- The Board approved the minutes of the April Board meeting.
- The Board approved the applications for medical staff privileges.
- The Board approved policy changes and updates concerning events, recognition, and gifts to employees. Essentially, employees are not allowed to accept gifts from persons not employed by the hospital, including suppliers, patients, and physicians who admit patients to the hospital.
- The Board approved a proposal to purchase a new fracture table for the operating room at a cost of about $100,000. The table is used by orthopedic physicians. This particular table would facilitate a new type of hip replacement surgery as described below.
- The Board approved the purchase of a new C-arm Fluoroscopy system for imaging. Mobile C-arm fluoroscopy is used for visualizing motion inside the body for procedures done outside of the general radiographic fluoroscopy room. The new fluoroscopy is more powerful and will improve the quality of the diagnostic information. The hospital will retain the older C –arm fluoroscopy system as a back up.
Dr. Eric Stroemer from the Orthopedic and Fracture Clinic described a new hip replacement process (Anterior Approach Hip Replacement). The surgery is minimally invasive and doesn’t require the detachment of any muscles, which results in less pain, quicker recovery, and improved results. Dr. Stroemer reported that he has performed this surgery at Northfield Hospital, and the patients have been highly satisfied with the results. The surgery requires a more modern fracture table than the one available at the hospital (purchased in 1988). The hospital has been planning to purchase a new table for a few years, but hadn’t made it a priority item. Dr. Stroemer’s presentation and request made the purchase a priority, and the Board approved the purchase as reported above.
Chair Gina Franklin reported that all Board members had responded to the self-evaluation survey sent to them. The results are being tallied and will be used to plan a Board development program.
Mr. Steve Underdahl has accepted the position of CEO for Northfield Hospital and Clinics (NH&C) and will begin work on June 11, 2013. The transition planning is underway. Mary Crow, Interim CEO, will be available for consulting as needed.
The Medical Executive Committee had met and recommended changes in the medical staff peer review process. The changes would add the Medical Staff President and the physician being reviewed to the process, and the results would be available to the Medical Executive Committee.
Dr. Meland also reported that an epidemiologist from the U of MN had conducted a very interesting continuing education session on the new “superbugs” found in hospitals. The conclusion was that the hospital cleaning staff was the first line of defense against the superbugs, and that the cleaning staff should be properly trained and appreciated.
- Clinic Medical Director Report: the clinics have negotiated an agreement with two internal medicine physicians to provide hospitalist services for the clinics Monday through Fridays. This means that the office-based physicians in the system are not required to make hospital rounds during weekdays. Dr. Flannery reported that having hospitalist coverage improves the care of hospitalized patients, and makes it easier to recruit new physicians for the clinics.
The Public Relations Committee reported that a cleaning service at one of the clinics had disposed of confidential patient data mixed with general garbage. NH&C has arranged for one year of credit protection coverage for all patients whose personal data might have compromised. Steps have been taken to insure the privacy of personal data at the clinics.
Work on the Community Health Assessment next fall is continuing. It is hoped that students at Carleton and St. Olaf colleges might participate in the processing and interpretation of the data. The Public Relations Committee plans to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for marketing services to the hospital in 2014.
- CFO Report: The Hospital and clinics were above budget for revenue and total income in April, putting the Total Income about $1 million above budget year-to-date. The Treasurer, as is the nature of treasurers, warned that the upcoming negotiations with Blue Cross were expected to be very difficult, and that the financial picture could change drastically with the implementation of the Accountable Care Act (Obama Care) in 2014.
- CEO Report: The CEO was not in attendance.
- Mr. Dana Graham, Mayor of Northfield, attended the meeting as the new Council liaison to the Hospital Board.
- A question was raised regarding the environmentally friendly practices of the hospital. In response, several programs were cited, including one to trade-in used medical equipment.