Texas County Memorial Hospital building
Texas County Memorial Hospital Credit: FILE PHOTO

The Texas County Memorial Hospital board of trustees approved the implementation of a strategic plan at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.  The  plan focuses on hospital quality, revenue, staffing, internal culture and community relations over the next five years.

Chris Strickland, TCMH chief executive officer, said an overview of the new strategic plan was held in a special board meeting on Monday evening with the board of trustees, physicians and various department directors. 

Strickland explained that TCMH will continue the strong focus on serving the citizens of Texas County and the surrounding areas with the new strategic plan. 

“We want to better serve our patients by increasing quality, expanding our service lines to improve access to local healthcare, and controlling costs to attempt to make healthcare more affordable,” Strickland said.

“We want to better serve our patients by increasing quality, expanding our service lines to improve access to local healthcare, and controlling costs to attempt to make healthcare more affordable”

chris strickland, tcmh ceo

Strickland shared the new vision statement of the hospital: “Through constantly improving the patient experience and our overall quality of care, TCMH strives to increase the health of our communities, while making healthcare accessible and affordable for all.”

“Our core values are now in place as the guiding principles and fundamental beliefs of the hospital,” Strickland said. “WE CARE is our new acronym which stands for: Working together, Empathy, Communication, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm.”

According to Strickland, the hospital will utilize the strategic plan as a roadmap to achieve organizational goals and to move the hospital forward for the betterment of healthcare for everyone.

OTHER REPORTS

In other business, Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the February financials which reflected overall revenues down significantly by $935,580 from budgeted expectations for the month.

“The month of February is a shorter month with fewer business days, and we also had bad weather which forced our clinics to close for a few days and affected our emergency room volumes,” Pamperien said.

The hospital ended February with a negative bottom line of $350,825 and a year-to-date loss of $397,560.

Courtney Owens, TCMH chief nursing officer, introduced April Crites, the new quality assurance and risk management director at TCMH. Crites will be responsible for collecting and reporting data and process improvement.

“We are excited to have April on our team to lead our quality initiatives,” Strickland said. “Our quality director is vital for the hospital’s process improvement and bettering healthcare.”

Helania Wulff, TCMH director of physician recruitment, said the hospital is actively recruiting physicians. A family medicine physician currently in residency in Texas visited the hospital on March 30, and another family medicine resident is planning to visit in late April.  Both candidates intend to practice obstetrics as part of a future practice.

Jeff Gettys, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director, highlighted recent projects.  TCMH ambulances are being equipped with deer guards due to the high volume of deer that have been hit recently.  The installation of the deer guards will provide for safer transportation of patients and reduce the hospital’s insurance liability. 

Gettys said that a Universal Service Administrative Company agreement has been signed with Sho-Me Technologies of Marshfield that will provide the hospital with increased fiber optic service from 200 megabytes to one gigabyte.

Installation of a new computerized tomography (CT) unit in the hospital’s radiology department has been completed. The new unit replaces one that had reached the end of its life. According to Strickland, the new CT is the latest in technology and includes operating at a faster speed while using lower dose radiation.

Microbiology equipment is slated to be added to the TCMH laboratory by this summer.  It will enable the hospital to do blood, urine and wound cultures in-house rather than sending the cultures to a larger lab.

“In-house microbiology will improve patient care in many ways,” Strickland said. “One key use for microbiology is the ability to maintain antibiotic stewardship, which would allow patients to get discharged faster by ensuring the correct antibiotics are being utilized to fight the infection.”

The decision was made to move the board of trustees meeting back to the administrative board room from the community safe room due to the decline in Covid numbers.    

Present at the meeting were Strickland; Pamperien; Owens; Crites; Wulff; Gettys; Tricia Benoist, MD, vice chief of staff; Renina Pearce, medical staff coordinator; board members Dr. Jim Perry, OD; Joleen Durham; Jay Loveland; Steve Pierce; Allan Branstetter.

Due to a scheduling conflict, the next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees has been moved to noon Friday, April 29, in the TCMH board room. To attend the meeting via teleconference, call 417-967-1236 to be placed into the teleconference meeting.

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