Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 10, 2011
Kane County Hospital Governing Board in favor of a tobacco-free hospital campus
Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff welcomed the members, employees and guests at the Hospital Governing Board meeting held on August 2, 2011.
Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya proposed a topic of discussion to the hospital board members: The concept of a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy.
The members were given a draft of the policy to be reviewed.
The purpose is to publicly demonstrate the hospital’s commitment to the promotion of quality health care, well-being and safety of its patients, visitors and employees while on the hospital campus. With this commitment comes the responsibility of providing a safe and healthy environment.
The policy applies to all tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, herbal tobacco products and smokeless tobacco products.
It would include the buildings, hospital grounds and the parking lot. Pandya suggested the policy take effect in November, to coincide with the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smoke Out” held on November 17. This would give the hospital time to inform the public of the decision. Pandya said she had done research, and the program has been effective at other hospitals. The concept has been discussed at previous hospital employee and member meetings.
The members discussed the pros and cons of the policy, and what affect it will have on the hospital employees and patients.
Pandya presented some suggestions as to areas of clarification (1) Creating and refining a policy for all employees. (2) A policy approved by the medical staff on treatment options that will be offered to patients who smoke while they are at KCH. (3) Standing orders and nursing instructions need to be written and approved. (4) Post signs with effective dates for public awareness. (5) Comply with the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act. (6) Prepare handouts to inform the public of the new program. The six board members present approved the Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
Kane County Commissioner Jim Matson brought up the subject of the Hospital Thrift Shop building and property. Pandya and Chief Financial Officer Stephen Howells explained the shop was constructed in 1996 at the site of the old Travel Council building on property belonging to Kane County. The Thrift Shop building is owned by the Kane County Hospital; the land/property is under a 30-year lease to the hospital and owned by the county.
Matson suggested it might be better to put everything under one-ownership to prevent future confusion on this issue. He asked if the board wanted him to pursue this issue with the other commissioners in transferring the county’s ownership of the property to the hospital. Pandya and the board willingly accepted Matson’s suggestion.
Auxiliary Business: Auxiliary Secretary Bonnie Chambers sent a card thanking Pandya and the board members who attended the July Auxiliary meeting. The auxiliary will be sending a monthly treasurer’s report to Human Resources Director Laurali Noteman.
Hospital Foundation Business: Pandya, in the absence of Chairperson Kathleen Salter, explained according to the foundation’s by-laws, an annual meeting is required. The meeting will be held on August 3, 2011, dues in the amount of $20 can be paid at that time. This will allow the foundation to continue to function. Members will hold a vote on the board and the body of the foundation members can approve the board.
Human Resources Director Laurali Noteman informed the board of a glitch with the new payroll system and the old payroll system requiring a lot of manual re-entries, making it year to date accurate.
Action Items: (1) The Health Information Management Policies for 2011 were approved. (2) Underground Propane Tanks: The board approved the bid submitted by Propane Equipment and Supply of Salt Lake City, who also did the feasibility study. Pandya and Howells reviewed and researched the bid and decided the eight-year payback will create a substantial savings to the hospital.
Pandya made several announcements: (1) The hospital laboratory recently underwent a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Federal Inspection that is conducted every two years. The department and the five technicians reportedly did very well. (2) Since it was time to renew the service contracts on the copiers and scanners throughout the hospital, it was decided to lease new equipment at just a little higher price than the old service agreement.
The next employee’s lunch with the board is on August 9. The topic of discussion will be Community Perception: Positives, Negatives and Improvements.