Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems held their annual auxiliary meeting on April 3. The group had lunch at 11:30 before presentations and the business meeting took place. Vicki Mears was recognized during the event for her many years of service.
Information was also shared about hand-hygiene practices on site. Every other month a new poster is placed throughout hospital departments to stay new and eye-catching so as not to become unnoticed to due to redundancy. Healthcare associated infections were also discussed. These are infections that prevail in health care facilities. Often due to lacking in the previously mention hand hygiene practices. Employees and visitors alike are encouraged to cough into the crease of their elbow rather than their hands to help temper the spread of infections.
There was a Norovirus outbreak in the community in the past several months. Several school children were affected and it also made its way into the hospital and hit long term care particularly hard. Special cleaning practices are regularly performed in the hospital to help curb such outbreaks. Staff members performing such detail use personal protective equipment in the process.
Immunizations were also a topic of discussion. Flu shots were encouraged, although they may not be effective due to constant changes in the nature of and makeup of a particular virus. She said it really is a guessing game as to what to try to protect from in-regard to vaccine making because it is an educated guess as to what strains may be most prevalent. She said flu shots are typically about 60 percent effective. There are also newer vaccines for pneumonia, but again several strains of the ailment exist and vaccines may not always be effective. However, it should be for most strains.
Hospital staff not only monitor the hospital but the community in general to try to stay ahead of potential illness outbreaks. They use a wide variety of practices to curb the spread of such infections. Hygiene practices, protocols for equipment usage and other considerations are put into practice to aid in this effort.
MCHHS CEO Jeremy Armstrong delivered a report on the hospital. He expressed great appreciation for the work performed by the auxiliary. His report included highlights of the past year. He presented copies of the hospital’s annual report, and discussed the successful recruitment of Dr. Crumbaker and Dr. Banker.
Armstrong also said they are continuing their journey toward become a provider of choice in North Central Kansas along side efforts from the Studer Group which is a consulting organization that assists in putting patients first. MCHHS works to discover and put into practice new strategies to continually include those effort and have branded the procedures “I-Care”.
MCHHS rated in the top 25 percent nationally for survey results received from patients who received care in four of the nine components on the surveys. They were also rated as the eleventh cleanest hospital in the nation among those who had results reported.
Armstrong also discussed Medicaid expansion which is currently a hot topic in Topeka. The legislature has passed an expansion bill, but the governor vetoed it last week. Armstrong, an expansion supporter, said that hospitals have lost billions of dollars in potential revenue that they should have received. He stated that Medicaid expansion was a necessary action in order to make the Affordable Care Act effective. Current estimates show that Kansas has left over a billion dollars on the table by not expanding medicaid.
The business meeting for the auxiliary was then conducted beginning with the reading of last year’s minutes. There were 19 members present including board members. The current treasurer’s report showed $48,220 available. Over $40,000 was spent on projects in the past year.
The auxiliary operates the Economy Shop in Beloit. It is located in the upstairs of the Municipal Building and helps raise funds for the group. The shop proceeds allows them to not have to do any additional fundraisers. This is fairly uncommon among rural area hospitals who typically have to hold fundraising campaigns to fund their auxiliary.
Karen Buser provided a committee report on the Economy Shop. She said the shop has been rearranged, and they are acclimating to that. The changes were deemed necessary to improve ease of access to certain items. Buser thanked Beloit City Administrator Jason Rabe for allowing them extra access to the site to do deep cleaning. The Economy Shop is open on Wednesday’s from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. and is located in the upstairs up the municipal building. No bedding, no computers or large electronics or furniture.