance was $4,016,913, a decrease of $308,321. The hospital’s operating cash balance at the end of October was $26,912, representing less than a day of operating expenses.

Unbilled accounts receivable (AR) for the month totaled $1,657,002, which was an $85,944 decrease compared to the prior month. However, unbilled AR increased to about 14.5 days. In September it was 13.9. Brady said during the month of October the hospital was training a backup coder for billing. Their regular coder is now on maternity leave so she anticipates the unbilled days to go up a little.

“Our billed AR has decreased down to 59.2 days. We’re just shy of reaching the 55 days KPI guide,” she said. “Our overall days did decrease down to 73.7. We’re very, very happy to see that number getting closer to where we want it to be.”

Brady said with one-third or three months of the budgetary year elapsed, the hospital has collected 27 percent of total gross patient revenue projected for the year. “Our numbers aren’t where we want them to be as far as revenue is sitting,” she said. “We’re on track as far as expenses are concerned, but our revenue is not matching that.” She reported expenses were at 34 percent of the year’s budget.

“We are working with staff on in-flow and out-flow of cash and what that looks like. Our AP (accounts payable) is staying higher than we’d like it to be, helping them to understand that we’ve got to get our expenses down,” she said. “We had $1 million in revenue come in last month but our expenses were at $1.1 million so we can’t continue that trend.” She said she’s working with staff on ways to “tighten our belts” to get expenses down.

The hospital had 67 patient days in October compared to 82 in September. Total clinic visits were 1,809 compared to 1,572 in September.

MediTech Conversion

Brady said the conversion of medical records to the expanded version of MediTech is going well. “We’re 220 days away from going live. Our project manager was in-house earlier this month. She and I have meeting about twice a week, virtually. Right now we’re still on target for a July 1st go-live,” she said.

They have been meeting deadlines so far. “I’m really optimistic with the progress we’ve made so far and very excited to see that it is going through smoothly,” Brady said.

To add some fun to the process, the staff has determined a theme of baseball for the implementation. “We’ll be knocking it out of the park, so we’re excited about that. It gives us some fun things we can do for the implementation,” she said. “It makes it a little bit more fun when we’re doing all this work.”

Brady reported auditors had been on site gathering data for the FY21-22 audit. They hope to wrap it up more quickly than in past years.

The hospital expected to begin Monday offering non-recourse financing options to patients. If someone comes in for a procedure that costs more than $500 and they are unable to pay for it out-of-pocket, they can look at this financing option. It will also be available to people who owe the hospital over $500 on previous procedures.

Equipment Purchases

Brady told trustees a West-Com Nurse Call System with Endex of Oklahoma, Inc. could be paid for using Covid money. Final approval to use the money that way was received from the Office of Rural Health.

The cost listed at $199,187.88 is not the full amount of the proposal. Brady said the purchase will be a basic call system for all of the floor and the emergency room. New hospital beds (a project of the SMC Foundation) will have a wifi system that will link to it. There will be boards at the nurses’ station and at the door of each patient room.

However, boards inside patients’ rooms can be purchased for less from a different supplier. Those will cost about $14,000 and won’t be paid with Covid funds. Brady said patient electronic boards take the place of the white boards in the room. “Part of the reason for using Covid money is everybody touches the white board. This will eliminate any touching. It will all be entered electronically,” she said.

Answering a question from Simon, Brady said the nurses want this and are the one who brought it to the table. She said they are very excited about it.

The trustees voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

Also on the agenda was Earth Smart controls on the AHU 1 air handler and its zones not to exceed $52,480. Allen explained the system will manage the humidity in the surgery room to keep it within a certain required range. Currently she said, “Somebody literally has to stand by monitoring that to make sure it stays in that range.”

Gaisford said they have been looking at this for two years, back in the early stages of Covid. But with Dr. Ransom retiring, “we weren’t really doing that many procedures. It wasn’t priority A.” Now that the hospital is setting up a new surgery unit, he said it has become priority A.

The trustees also approved this purchase unanimously.

Flu, Covid, RSV

Calling it the trifecta, Chief of Staff Dr. Burk told trustees that Covid numbers are up, flu numbers are up and RSV numbers are “really bad.” He said a 14-month-old had been medi-flighted out that afternoon for a higher level of care.

Trustees approved four reappointments and one new appointment to staff. Jennifer Nichols, APRN, who has been with the hospital five or six years, was reappointed to allied staff. Emily Nayar, PA, who has worked in the ER for around ten years, was reappointed to allied staff.

John Christopher Hummel, MD, an ophthalmologist who has been coming to Share Medical for 20 years, was reappointed to courtesy staff. Barry Rockler, MD, a pathologist, was reappointed to courtesy staff. Ildiko Nagy, MD, a pathologist, was appointed to courtesy staff.

 

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