Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 11, 2010
KC Hospital looks forward to electronic medical record keeping
The first step in the Kane County Hospital’s (KCH) plan to implement the software for an electronic medical record-keeping program was discussed at the August 3 meeting of the KCH Board. Secretary Karen Alvey brought the meeting to order.
Roy Rasband of Bluestep Inc., a company providing Health Care Management Software, gave a demonstration on the software with various department personnel participating in an evaluation. KCH Administrator Sherrie Pandya said they all had positive comments towards the program.
Pandya explained Bluestep is basically selling the software package. A pharmacy service could be purchased through them or an outside source. Bids will be submitted and there are no firm bids at this time. Once the bids have been reviewed and accepted the program will solve the pharmacy issues
Bluestep needs copies of all paperwork and paper charts the hospital is using so it can be converted into the electronic charts. A laboratory program as well as others can be added later.
Pandya stated the electronic system would solve the payroll issues and simplify time cards. It has the ability for everyone to log on to their computer or use a thumb print login for their time card. The information is complied and automatically fed into the payroll system. It will be a time saving benefit to the supervisors of each department.
Director of Nursing Rosalie Esplin said it would take the cooperation of everyone to make it work, and the problem areas will need to be corrected.
Chief Financial Officer Stephen Howells stated the primary issue is getting it set up. Pandya said the training is self-explanatory “but it will be an ugly three months when we go live.” She said the staff seemed enthusiastic, which will help during the transition period.
Pandya stated it would be a big change for the physicians who are used to giving verbal orders or writing the orders. Now they will need to type the information into the system.
She explained, there is another program the physicians can use. They talk to it as if doing dictation, speak their orders, and it converts the information on screen. It is then checked for accuracy.
Commissioner Daniel Hulet commented the program would be beneficial to the hospital, the patients and everybody. It will be a good change.
Pandya stated eventually everything would be in the system. Even though lab results are now on paper, it can also be entered into the electronic system and the patient’s medical records. The electronic medical record keeping system will eliminate the need to be “chasing paper”.
Pandya explained the security features, “You can designate which people can get into the medical records and what they can see in that record.”
The program will also be a benefit for families of patients in Swing Bed stays and Long Term Care. Patient pages could be accessed by families who are not here in town. The program has a lot of future potential.
Hulet addressed the issue of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and stated it was the decision of the county commissioners that the Kane County Volunteer Center administer and manage all Kane County’s volunteer sites and volunteer hours. Hours shall be submitted to the center and not to the RSVP. The local program is basically the same, but will be of better service to the needs of Kane County.
Kane County Foundation President Kathleen Salter reported they would be launching an educational health forum starting in September with a free public health forum to be held in the evening once a month in the clinic’s waiting room. Salter said the foundation is trying to create a relationship with the community, utilizing the hospital as a place of help not just as a place to go when a person is sick.
They are also planning an estate and will-planning seminar free of charge. Dates to be posted in the Southern Utah News.
Director of Human Resources Laurali Noteman announced Trudy Yoho is the featured hospital employee highlight for this month.
Noteman and Alvey were in agreement that the Hospital Auxiliary’s donations to the hospital, need to be tallied as they are approaching the million-dollar milestone. Alvey expressed wanting to do something spectacular for the volunteers when that milestone is reached.
Howells reported the hospital is working within the budget. Major expenses have been repairs and maintenance, $11,000 for resealing the parking lot and professional legal fees totaling $191,975 since Jan 2009.
Administrators Report: Requests for donations from community groups for non-monetary services. Member Gene Drake stated these requests put the hospital in a difficult situation, “How do you give to one group and not the others?” Pandya said unless it was directly tied to the hospital, it was hard to justify giving any donations.
Pandya reported Judge Dever dismissed the lawsuit filed by Lori Ramsay and Dan Smalling on behalf of hospital employees against the hospital re: the Utah State Retirement System. Dever’s decision was based upon lack of jurisdiction.
If Ramsay and Smalling would have had jurisdiction, the case should have been filed in Kane County not Salt Lake City. Their attorney has since filed a request for a decision on their motion to intervene in the administrative hearing brought by the USRB against the hospital.
Pandya will attend the Utah Hospital Administrators Conference in September. She feels this is a good opportunity to interact with other hospital administrators and the UHA personnel about trends in healthcare and how hospitals are doing things. She also asked if any of the board members would like to attend. It would be most valuable to a new board member.
Pandya said they received six proposals for the oxygen piping. An ad was placed in The Spectrum Legal Notices and Southern Utah News for a Request For Bids for the concrete, dirt-work and electrical for the Helipad.
Howells spoke to a representative of Classic Helicopter Services. They are going to donate the lighting, windsock and pole. Howells has been in contact with the FAA and even though the FAA officially can’t inspect the construction, they will come and evaluate it. Howells stated the FAA only has to approve it if the construction was dealing with Federal Funds. There is one clear flight path. He feels the helipad would be a great improvement over landing in the street.
CT Bids: Pandya stated Amerinet, the hospital’s Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) is reviewing the bids on the machine and service plans comparables.