Dr. Sylvester Youlo, an orthopedic surgeon, will begin seeing patients at the Outpatient Specialty Clinic inside the hospital, Texas County Memorial Hospital board members heard at their monthly meeting last week.
Youlo, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, specializes in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine for adults and children. With 13 years of experience, Yuolo cares for patients with arthritis of the hip, knee and shoulder, ligament and tendon repairs, sports injuries, total joint replacements and more.
“I spend time with my patients and help figure out the diagnosis, what the problem is, and how it can be treated,” Youlo said. “We then discuss treatment options together as I believe it’s a shared decision.”
“Dr. Youlo is passionate about helping his patients and he will be a tremendous asset to our patients and community,” Stace Holland, TCMH chief executive officer, said. “We are excited to welcome him to TCMH and appreciate the partnership with Phelps Health in making this happen for our community.”
Holland discussed the need for Dr. James Rice, a cardiologist from CoxHealth, to resume seeing patients at the TCMH Outpatient Clinic in the hospital. Rice stopped his once-a-month clinic in January when CoxHealth halted physician visits outside their hospital and clinics. Rice has been a specialty physician at TCMH for over 20 years.
“I have been in conversations with Cox regarding the continuing need for Dr. Rice to see patients at our outpatient clinic,” Holland said. “Cox explained that due to physician shortages they have discontinued all specialists from seeing patients at other facilities at this time.”
Holland noted that Rice is an excellent doctor whom patients and community have built a relationship with.
April Crites, TCMH quality and risk management director, discussed the hospital’s 2023 Quality Assurance Performance Improvement Plan which was included in the board member’s meeting packets.
“The 2023 plan is similar to last year in the data we are collecting and reporting,” Crites said. She noted that adjustments were made to provide even better patient care within all departments along with the introduction of the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program in our emergency department.
“Our hope with the implantation of the SANE program is that our emergency department staff with SANE training will assist in minimizing our patient’s physical and psychological trauma and maximize the probability of evidence collection and preserving physical evidence,” Crites said.
Crites also presented the recent patient satisfaction scores for November through January. She commended the hospital’s housekeeping department for doing a great job with hospital cleanliness which consistently receives high patient satisfaction scores.
“Our housekeeping department continuously outperforms all the other hospitals in our region,” Crites said. “We are fortunate to have such a great team led by Amy Wilson.”
Courtney Owens, TCMH chief nursing officer, reported that several nurses have been hired in the past month for medical surgical, obstetrics, emergency and surgery departments.
“Nursing recruitment and retention have been going well,” Owens said. Owens attributed the recruiting and retention success to new programs which include a $2,500 sign-on bonus, a tuition reimbursement program of $1,000 per semester for full-time employees and student nurse interns pursuing a nursing degree, and a new nursing loyalty program for the hospital’s full-time nurses. Owens also believes social media advertising has assisted with nurse recruiting efforts.
Owens reported that Hutcheson Pharmacy launched a new HIPAA-secure website at www.hutchesonpharmacy.org to make it easier for our patients to get their prescriptions.
“Patients no longer have to call the pharmacy to request refills or prescription transfers,” Owens said. “The mobile app is available for Android and Apple devices and can be found as PocketRX in the app store, or users can visit the new website and click on the mobile tab to receive a text with the link.”
Owens noted that the pharmacy’s website is also a tool that contains a substantial amount of user-friendly information with links to health-related articles. “We are thrilled to offer this advanced technology and convenience to our patients and community,” she said.
Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the financial report for January.
“Our outpatient revenue was down $898,834 for the month from our budgeted expectations. Most of the decrease was driven from emergency room visits being lower for January,” Pamperien reported. “This also affected our ancillary departments such as radiology and laboratory.”
TCMH ended January and year-to-date with a negative bottom line of $256,289.
Helania Wulff, TCMH physician recruiter director, updated board members on current recruiting efforts which include an upcoming visit with a family medicine physician that also practices obstetrics and ongoing talks with two internal medicine physicians.
Following a hospital-wide naming discussion, TCMH will call the property across U.S. 63 the “TCMH East Campus Clinic.” The building currently houses TCMH Hutcheson Pharmacy, Home Health of the Ozarks, Hospice of Care and Outpatient Surgery. TCMH purchased the building from Mercy in 2018.
Present at the meeting were Holland; Crites; Owens; Pamperien; Wulff; Jennifer Hugenot, TCMH human resources director; board members Joleen Durham, Jim Perry, OD, Steve Pierce and Allan Branstetter.
The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is noon Tuesday, March 28, in the hospital board room.