Hospital Week 2005- A WMC Update


Billie Porter
Community Relations Director


Each May during Hospital Week, hospital employees traditionally have a little fun, celebrate their successes, review the past year and look towards the future. It is also a good opportunity to share some of these thoughts with our community.

Critical Access - Being a CAH (Critical Access Hospital) continues to be extremely positive for us. The reimbursement is better as a CAH and our patients can tell no difference. For years, money we received from government programs was less than the cost of providing service-and costs of labor, medicine and technology continues to rise. Equipment and Repairs--In the last year we have been able to replace Radiology equipment originally purchased in 1982 and are in the process updating our Hospital Information System. In the past, we have simply been forced to put off so many repairs needed for a nearly ninety year old building-from plumbing to our roof. We are currently replacing our 25 year old roof and are looking forward to being leak free. Some needed repairs/ renovations prove nearly impossible--with no crawl spaces, solid masonry walls and concrete floors.

Wilson Medical Center Foundation- We have survived the past thirteen years because of our Foundation. The Foundation has provided matches for grants, new equipment, some essential repairs and educational opportunities. Memorials, planned giving from several estates, Taste of Neodesha and response to our newsletters have been more important than ever. With the help of our Auxiliary, last year we placed new TV's in patient rooms and in the OP waiting room. This year the Foundation provided laparoscopic surgical and sterilizing equipment.

Scholarships- As most hospitals have scrambled for nurses, technicians and other employees, we have been blessed with loyal employees. We gratefully realize that many of our employees came as a result of Medical Scholarships.

HIPPA-- Since April 14, 2003, people have found more to read in hospital waiting rooms than magazines. Patients are asked to sign that they were offered or given a copy of the facility's Notice of Privacy Practices. This notice is required by the federal privacy law, often referred to as HIPPA-Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This law has made some changes in how hospitals' patient information is used.

Although patient names are no longer published in the paper, we have noticed two things: 1. Patients have found ways to make their admission known-if they want it known. 2. Since patients stay such a short time, they are usually in and out before newspapers are published. Like you, we want to ensure your health information is shared only by those who can make a positive contribution to your treatment-and no one else.

Generations-Our Senior Behavioral Unit reopened in January and has been busy. Our surveys showed a need and we celebrate the return of many staff members who had us "up and running" quickly.

Wound Care-Our number of patients continue to grow and we are proud of our high success rates. Frequently our patients have had wounds for many years and, when cured, generously share their success stories.

Get Fit!-Physical Therapy and our Wellness Center celebrated their 5th anniversary in their new facility. June 4th is the date of their second 5k and one mile fun walk/run walk.

Many PT patients become members of our wellness center as they continue their journey towards good health.

The Future: Our annual retreat to update our 3-year strategic plan was held out of town this year and included 100% participation of WMC's Board of Trustees and 100% participation (all 3) of our physicians and 100% participation of our Administration. We hired a physician to cover for the day so that our on-call physician could attend. Our diverse Board of Trustees includes representation from agriculture, education, industry, clergy and healthcare. This planning and cooperation by our physicians, Board of Trustees and administration, results in a stronger healthcare community. Hospital Week 2005 finds WMC proud of our past, grateful for our community support and optimistic about the future.