Putnam County Hospital is planning to unveil its new cancer center, set for completion by Nov. 30.
The new cancer center is just one part of a five-phase reconstruction project for the hospital and will include seven infusion areas and three examination rooms.
Maintenance Director Jody Fox did a walk- through of the facility on Monday, and informed the hospital board last week that there are only a few small changes left to make. Staff will begin furnishing the unit this week and plans to hold a open house in the first two weeks of December.
The event will be open to the public, and board members also plan to invite the Putnam County Foundation, elected officials, and other donors who have contributed to the project. The board moved to approve payment to contractors and reported that the project did not exceed the $1.4 million budget.
The board also discussed lingering computer issues that date back to serious billing discrepancies in the accounts receivable department.
Meanwhile, board members expressed concerns that though staff members indicated a Hospital website would be completed three months ago, it is still not yet under construction.
Hospital administrator Dennis Weatherford explained that all energy has been diverted to a reorganization of the billing department and accounts receivable department, under his direction.
"There is nothing that jumps in front of accounts receivable and billing," said one board member, before suggesting that outside contractors be consulted.
Weatherford told the board that he had sought Web site construction quotes in the past and received prices that ranged from $8,000 to $28,000.
"It depends on how interactive the site is going to be," said Weatherford. "This is not going to be a bargain basement price."
The board also passed a motion to purchase software to help monitor the hospital's payment arrangement with Medicare.
"The software will provide interim cost reports that will allow us to zero down on reimbursements much more closely," said Weatherford, who added that it could save the hospital a considerable sum annually.
In other business, the board discussed the following:
* Nursing staff plans to hire OB/OR management positions.
* Board members received positive feedback on this month's prostate screening session.
* Financial reports indicated that the hospital's net income for October was $21,056, which brings the net income for the year to $58,052.
* The board reviewed the hospital's census for October, indicating that 119 patients were admitted to the hospital last month, slightly down from the October 2006. However, outpatient admissions rose to 4,200 up from 4,000 in October 2006.
* The board approved a motion to give employees a 1 percent holiday bonus.
* The board discussed the plans for a new dialysis center under construction south of the hospital. Though no firm opening date has been set for the center, the board anticipated its completion within coming weeks.
* Administrators are meeting with individual departments to prepare next year's budget. Budgets will be completed and presented to the board at the December board meeting.
* Staff completed the annual boiler inspection procedures and heating systems have been cleaned and serviced. The emergency generator has been tested and all elevators have been load tested and approved.