Hospital reports happy patients

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Mike Marshall was all smiles at the meeting of the Board of Directors of

Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital Thursday.

Holding up the final report from the Joint Commission, completed earlier that afternoon, the CEO/Administrator said the examiners made only six minor recommendations out of 462 areas, or an approval rating of 98.7 percent.

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Marshall also was able to present a rosier financial picture to the board after the dismal one from January. The Tombigbee Healthcare Authority (THA) was back in the black, with a gain of $150,201. The turnaround came from a greater number of both inpatient and outpatient cases.

On a down note, the higher number of patients contributed to a slight rise in infection rate.

What continued to please Marshall was the patient and physician satisfaction surveys, which stood at 97 percent. “Patient satisfaction is the highest it’s ever been,” he said.

The hospital also completed an employee satisfaction survey which jumped 12 percent over the past year to 90 percent. Marshall said the survey shows a “marked improved across the board.

With two new doctors now practicing at the hospital – an ear, nose and throat specialist and a cardiologist – Marshall expects an increase in patients being seen and treated at the facility.

He also is recruiting an orthopedic surgeon, an Alabama native who is interested in returning to his home state.

Marshall said the hospital is having trouble staffing the emergency room around the clock. He is working with a company in which he has “total confidence” on a turnkey operation to staff the ER.

The THA is a part of a purchasing alliance, but the biggest members are leaving to go with another group. Marshall said the THA and other, smaller members of the alliance will determine what steps to take at a meeting March 16.

He reported that Rush Hospital in Meridian, Miss., has received the go-ahead to pursue opening a 25-bed acute-care facility in Butler, which would cost $35 million. He recommended the THA board not oppose Rush Hospital when it submits a Certificate of Need to build the facility. “It’s shameful not to have a hospital in your county.”

Few of the hospital’s patient load comes from Choctaw County, he continued. The only drawback is the possibility that some of the hospital employees who live in the area would leave.

The board acknowledged the following reappointments:

Consulting staff: Drs. Dirk Berry and Garfield Ramdeen, nephrology; Drs. Jeffrey Brown and Stanford Rosen, podiatry, and Dr. Brian Wilkinson, pathology.

Special limited staff:

Jan Bradford, CRNP.

Emergency Room: Dr. Frank Lacina.

Active staff: Dr. Fernando Alegria, general/peripheral vascular surgery, and Dr. Bruce Atkins, general psychiatry.