Hospital's new OB wing welcomes its first baby

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Assistant Editor

Even though Putnam County Hospital's new Obstetrics and Gynecology wing has only been open for six days, it's been a busy place.

At Wednesday's hospital board meeting, PCH head nurse Joannie Perkins told the five board members in attendance that the first baby was born in the new wing the first day of operations, which was April 14.

"It was christened very well," Perkins said. "Things have been going well."

Perkins added the wing has also already had its first set of twins.

PCH Maintanence Director Jody Fox also told board members on Wednesday that operations are in full-swing. He said maintanence workers had to adjust room temperatures in a few rooms, and the shower stalls have been resurfaced, but things are moving along.

"(The transition phase) went well," Fox told the board. "The showers seem to be draining well. I haven't heard any problems.

"We've been real busy with the OB move, but all in all, it was pretty wrinkle-free."

Meanwhile, PCH Chief Financial Officer Kevin Fowler told the board that in-patient revenue for December 2005 was under budget by nearly $500,000, causing concern.

Fowler, however, explained to the board that PCH has recognized industry standards regarding in-patient stays. He said stays at PCH for one day only is no longer considered in-patient status.

PCH Executive Director Weatherford explained that the changes are only for classifications.

Fowler also said that $400,000 was taken out of reserves in March for operations because of a backlog of critical access claims. However, he said the money will be returned soon.

"I'm hoping by the end of the month, we can return that," Fowler told the board.

Board member James Malayer expressed concern as to whether critical access was working in the hospital, to which Fowler said it was.

"I would say yes," Fowler said.

Fowler added he had not heard of any problems from clinical staffers regarding critical access.

In other business, the board:

-- Learned hospital administration is putting together an on-line medication registration record.

-- Learned the state has asked the hospital have to make some changes to its information system, which could affect Internet and e-mail use.

-- Approved a request for the hospital's Code Blue system, estimated at $2,865.

-- Approved a request to purchase a new arthoscope, estimated at $6,000. Weatherford told the board the current piece of equipment has two failing camera heads.

-- Learned the Guild Luncheon has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on April 24 at Asbury Towers. Weatherford will speak at the event.

-- Learned hospital officials are preparing for the annual skills fair, set for May 10-11.

-- Learned there was a full-time opening for an emergency room nurse on the nightshift.

-- Learned that the hospital had a $225,000 operating loss in December 2005.

The hospital board meets regularly on the third Wednesday of each month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 17.

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