Hospital board approves three new doctors for ER, patient care
by Alan Reed
Aug 22, 2007 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trigg County Hospital’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to allow Hospital CEO Lisa Coleman to proceed with hiring up to three physicians as hospitalists/emergency medical directors for the facility.

. The hospital’s relatively low volume mandates the unique division of labor for the position. When free from emergency room details, the physicians will balance their time by tending to admit patients in the hospital’s charge to make the position cost effective, according to Coleman.

“We are losing admissions that could be safely treated in the hospital,” said Coleman. “We are currently seeing admissions of about five percent from the ER, and think we could admit between 12 and 15 percent.”

In a pro forma statement prepared by Coleman and hospital management group QHR, an increase to eight percent would generate $188,406 of additional profit, an increase to 10 percent would bring $531,724 and 12 percent would generate $877,408.

Currently, the hospital staffs the emergency room with local physicians and doctors contracted through a staffing agency. Though the local doctors can admit patients under their care, the contracted physicians cannot.

Chief Nursing Officer Gail Franks said that pulmonary care patients require additional long-term care from dedicated physicians, making the current arrangement impractical. “We will still transfer some cardiac patients, true emergencies such as trauma and orthopedic patients. Some patients need to be admitted for observation, and I have come to the conclusion this would have a positive impact on hospital admissions.”

QHR Representative Herb Winters said, “This is not without some risk, but it is a calculated risk. We stand to break even if not come out ahead.”

Coleman said that she did not factor ancillary services such as x-rays and lab work into her pro forma, but anticipated an additional increase in revenues from those services.

Board Member Dan Jurgens noted that the community stood to benefit from keeping business within the community, from the additional services, the hiring of three new physicians, and for patients and families to continue to spend their money locally.

With the board in unanimous agreement, Coleman said that she had screened several physicians for the positions, and believed candidates could be hired by October. She added that one had launched a similar program in another state. Coleman said that many physicians saw Trigg County Hospital as a good employer due to reduced workloads compared to busy urban facilities.

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