|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Hospital planning room improvements
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – After opening a new 15-room wing earlier this year, plans are already being made to add two more private rooms to the new wing. During Monday’s meeting of the Trinity Memorial Hospital District’s board, ETMC-Trinity Administrator Brett Kirkham noted the local hospital has reached its patient capacity on several occasions. As part of a report on long-range planning, board member Jim Rippey and Kirkham reported that the Tyler-based East Texas Medical Center system is planning to convert two additional rooms in the new wing for patient use. The rooms to be converted had been designed as a conference and nurses’ break room,s but Kirkham said both would be easy to switched into private patient rooms. All 15 of the original rooms in the new wing are private rooms complete with shower facilities. The two new rooms would be identical. Kirkham said the nurses’ break room will be moved into space in the original hospital. Plans also are being drafted to upgrade four of the old patient rooms in the original hospital for “overflow” use when the rooms in the new wing are all in use. Rippey noted that while improvements would be made to the older rooms, they would not have showers. Kirkham noted hospitals – especially small hospitals – are being pushed into offering more and more outpatient services and are being challenged by Medicare when they actually admit patients into the hospital. He noted that they are having to justify patient admissions to more frequently. For this reason, they are exploring more and more outpatient services including the creation of a special sleep clinic to assist area residents who have problems. He noted two of the old patient rooms are being set aside for use by the proposed new clinic. Kirkham also reported ETMC is in the process of recruiting doctors who could come to the First Physicians’ Clinic on a weekly or monthly basis. Specialists such as cardiologists and orthopedists would have periodic office hours in Trinity. Tax rate adopted During the meeting, the board voted to adopt a 2012 tax rate of 12.3604 cents per $100 valuation. The new rate is down from the 2011 level of 13.086 cents per $100 valuation but is expected to generate about the same amount of revenue. The TMHD board adopted a $452,000 spending budget in June. Its fiscal year kicks off on July 1, but it planned for the 12.3604-cent rate when it approved the budget, The new tax rate is expected to generate $565,000. Other business During the meeting, the board: • Learned that during August ETMC-Trinity provided $150,000 in indigent (free) or reduced cost care to local patiernts. • Learned that during August a total of 26 surgical procedures were performed in the local hospital new surgical suite.