The agenda for the May 4 Kane County Hospital Governing Board meeting was short, but an important one. Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya informed the board of the process to proceed with the purchase of the needed X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) scanner.

The CT is a diagnostic procedure that uses special X-ray equipment and computers to create cross-sectional pictures of the body. The cost is between $400,000 and $450,000. Pandya asked the board for approval to use $100,000 from the hospital’s general fund as partial payment and request the balance as a grant/loan application through the Community Impact Board (CIB). The governing board members gave their approval. Pandya stated the paperwork has to be submitted to the CIB by June 1 for this funding cycle.

As part of the CIB requirement, a public hearing must be held prior to submission. A public hearing date was set for 7 p.m. on May 25, 2010, at the hospital conference room. Notices will be posted. A public hearing provides a method of communication for questions and discussions in an open meeting.

Auxiliary business: When contacted, Auxiliary President Emma Norton stated the auxiliary was awaiting the billing to pay the pre-approved donations to the hospital for the heart monitor, $12,000 towards the helipad, and items for the nursing facility. The auxiliary is approaching the million-dollar mark in donations to the hospital and Norton was anxious to celebrate that occasion.

Member Karen Alvey stated every volunteer member of the auxiliary both past and present should be proud of being part of reaching that milestone, and suggested the hospital do something special in recognition. All the board members agreed.          

Nursing Department: Rosalie Esplin reported a slight increase in emergency room activity in April in comparison to 2009. There were 225 outpatient emergency room visits. Six of those patients were admitted to the hospital as inpatients. Twenty-four were transferred to other facilities for special medical treatment/services. Esplin said the ER is always busy at the beginning of the summer months, especially on weekends. The immunization program has helped in reducing the patients with flu symptoms.

Human Resources and Public Relations: Laurali Noteman reported the Hospital Foundation will pay the tuition of $200 for two students in the area to attend the Health Care Camp sponsored by Southern Utah University.

Finance Report: Financial Officer Stephen Howells reported the hospital’s revenue is up slightly and expenses are down a little. The hospital is currently working within the budget.

National Lab Week was April 18-24. Member Doyle Swallow commented on the vital role of laboratory professionals. The board recognized the efforts of Jeanette Johnson and her staff.

Member Carol Sullivan commented on the prompt response to a patient’s request for copies of their medical records from the hospital’s Health Information Management Department.

The board members discussed the prospect of implementing the Pyxis system, an automated dispensing system/drug storage devices or cabinets that electronically dispense medications in a controlled fashion and track medication use. The principal advantage lies in permitting nurses to obtain medications for inpatients at the point of use. It requires the services of a pharmacist. Member Gene Drake emphasized the importance to the patients by utilizing this system.

Administrator Pandya stated she did meet with the Pharmacy Board to see what the hospital needed to be in compliance. Policies need to be written, a video camera with a remote pharmacist would qualify as supervision. Two nurses could be used to stock it. Pandya is doing more research on advantages to the patients and costs to the hospital.

The next meeting of the Kane County Hospital Governing Board will be on June 1, 2010.