Burke joins hospital as medical director

Published 9:49 am Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority welcomed Dr. Dean Burke, new hospital medical director, at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 21. Burke began his new duties effective May 1.

The board also heard positive financial news from finance committee chair, Glennie Bench. The month of April saw a net income of $133,423, prompting Bench to comment, “This is a good way to start a new year.” The hospital fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31 annually.

A new organizational chart, which had been tabled at the April meeting, was finally approved. Board member Dr. Linda Jones made the recommendation that the pharmacy department be placed under the direction of clinical people rather than administrative. Following discussion, the pharmacy department supervision was transferred to the medical director and the new chart was approved. Jones also suggested taking a future look at the many duties of Nursing Services Director, Cynthia Vickers, with a possibility of relieving her of administration of the nursing home. No action was taken on that.

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The board also approved to extend the two-year contract with the Baptist Leadership Group, which has been coaching the hospital  on implementing the Bridge to Excellence program. The contract expires the end of May and the request was for one more year at a cost of $85,500. This new contract will provide an additional 9 days of coaching and conferences, plus travel, as well as access to the software. Board member Linda Jones, M.D. questioned the need to spend the money for an additional year. She said she believed the first year of the program had been productive, but she questioned the effectiveness and commitment of some of the department personnel in the second year. She asked if the program couldn’t be continued under the leadership of in-house personnel without spending the money. She also said she had heard some of the department employees say that they thought the goal setting assignments may be taking away too much time from patient care.

Authority chair, Charles Tyson disagreed, saying he believed that 75 percent of the employees believe this program is important and that it has shown results in the positive way the hospital is now viewed by the community. “Goal setting and monitoring are important to patient care and evaluating employees,” he said, then added, “It takes time, but it is worthwhile.”

CEO Billy Walker and board member Bench agreed with Tyson that extending the contract would help develop in-house leadership to get the project back on track and the time was necessary for the person to grow into the job and become an internal coach.

Three capital equipment purchases were approved for the following:

• 56 custom designed dry erase communication boards for patient rooms at a cost of $6,760. The boards are said to enhance physician and nursing communication with patients and their families. This was a suggestion presented during the 2012 hospital authority retreat.

• Purchase of six new, updated computers monthly for the continuation of the computer replacement program at a yearly cost not to exceed $52,088. These purchases were budgeted into the 2013-14 budget.

• Wolters-Kluwer physician order sets for computerized entry required under meaningful use. The evidence based order sets are to be used to prove in an audit that the clinical opinion was based on sound, established medical practices. Lease-to-own five year cost is $109,650.

Also discussed, but not voted on at this time, was a one year subscription for CareLearning system, which provides software for employees to complete mandatory training on-line, at home or at work. The system is now being used on a one year trial basis.

CEO Billy Walker updated the authority on the events of the celebration of National Hospital Week held last week, at which time employee awards were given. He also related that all physician offices are now on line with the electrical health records system.

The board agreed to set the date of July 25 for the Hospital Authority annual retreat.

Following a brief executive session, the board returned to open meeting and approved minutes from the executive committee meeting, the total quality management meeting, and May credentialing of physicians.