Amidst pie and coffee, at the request of board member Vicki Fowlkes at the July 28 hospital board meeting, the Fulton County Hospital board members discussed current issues during their regular monthly meeting Aug. 25.
Phillip Hughes, chief information officer gave an update on the digital radiology unit. Hughes said they are in the process of converting CT scans to the new digital PACS (Picture Archive Communications System), which will provide better quality pictures so doctors can readily see what is wrong with a patient and give a more accurate diagnosis. According to Hughes, PACS will store any type of imaging scans in a digital format so doctors can look back at a patient's scans when needed.
Dr. Griffin Arnold said he has already received pictures from the new system and the hospital is trying to get a 24-hour radiology unit. "The pictures are excellent quality. I think we're going to be incredibly happy with this (new system)," Dr. Arnold said.
Hughes also informed the board of Internet service upgrades. The hospital will be switching from a DSL Internet service to a Metro Ethernet link. "It should provide better quality of service," Hughes said.
According to Hughes, the hospital would routinely lose its Internet connection during storms. With ethernet this problem will not happen, Hughes said. "In coming weeks, we should be connected entirely," Hughes said.
In new business, Tammy Friel, chief operation officer, said Dr. David Kauffman is willing to donate a plot of land to the hospital to construct more parking space. In the previous board meeting, the board expressed concerns about there not being enough parking space. The board agreed that a donation of land would be helpful in creating more parking.
Chief Executive Officer Angela Richmond gave the financial report. "Inpatient revenue has gone up. Even compared to this month last year, it is up," Richmond said.
Net patient revenue is also up 30 percent from last year. In regard to payroll, Richmond said nursing payroll is up about $20,000 from last year and housekeeping payroll is up as well, from $9,252 last year to $15,954. "We've doubled the square footage and it's more for them to keep up with," Richmond said.
The average cash in-flow for July was $673,428. "It's the first month in a long time that we've brought in $11,000 more in cash," Richmond said.
The hospital has also seen increases in employees. Six LPNs have been added to the staff, as well as five aids and two RNs, along with some others. "We've been having growing pains and we're trying to figure out the best way to take care of people," Richmond said of the new employment at the hospital.
The next hospital board meeting will be Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in Dining Hall B. The public is invited to attend.