RHC Advisory Board Reviews Improvements in Alliance Clinic
The GNMSS Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Advisory Board for the Alliance Clinic met Oct. 17. to discuss concerns, feedback, suggestions, and changes happening at the clinic. The Joint Commission findings, provider staff updates, and review of services were all discussed, as well as praise for care and services.
Attending the meeting were: Administrative Assistant Brittany Stull, Nurse Practitioner Abigail Vogel, Physician Assistant (PA) Brittney Bauer, Dr. Jessica Ott, GNMSS Clinic Manager Joni Sautter, Nurse Practitioner Sally Bryner, Nurse Practitioner Kristin Ferguson, Box Butte General Hospital BBGH Trustee Linda Schneider, BBGH Promotions Specialist Shae Brennan, BBGH Graphic and Communications Specialist Brian Kuhn, BBGH COO Jim Bargen, and BBGH CEO Lori Mazanec.
The approval of the Oct. 25, 2016 minutes was the first order of business. Ms. Sautter then reported the findings of the Joint Commission survey, relaying there were no deficiencies or findings in the Alliance Clinic. She also later mentioned the chart audits had great reviews from the Joint Commission.
Ms. Mazanec delivered provider staffing updates next, bringing up the addition of Mr. Bargen as the administrative sponsor for the clinic. She also acknowledged the additions of Kristin Ferguson, APRN-BC, and Sally Bryner, APRN-BC, to the GNMSS medical team this year. The shift of PA Jerre Mount from Family Medicine to full-time Orthopedic Assistant was also discussed. Ms. Mount continues to follow patients in Dialysis as well. Another addition includes Physician Recruiter Shelby Andersen, who Ms. Mazanec says will “tell our story” better than the external recruiters in past years because of her rural roots and ties to the community.
Ms. Mazanec then discussed the surgical side of things, stating Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Surgeon Dr. Bryan Bomberg is looking to provide care three days a week instead of two in the future. Dr. Bomberg will visit three weeks a month starting sometime in 2018.
A review of services was also provided by Ms. Mazanec. She said the RHC hours have not changed and the Alliance Clinic is open 5 days a week. However, there has been a scheduling change, which is advantageous to providers and patients. One provider is always on call, which improves accessibility.
The board then reviewed statistics and volume of the clinic. Ms. Mazanec reported the volume decreased 13% in the ‘16-‘17 fiscal year because of the loss of an internal medicine physician. The financial status was also covered by Ms. Mazanec, who said for the 2017 fiscal year the clinic is $1.1 million ahead of revenue projections, and that “the hospital is seeing financial gains in ancillary services referred to by the surgeons in the areas of imaging, lab, and therapy practices.” She also said that the budget has been aligned differently to allow for contractual differences and that the total clinic contribution to the organization showed a net loss of nearly $1.3 million, compared to a budgeted net gain of $603,000 and a $91,000 loss one year ago.
Ms. Sautter reviewed a new program partnership with Bryan Health for a Transitions of Care Cohort, management, and chronic care management. “This program will improve communication across the facility so that everyone is on the same page,” Ms. Sautter said. “Our short term goal is to improve communication facility wide, and our long term goal is to reduce readmission rates by 5%. Right now we are at 8.7%, which is the lowest readmission rate out of those participating there (other hospitals at the meeting with Bryan Health).”
Linda Schneider then shared her personal experience. In reference to having knee replacement surgery, she said, “I couldn’t have asked for better care and services. I tell anybody I can it was an awesome experience. I honestly feel that the treatment I got is given to every other patient here. You guys did an awesome job. Everybody was wonderful. It was a good experience.”
With no other business, the meeting adjourned at 12:44 p.m.