Red numbers expected in coming year at hospital

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 1, 2003

The board of directors of the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority passed their fiscal year 2004 budget Thursday night during their regular monthly meeting.

Expected revenues are $19,054,571 with estimated expenses totaling $20,182,898.

The year-to-date figures for fiscal year 2003 were also reported during the meeting with $18,845,010.00 for revenue and $18,378,071.00 for expenses.

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In other action from Thursday’s board meeting, Mike Marshall, the new CEO and administrator of the Bryan W. Whitfield Hospital, unveiled the outline of a new "report card" which he will present at future board meetings. The report is broken down into four categories to judge hospital performance: "volume indicators," "financial indicators," "clinical indicators" and "staff indicators."

The report card needs to tell the board where there is a problem "so we can admit we got it and start dealing with it," Perry said.

Marshall has talked to a third-party company to track patient satisfaction. "They have an outstanding product….It basically gives you real-time, day-to-day patient satisfaction with a response rate of about 70 percent." A test trial will begin October 1.

Marshall is looking for ways to make the emergency room "consistently good." He had received positive and negative calls about the ER. There will be some changes in the physician staffing to allow for "consistent coverage."

There is talk of an outside company doing a market survey "to let us know where we stand in the community with services and programs," Marshall said.

The hospital will re-implement a "swing bed" program October 1 allowing an acute care bed to be turned into a quasi-nursing home bed for specific cases.

A second Operating Room (OR) will be opened, Marshall said. "Our OR cases are growing," he said.

During a recent employee relations meeting, the first since the resignation of former administrator Charles Nabors, board members were able to complement the employees "on the way they hung together and pulled as a team during our difficult transition," Perry said.

Dr. Ronnie Chu reported that he had chosen as the medical chief of staff for FY 2004 at Whitfield hospital. "I’m anxious to work with everybody to better the medical staff and the treatment of patients," he said.

A nominating committee was named to select a new board member and select board officers for fiscal year 2004. The committee includes Tom Perry, Webb Tutt and A.J. McCampbell.

The hospital board held two executive sessions, one at the beginning of the regular meeting and one at the end.