Posted 3 months ago
By Kevin Horn
The Box Butte General Hospital (BBGH) Board of Trustees met Monday, November 25, and welcomed two new Trustees to the board: Tom Furman, DVM, of Alliance, and John Annen of Hemingford. Dr. Furman is a veterinarian, practicing at The Animal Center in Alliance. Mr. Annen is the Central Office Technician at Hemingford Cooperative Telephone Company in Hemingford.
Lori Mazanec was recognized for being promoted to Chief Operations Officer of the hospital. She has been with BBGH 13 years, most recently serving as the hospital’s Controller. Also recognized was Clinical Pharmacist John Argyle for passing his boards for Pharmacotherapeutic Specialist, a singular achievement; Patient Financial Services Cashier Carlena Arraj for being named the November Employee of the Month; and Dr. Vincent Bjorling for being named the Provider of Choice for the Third Quarter 2013. The board was then introduced to new employees Richard Hunter, Respiratory Therapist; and Elizabeth Jensen, Laboratory Phlebotomist.
After unanimously approving the consent calendar, Special Services Director Mary Mockerman presented the monthly Quality Management & Safety report. After presenting the Nebraska Coalition for Patient Safety Report, for the benefit of the new board members Ms. Mockerman explained the importance of BBGH belonging the Nebraska Patient Safety Coalition (Nebraska’s only Patient Safety Organization), which produces the Patient Safety Report. She said the report is a teaching tool distributed to member hospitals so that they can learn from reported events that have affected patient safety at other hospitals. The Coalition is also developing a Just Culture initiative, working with both hospitals and consumers in identifying the underlying causes of mistakes impacting patient safety. She then reviewed medication accident data at the hospital and briefly talked about the latest influenza report from the state. Only sporadic instances of influenza have been reported statewide, with no influenza being reported locally.
With no Chief of Staff report for the month, Ms. Mazanec was next on the agenda providing the October financials. She reported October showed a change in net position of $360,738. Total Patient Service Revenue was $3,755,000, exceeding projections by $38,000. Inpatient services, including Swing Bed, were $198,000 behind expectations. However this was offset by Outpatient services finishing $187,000 ahead of budget. Year-to-date inpatient revenues are 13.8 percent behind budget. On the other hand, outpatient revenue is $483,000 ahead for the year and up 6 percent compared to last year’s figure. October operating expenses were $145,000 under budget. Year-to-date expenses continue to look favorable and remain under budget by $304,000. October’s operating income was $338,000, significantly higher than predicted. BBGH’s year-to-date operations delivered a gain of $560,000, again very strong through the first four months. When including non-operating sources, the hospital year-to-date change in net position stands at $596,000, 81.1 percent ahead of the budgeted $329,000. Net Days in Accounts Receivable is sitting at 57 days for October, down three days compared to a year ago. Days Cash on Hand for October reports 95.8 days compared to 88.2 days one year ago. The Trustees unanimously accepted the October financial report.
CEO Dan Griess presented the Governance/Strategy Focus. Part of the yearly Governance duties includes an annual Board of Trustees self-evaluation report conducted in December. “However, since we’ve just added two new Trustees, I feel we should forgo that report until our new members have been on the board for a year,” he suggested. The Trustees concurred. He then informed the board that the Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network has an education program for board members and CEOs, with the next meeting scheduled for January 6 in Bridgeport. A flyer with all the information will be sent to Trustees to see who is interested in going.
The new addition/renovation project report focused on the good news that the Box Butte County Commissioners had ratified the $8-million General Obligation issue that morning by a 2-1 vote. CFO Tracy Jatczak and Mr. Griess had met with the Commissioners that morning during a special meeting to go over a wealth of financing information they had presented the Commissioners over the past week. She said this was actually the third time the bond issue has been before the County Commissioners, with the first meeting held in February when the Commissioners approved their intent to issue the bonds; then in April for the formal approval of the bond issue. What remained was getting the actual bond document approved at this week’s meeting. BBGH Attorney Terry Curtiss provided information on efforts to resolve matters over deed and road right-of-way information requests from First National Bank of Omaha. Mr. Griess went over the latest construction efforts, including new temporary main and emergency entrances and efforts to better address access issues, including more signage at appropriate locations.
Under new business, the Trustees were asked by Ms. Jatczak to sign a commitment letter for First National Bank of Omaha Interim Construction Financing in the amount of $28,750,000 with an initial interest rate of 2.02 percent, which will be adjusted monthly. The term of the loan is three years from the date of closing. She reviewed the letter’s more pertinent contents with the Trustees prior to asking for a vote on the matter, answering Trustee questions as they came up. The Trustees unanimously approved signing the commitment letter. Interim construction financing will be used to pay construction costs during the build due to the fact that the $28.75-million from the USDA will not be released until the project is finished, as per normal USDA loan procedures.
Hospital Safety Officer James Koeteman and Ms. Mockerman reviewed annual Safety Education efforts underway at BBGH, filling in aspects of the program to bring the new Trustees up to speed on features of the program. The report included: a review of the hospital code system; the results of a recently held Safety Fair for all employees; fire drill issues; hazardous communications training; accident investigation procedural guide; and a newly instituted Construction OASIS team to communicate latest information about construction planning and process.
Mr. Griess gave the board a brief report on a Regional Provider Network effort being initiated by nine Nebraska regional hospitals. He said the effort is in its infancy and will update the Trustees as it progresses. He then presented the 2013 Employee Engagement Results, comparing this year’s outcome with previous surveys. “We are seeing steady improvement in employee satisfaction and in employee engagement at BBGH,” he said.
After unanimously approving all credentialing requests, the Trustees set 7:00 p.m. Monday, December 23 for the next regular meeting. It will be held in the Alliance Room at the hospital. As always, the public is invited to attend. With no further business, the board adjourned the meeting at 8:43 pm.