The July Board Meeting was a Webex Virtual meeting arranged by the hospitals IT staff.
Opening & Reports
1. The Consent Agenda was approved. It contained the Minutes for the June Board Meeting; Minutes for a Quality Subcommittee Meeting; and a revised Privilege List for OB/GYN, RP, and CNM.
2. Dr. Seper, Hospital Chief of Staff, presented the applications for Medical Staff. Approved by the Board.
3. Electronic Health Records (EHR) Update—Vern Lougheed, Director of IT/ITS. Installing a new EHR is traumatic! It has been likened to a major building project, but the project went better than expected. “Great Job! Expanse is live!”In spite of nationwide resource shortages in both machines and people, and pop up problems with Home Health Services, the job went online as scheduled. Demographic information on 219,683 files were moved. Dr. Seper joined in to say that things were working, “Really, really, well.” Louogheed thanked Dr. Seper for his role in working with the Medical Staff to facilitate the transition. It was noted that personal medical histories are available but were not transferred to the new system. Similarly, over 25,000 records from the MyHealth Patient portal were transferred to Expanse. Currently, patients only have access to activity after 6/28/2022 on MyHealth, but providers have access to past data. A new patient eStatement with a more modern look was added to the Expanse software package. The EHR transition process is moving from “implementation” to “support.” Lougheed thanked the ITS Dept. for their great work, and singled out Debbie Oathoudt and Tami Morsching for their efforts.
Executive and Committee Reports
1. CEO Report—Steve Underdahl. a) COVID: the saga continues. The new varieties have very high transmission rates. The number of people in the hospital with COVID goes up and down. b) Strategic: staffing issues have delayed the opening of the Urgent Care Clinic. c) Operations: patient volume goes up and down and is uneven. The hospital is in discussions with the City on locating a new water tower near the hospital. There are concerns about helicopter access to the hospital. Task force work on mental health and substance abuse and the problem of transferring patients continues. d) Policy: Steve Underdahl continues to work with Angie Craig on the Rural Health Task Force. e) Recognition: Northfield Hospital received a 5 star rating for 2022 (top rating) from The Center for Medicare Studies (CMS). f) Other: The new national CRISIS LINE, at 988, is now operational.
2. Finance Report—Scott Edin. There is no financial report at this time. The transition to the new EHR is disruptive. The accounts for June were closed on June 27 and the new system went on line on July 18, so the accounts must be reconciled and brought up to date. There will be 2 monthly reports in August. It is expected that revenues will be down due to delays in billing, etc. while inflation is driving up expenses.
3. Budget and Finance Committee Report—Fred Rogers. The committee discussed the pros and cons of externally refinancing recent construction projects. The projects were initially financed internally using $6 to $10 million of surplus cash, but projected changes in the economic environment and other factors raise liquidity concerns going forward. The question will likely come to the full Board at the August meeting. The City Council would need to approve a proposal for NH&C to issue bonds.
Closed Session: The Board went into closed session.
Announcements: Next meeting: August 25, 2022