Patients and their families are taking an active role in new programs and services at Coffey County Hospital. Chief Nursing Officer Melissa Hall shared several early success stories from the Patient/Family Advisory Council during the October 24 meeting of the Coffey Health System Board of Trustees.
“The concept behind the PFAC (council) is that you have patients at your right hand for input, Hall said. “As we implement new clinical processes, we have feedback as to ‘As a patient, how do you think this would go over and how would you like this to be approached to you?’”
Every Coffey County Hospital patient now reaps benefits from the council’s efforts. Their input into the hospital’s new bedside reporting program brought dramatic change. As the nursing shift change occurs, the nurses now meet at the patient’s bedside and, whenever possible, include the patient in the conversation about their care.
“Historically, shift change reporting has been done at the nurses’ station, but to truly engage your patients so they feel (more involved) in the process, best practices will tell you that it should take place at the bedside…We actually role-played what we thought a typical bedside reporting would look like and sound like, and they gave us a lot of good pointers because they didn’t understand what we were saying.”
This patient input is now being used in orientation and nurse training. The council has also helped to improve online bill payment and worked with the pharmacy to develop an easy-to-understand sheet of commonly prescribed medications and their side effects. The committee’s influence also led nurses to begin reviewing all discharge instructions with patients a second time. By placing a follow-up call 24-48 hours after a patient is discharged, staff can better assure that patients understand all the instructions, remind them of physician appointments, and address concerns.
Five patients serve on the council, but additional members are needed. Any CHS patient or family member who would like to serve on the Patient/Family Advisory Council is encouraged to apply. Information and an application are available at www.coffeyhealth.org or can be requested by calling (620) 364-2121 Ext. 4249. Judy Reese represents the board of trustees on the PFAC.
“We’d love to have some younger involvement—maybe there are some things we could address or fix from a parental perspective—but we’re open to anybody,” Hall said.
Another upcoming program will also seek patient and community feedback. Director of Marketing Tracy Campbell outlined plans for the 2017 Community Health Needs Assessment. Coffey Health System is collaborating with the Coffey County Health Department to compile data, conduct community meetings, and develop an integrated plan to address the top health needs in Coffey County. Preliminary work is underway, and public meetings and surveys will follow in early 2017.
Chief Executive Officer Leonard Hernandez announced that a favorable ruling on the application for Critical Access Hospital (CAH) status is expected within the next two weeks. The hospital hopes to gain an estimated $500,000 annually under the CAH payment model. Hernandez summarized his conversations with Sara Roberts, director of primary care and rural health programs at the Kansas Department of Health & Environment.
“She and I spent a lot of time talking about the distance factor, which was the one thing that we felt like might be an issue,” he explained. “She said that she totally understood the logic we were using regarding the distance between here and Garnett, and that it met the criteria that is laid out. Hopefully, things move forward and our goal is still to have this in place by the first of January.”
Hernandez requested a credit card be added for administrative functions such as medical staff credentialing, new hire requirements, and limited operational and travel expenses. Signature authorization would be required from the board chairman or treasurer with card use governed by CHS purchasing policies. The board unanimously approved.
September revenue of $1.9 million fell just shy of expenses at $2 million, primarily due to low patient volumes. Chief Financial Officer Jim Van Hoet credited staff with good expense management, and reported that bad debt expense was significantly lower in September.
Chief Medical Officer John Shell, M.D. requested medical staff appointments for Ashley Beying, advance practice registered nurse, clinics; Shari Sippola, licensed professional counselor; and Justin Halbe, M.D., cardiology. He requested re-appointments for Monty John, certified register nurse anesthetist, and Arnold Graham, M.D., cardiology.
Vice President for Ancillary Services James Higgins addressed the need for a replacement bus with a wheelchair lift at Sunset Manor. He and Hernandez will pull together some options and bring to the next board meeting.
Director of Compliance and Risk Management Rebecca Thurman reviewed minutes of the October meeting of the Quality, Compliance, and Risk Management Committee. The board approved revisions to the risk management plan under the consent agenda.
In other business, the board’s annual planning retreat is scheduled for December 12. The December monthly meeting was changed from December 26 to December 19.
The board entered three executive sessions totaling 50 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel. Hernandez and Executive Assistant Terri Tweedy were present for the first session.
Six trustees were present: Jeff Clark, Steve Hopkins, Cameron Roth, Rosemary Rich, Craig Stukey, and Dennis Young. Peter Allegre, Judy Reese, and Levi Saueressig were absent.
The meeting adjourned at 9:07 p.m.
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