LRHC approves purchase for new endoscope system for their operating room

LEXINGTON —The Lexington Regional Health Center board of directors approved the purchase of a new endoscopic sterilization system for their operating room during their meeting on Tuesday.

Chief Financial Officer Wade Eschenbrenner presented the capital request to the board, he said the purchase of the new endoscope system to replace the old one would cost $33,243, which the board approved.

An endoscope is an illuminated optical instrument used to look deep into the body and examine internal organs, like the throat or esophagus. They can be used for diagnoses or assist in surgery.

The medical staff report was given by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisca Acosta-Carlson. She reported there are many medical students working and learning at the hospital. A new medical student will be starting their rotation for two months. A new resident is also finishing her first month, Acosta-Carlson said she is courteous, smart, and excellent in the obstetrician field.

“We are staying busy, keeping the students on the straight and narrow,” she said.

Chief Nursing Officer Nichole Thorell presented the nursing update, in which she said the hospital would be participating in World Stroke Day, which is on Tuesday Oct. 29.

The service excellence update, usually presented by Chief Operating Officer Jim Hain, who was absent, was presented by Executive Director of Human Resources and Physician Liaison Jill Denker. She said Hain had encountered a father at Mac’s Short Stop who stopped him and praised the hospital for their work when his son needed surgery for an injury.

Thorell also presented the quality update, in which she said LRHC Family Medicine Specialsits Clinic has been once again recognized as an exemplary practice. The hospital was also part of a swing bed data gathering program, which, among other things, looked at the success hospitals were having with their programs.

Executive Director of Therapy Services Kirsten Faessler spoke more about the program. Preliminary data shows that LRHC’s swingbed has a high percentage of getting patients back to their homes, seeing a high increase in function and mobility in comparison to other hospital data. Staff will be attending a conference in August to go over the study results and comparisons with more information to follow.

Faessler said LRHC’s swing bed program has grown, thanks in part to the improved communication about access to it.

CEO Leslie Marsh said during the provider recruitment update Dr. Kyle Klammer is set to start on Aug. 16. LRHC continues to work to find specialists and other medical professionals to join their team.

The marketing update was presented by Director of Marketing and Public Relations Brenna Bartruff. LRHC was involved in the Sumner and Elwood parades well as the Dawson and Gosper County Fairs. Members also participated in the Dawson County Relay for Life in Gothenburg.

The Sport Physical Nights continue to draw in more students, Bartruff said the May event drew in 67 people and July saw 65. Overall this year there have been 132 students served, which is an increase from 2018 which saw 105.

Denker commented the Under Sea Kids Camp started on Monday and, “the kids have loved every minute of it.”

LRHC is also hosting an event on Monday, Aug. 5 to lead up to their Legacy event on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Kirk’s Nebraskaland Restaurant, Denker said. On Aug. 5 there will be a full day silent auction of items and a free will lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The winner of the Plum Creek Sweep will be announced at 12 p.m.

The Legacy event itself will start with a social hour at 5 p.m. on Aug. 17, with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. This event has already sold out. Denker thanked everyone for their hard work for the Legacy event.

Denker also said Bartruff was accepted into next year’s Dawson Area Development leadership class.

Chief Information Officer Robb Hanna presented a brief electronic health record update. He said a major training event will be coming up concerning the switch in the electronic records. He said they are watching things very carefully and expect to straighten out any teething issues in the next couple of weeks.

Eschenbrenner presented the financial report and said they have finished another fiscal year and presented a high level look at the last month.

He noted there was a slight decrease in inpatient revenue from last year, but they have seen continual growth in their outpatient revenue. Inpatient numbers do tend to fluctuate, Eschenbrenner said, but their outpatient services continue to drive growth.

Their quarterly outpatient services were driven by lab and radiology, he said.

Overall concerning top line revenue growth, LRHC has seen a six percent growth. Gross revenue trend keeps coming up and their quarterly revenue is up from last year.

Cash on hand was a little under $16 million, Eschenbrenner said.

There was one charity care request Eschenbrenner presented which totaled $8,103. He said this patient’s situation met all of the requirements. The board approved.

There was a medical staff bylaw revision for Section 1.1, which was approved.

Appointments and reappointments were approved for Ashley Bellamy, APRN, Christopher Balwanz, MD, John Steuter, MD, Kenneth Burton, MD, Lucinda Moore, APRN, Michael Hull, CPNA, Sara Hargreaves, MD, Teresa Karre, MD.

Marsh presented the administrative report and handed out information from Two Rivers Health Department about community organizations responding to disasters, in this case, the July flooding.

She also said LRHC is participating with the state in a Medicaid pilot project, it is designed to aid the Medicaid enrollment process through Department of Health and Human Services’ Medicaid Division.

The board entered executive session for a personnel update, no action was taken afterward.

The next LRHC board meeting is Aug. 27 at 12 p.m.

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