Fulton County Hospital CEO turns in letter of resignation

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Fulton County Hospital Board members met for their regular monthly meeting Monday, April 23. The foundation report, financial and statistical report, credentialing, Quality Assurance, Business Associate Agreement, discussion of the May meeting and Hospital Week were items on the agenda.

Jennifer Perryman provided a foundation report.

“The foundation met Friday, their focus right now is the scholarships. They give one scholarship to a hospital employee or family member and they also give one scholarship to a local school student who is wanting to further their education in health care. That was the focus of the meeting and they are gathering those and [giving] last minute reminders that scholarships are due into the foundation on [April] 25. At that time, the committee will review them and then pick the winner from both the hospital and the school system,” said Perryman. The motion to approve the foundation report passed.

The next topic for discussion was the financial and statistical report. All members were in favor of accepting the financial and statistical report.

Reports from the Chief of Staff discussed credentialing and Quality Assurance.

“One major item of business and it will approve one person from our radiology group. Part of our radiology group that we added to our readers passed all the credentialing process and is approved in medical staff this morning and I present to the board for approval of credentialing and privileges,” said Dr. Arnold. All members were in favor of accepting the medical staff recommendation.

Tammy Hodges spoke about Quality Assurance

“For EMS, they are [monitoring] how long it takes to get a STEMI patient, which is a heart attack, to get to Baxter to have a heart cath and want to do it within 120 minutes and they are at 100 percent for January, February and they didn’t have any in March. That is a great time that we are in with the group in Baxter and we always get the patients there in the right amount of time to get their heart cath. On nursing, our social profile needs updated. That is something we have to do. We use our goal as 100 percent and we made 100 percent and we are doing good on that. In [the] emergency department, a lactate lab [for] all patients with the diagnosis of sepsis. It is 100 percent for all three months. Our EKGs are performed within 10 minutes on all patients that come in with chest pain and we are at 100 percent. One was nine minutes, one was six minutes and one five minutes for the month,” said Hodges.

Hodges also spoke about a new sepsis protocol and the monitoring of a new probiotic.

“We just started this new sepsis protocol because it is a new thing that is real important. The lactate order for all patients with the diagnosis of sepsis, our goal is 100 percent but we were at zero percent, zero percent and then 100 percent. We have implemented standing orders today with med staff to try to get that number brought up. We are also monitoring a probiotic that is ordered with all orders that have antibiotics,” said Hodges.

Hodges talked about how they are taking measures to prevent needle sticks by ensuring their containers are not too full.

“We do sharp container checks to make sure that our sharps containers are not full because that increases the risk of needle sticks for our employees. Three of the sharps containers had tape stuck in them where we put our IV catheters in and the tape sticks them shut. We have bought red cans and put them in all of the patient’s rooms so we could throw them in there and not hang out our sharps container so hopefully that will take care of that issue,” said Hodges. The board members were in favor of the approval of Quality Assurance.

Perryman spoke about the Business Associate Agreement.

“Whenever we have someone that comes into our facility that could be privied to confidential information that is not a Business Associate Agreement. In reviewing, we had some issues that arose and so in the process of reviewing things with legal, legal questioned if the board of governors ever signed a Business Associate Agreement. I explained no. With the sensitive nature in which the board deals with both open session and executive session, a Business Associate Agreement is needed for each board member to sign. Basically, it is a confidentiality agreement, but for hospitals it is a Business Associate Agreement. Every nurse practitioner that comes in who shadows signs one of these and every business that we do business with. If one of our physicians has a nurse come in and shadows with a physician that nurse signs, it is again, just a confidentiality agreement. The High Tech Act with the electronic health record, the High Tech Act was put into place, so the verbiage for the High Tech Act is in there. The governing board members, with the exception of Dr.Arnold, does not have access to electronic health record, but Dr.Arnold does. It is just standard verbiage for our Business Associate Agreements,” said Perryman.

The board members then discussed the board meeting scheduled in May and discussed the re-scheduled time due to the meeting falling on Memorial Monday. The next meeting is scheduled on May 21 at 5 p.m.

Another topic discussed was changing the time of the meetings. The changing of the scheduled time resulted in a board member being absent from the previous meeting.

The board members were scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month, but the time has changed to 5 p.m.

“We had some employees who wanted to start attending the meetings and we had some rescheduled meetings that a couple of our board members preferred meeting earlier,” said Perryman.

All members voted in favor of changing the scheduled time of the board meetings to 5 p.m.

CEO, Charles Willet, spoke about Hospital Week.

“Hospital Week will be May 9. We are having this one special day for our employees. A lot of our vendors have made donations so we can give some nice prizes to our employees that day. We just want our employees, this is a special day they can enjoy,” said Willet.

Willet also explained that an individual who received care at the Fulton County Hospital was surprised by the quality of care they received.

“Our EMS people got a call about two weeks ago. They went to pick up a lady who wanted to go to Baxter because she was scared to go to a small hospital. They got pretty close to Fulton County Hospital and her blood pressure bottomed out,” said Willet.

The patient had sent a letter to Fulton County Hospital thanking them for their excellent care and Willet read the letter aloud.

“I want you all to know that how you all cared mean so much to those who are ill. All of you, each and every one, was so wonderful to me while I was hospitalized. The physical care was the best and the friendliness and the spirit of all the staff couldn’t be matched anywhere.”

Willet also provided a letter of resignation from his position of CEO of the board. Willet asked Charles Owens to read his letter to the board members.

“I was given the opportunity to work for Fulton County Hospital in July 2013. Over the last five years I have enjoyed working with the dedicated staff at this facility to improve our services to the community we serve. It is with a heavy heart I tender my resignation as CEO of Fulton County Hospital. My resignation will be effective July 1, 2018. I appreciate the opportunity given to me in 2013 and wish the facility the very best in the future.”

The board members then entered into executive session.

The Fulton County Hospital board of governors meets on the fourth Monday of each month.

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