Improved finances reward hospital employees

Published 9:23 am Friday, November 18, 2011

Hospital employees can expect to receive longevity bonuses and Christmas turkeys this year.

The Memorial and Manor Authority unanimously voted at their November meeting to renew that custom, which had been discontinued last year due to the hospital’s strained financial condition.

With the improved finances this year, administration recommended reinstating the tradition.

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“It will be good for the morale of the employees who have all worked so hard to make this possible,” said CEO Billy Walker.

The total cost for the turkeys, which will be given to all employees, physicians, volunteers and authority members, is $8,218.28.

Longevity bonuses will be awarded to those employees who work a minimum of 20 hours per week and have been employed at least one year as of Dec. 1. The bonuses will be $20 per year of employment and will be issued Dec. 8, for an expected total amount of $90,920.

Finances dominated the board meeting business, with the key indicators for October showing a net income of $13,904 and a net income year-to-date of $407,194. Comparing this year’s figures with those of last year, which showed a year-to-date loss of $2,126,999, it is easy to understand the authority’s desire to share the joy.

Two recommendations from the building and grounds committee were approved. One was to replace the automatic door at the front entrance of the Memorial Office building on Wheat Street, at a cost of $11,920. The second is to replace the canvas awning covering the walkway from the hospital building to the MRI unit. It will be replaced with an aluminum awning at a cost of $6,435.

Four capital equipment purchases approved 

• Purchase of a noninvasive Bilirubin measurement system used to assess jaundice levels in newborns. Total five-year cost $6,422.50.

• Software system specifically designed for the Rehabilitation Department. American Physical Therapy Association Connect is a software system that improves clinical staff efficiency with documentation to promote timely completion of daily treatment notes and progress notes required to meet stringent Medicare requirements. By speeding up documentation, it frees up time to see more patients. Total five-year cost not to exceed $142,216.

• Bundle of five MediTech modules required for documenting patient medical summaries, lab results, immunization records, and admitting diagnoses all into a data repository. Total five-year cost $138,900. (Contingent approval made pending outcome of meeting between hospital CEO and MediTech’s Senior marketing consultant to determine if purchase of all described modules is absolutely necessary in order to meet “meaningful use” requirements necessary for the hospital to receive the incentive payments due from implementation.)

• Hand-held blood monitoring instrument and Internet based patient management database system used to dose, track and schedule patients who are taking anticoagulation medications. It helps to regulate the dosages. This finger prick system is much more patient friendly. When this instrument is not available, it is necessary to draw blood samples from the veins. The Pharmacy Department is projecting implementing this revenue generating service as another treatment option for patients. Total 5 year cost for equipment and software is $27,206.36.

Chief Financial Officer Karen Faircloth gave a Capital Equipment update to the board, indicating the budgeted amount of $600,000 has been overspent by $489,745. The explanation given was that much of the unanticipated, or unbudgeted purchases made were for software to meet “meaningful use” requirements.

Walker announced the holding of an employee forum for the introduction of the standards of conduct and the requirement for each employee to sign their agreement to abide by them. The deadline to comply is Nov. 30. Authority members have agreed to also sign, showing their support for the standards.

It was announced there will be a Georgia Hospital Association trustee meeting held Jan. 6-8 at Lake Oconee. All authority members are urged to attend. They are also encouraged to go to Atlanta on Dec. 13 to attend a luncheon where Dr. Sydney Cochran will receive recognition as a Georgia Hospital Hero.

Walker said he has met with the website company representatives regarding applying some new features. One change is the plan to use actual employee photos instead of stock photos.

Walker also announced there would be receptions next Monday and Tuesday for authority and hospital staff to meet prospective physicians being recruited.

The authority voted to cancel the December board meeting, as is the custom.

The board voted to go into executive session to discuss personnel and legal issues at 4:45 p.m. and came out at 5:20 p.m. without taking any action.