The April 5, 2011 Kane County Hospital Board meeting was conducted by Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff with Kane County Commissioner Jim Matson and all board members present.

The board approved a 2011-budgeted 3% cost of living increase to the 86 full time hospital employees. An additional 2% shall be given to the full-time employees based upon their evaluation on their anniversary dates. Increases for part-time employees will be based on their Department Managers and Administration recommendations.

Member Chad Szymanski mentioned the Finance Committee felt the increases are comparable to the regional wage scale. The hospital has a total of approximately 150 employees: full-time, part-time and the EMT’s.

The board also approved the budgeted 4% match contribution to the full-time employee’s 457b plan as a morale and retention booster. 

Nursing Director Rosalie Esplin announced the Nursing Staff received a Newborn Hearing Screening Program Staff Achievement Award from the State of Utah. “By virtue of its consistent, quality performance and dedication, is hereby considered to be a Center of Excellence with 100% for January through December 2010.” There were 58 newborns at the Kane County Hospital in 2010. Source: Hospital Information Management (HIM).

After reviewing three bids for the new automated payroll system, Director of Human Resources Laurali Noteman and Chief Financial Officer Stephen Howells decided upon Ceridian as the best automated payroll system to suit the needs of the hospital. Time clocks will be installed as part of that system.

The paychecks will be directly deposited to the employee’s bank accounts or a debit card may be issued. The probable start date, for quarterly payroll purposes will be July 1, 2011.

CFO Howells reported in-patient revenue was up for the month of February and reports look favorable for March. Overall the hospital as a Critical Access Hospital is keeping within the budget. Howells stated however, the expenses do vary from month to month.

Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya recommended purchasing a new replacement Chemistry Analyzer machine and service contract from Siemens. It will be revenue neutral and less expensive. The Coagulation Analyzer also needs to be replaced; currently the technicians do everything manually. The new machine proposal is for a mid-level automated unit. The board approved the purchases.

Underground propane tanks: Pandya explained a bill sponsored by Senator Stowell to extend the natural gas pipeline to Kanab did not get out of the Senate legislative office. Since no action is expected within the next five years, the hospital is in the process of arranging a feasibility study for installing the underground propane tanks and hope to have the results by the May board meeting.

The Western Regional Trustee Symposium is being held in Omaha, Nebraska, this year from June 8-10. Board members’ attendance was a topic of discussion. Howells commented it was an excellent method of training for board members from hospitals across the country and a time to get acquainted with other hospital’s board members. Several members plan on attending. 

Lunch with the Hospital Board is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12. Member Karen Alvey suggested it would be a good opportunity for an open employee forum. The departmental employees could present cost saving suggestions and questions to the board.

Matson asked Pandya if the employees could submit their questions to the board in writing prior to the meeting, so the staff and board could be prepared with the answers.

Pandya informed the board in March the Eide Bailly LLP auditing staff conducted the hospital audit for 2010. The company is a regional certified public accounting and business advisory firm. They do external audits and cost reports, and specialize in healthcare audits. Kane County Hospital pays for this service. Pandya said the preliminary report is good and everything went well with no surprises. The annual audit results are submitted to the Utah State Auditor as per State Code 501-2a-201, 202 and 203.