- The Board approved the minutes of the December Board meeting.
- The Board approved the applications for medical staff privileges, and welcomed Dr. Gerard O’Halloran as the new Chair of the Medical Executive Committee.
- The Board approved a new application form for Pediatric Core privileges.
- The Board approved the purchased of Omnicell units for Post Anesthesia Care and for Same Day Surgery. The Omnicell units will improve the security and administration of controlled substances.
- The Board approved new officers for 2013: Gina Franklin will continue as Board Chair and Charlie Kyte will be Vice-chair.
Andy Yurek and Vern Lougheed reported on hospital and clinic security procedures. The hospital has adopted an “integrated” approach that combines all security concerns, electronic and physical, on a single committee. Part of the rational for integration is that failure at any one site can compromise security in other sites. The hospital has continued to upgrade both electronic and physical security systems over the past year.
It was reported that the staffs of the hospital and the long-term care unit achieved a high rate of flu vaccination. There have been no cases of flu reported in the long-term care unit thus far this season in spite of the increase in flu cases among the general population.
1. CEO Mary Crow reported on 2012 year-end service volumes. Inpatient admissions continued to decline; outpatient services continued to grow. The total of inpatient and outpatient continues to grow. Births, ER visits, and EMS services all increased in 2012; surgery and imaging services decreased. Services delivered at the 5 clinics (Elko, Lonsdale, Northfield, Lakeville, and Farmington) showed mixed results: some increases and some decreases.
The clinic figures prompted considerable discussion. Board members wanted to know why there were decreases in patient services and what was being done to reverse the trend. The response was that doctors attract patients, and physician turnover at the clinics has resulted in fewer visits this year. Plans to reduce physician turnover include more recruiting of physicians by current clinic physicians and less reliance on Mayo Clinic recruiting; promoting better integration of clinic physicians into the Northfield Hospital system; and establishing an effective system for communication between clinic physicians and the larger system.
One Board member expressed his appreciation for the insight and courage of earlier Board members who adopted the clinic strategy.
2. Board members reported on what they had learned at a recent 2-day MHA Trustee Conference. (All of the Board members were in attendance.)
- City hospitals are at a disadvantage due to the open meeting law. Should NCH be exploring a 501 C-3 status?
- Board members should be communicating with their state and national legislators on health related issues.
- Addiction to controlled substances is a national epidemic.
- The aging of the Baby Boomers is going to increase the need for home health care and long-term care.
- NCH should participate in a community health needs assessment.
1. The Governance and Planning Committee reported that they were in communication with the City on various issues.
- The Council did not approve of the documentation necessary to complete the $107,000 NCH donation to fund the 2012 Community Ed and Rec Program.
- The City Council and the Hospital are exploring ways to promote communication between them. Should a Council member be appointed to the Board’s Governance and Planning Committee?
- How far does the City Charter allow the Hospital to go in its support of the City budget?
- Board members expressed the hope that the issues could be quickly resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
2. The Budget and Finance Committee minutes show that $5000 was approved to fund outside legal counsel, and that CEO Mary Crow was in conversation with Friends of Way Park.
3. CFO Report: The Hospital and clinics had a strong fourth quarter. Revenues and Net Income for December were above budget. The improvements allowed the hospital to slightly exceed its Net Income target for the year.
4. CEO Report: The process for recruiting a new CEO is going more slowly than expected. The recruiting firm found in their visit that Northfield City Hospital is more complex than indicated by its size, and that City ownership adds a degree of complexity in the minds of candidates. The current plan is to have on-site interviews in April and a decision sometime in May.