Hospital acts on space and performance needs

Published 11:33 am Friday, May 20, 2011

Memorial Hospital addressed facility planning and the continuing need for additional medical office space at its monthly board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

In all, three projects came from the Building and Grounds Committee. Two were approved and will be let for bids. First was the expansion of Bainbridge Ophthalmology and Memorial Pediatrics. The additional space would be divided from the space formerly occupied by Dr. Gary Kipp and would create a retail optical area, expanded waiting room, add offices for Dr. Martin and Mike Sims, while creating four additional optical lanes and relocation of the practice manager’s office.

Second, was the interior renovation to create a primary care clinic for three physicians and two mid-level providers. That space will come from relocating the rehab department and Dr. Alan Wilson’s office. The board heard it was necessary to proceed with that project as soon as possible as there will be two new physicians coming in July.

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The third project involved the relocation of the rehab department. Consideration was given to negotiating a five-year lease with the YMCA board and renovating a portion of their building to accommodate the rehab department. Another option was a proposal from the Harrell family to purchase the old DEFACS buildings for that purpose. This latter proposal was discussed in executive session, whereupon the board came back into regular session and voted to proceed to make an offer on the DEFACS building, and put the hospital-owned house and office building located across Shotwell Street up for sale. That site had previously been considered as a location to build new office facilities, but construction costs proved to be prohibitive and that project was scrapped.

An additional request from the Building and Grounds Committee, which was approved, was the installation of a fire sprinkler backflow preventer for the Manor, as required by the fire marshal, at a cost not to exceed $9,700.

Further action was also taken on the Baptist Leadership proposal to supply on-site coaching and develop performance based measures of accountability for all staff and administration. This is a follow-up to the findings and recommendations from the Baptist Leadership assessment conducted in March.

The board approved going forward with Option I, a two-year plan beginning in June, whereby the Baptist Leadership group will provide on-site coaching, and provide access to their methods, expertise and procedures, all at a cost of $296,577. The plan calls for progress reports in 90-day increments.

Prior to the vote it was pointed out that Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements will be based on patient satisfaction scores beginning in 2012. Estimates are that the hospital would lose $280,000 in year one if they don’t improve their scores.

Chairman Charles Tyson said, “If we are going to save this hospital, we will have to bring our approval rate up to 90 percent.”

The financial key indicators for April showed a profit for the month. Net revenue was $3,376,740, with expenses of $3,229,987. Included in those figures is receipt of payment from the indigent care fund.

In his update, CEO Billy Walker, spoke of the ongoing work with the flex grant received by Memorial Hospital and Miller County Hospital and the feasibility study and community needs assessment being conducted by the two to see how services can be collaborated. A community needs survey has been developed and is ready and posted on the hospital website, It has also been distributed to key community agencies.

Walker also reported the Miller County medical staff had been invited to attend Memorial’s meetings and continuing education classes in an effort to develop better working relationships between the two groups.