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TCHS undergoes admin change

Thayer County Health Services is currently undergoing an administrative change as Joyce Beck is no longer fulfilling the role of CEO.
In a letter to the TCHS employees and providers, Thayer County Commissioners and Board of Trustees, Kim S. Moore, president at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, states that Beck is no longer the administrator at TCHS effective Feb. 20.

“Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and CHI Nebraska will remain actively engaged in working with the TCHS Board of Trustees regarding appropriate leadership during the transition as well as long-term,” Moore said in the letter. “An interim CEO may be a part of that plan. This along with other necessary, strategic planning elements will be discussed at the regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27, and at a soon-to-be announced board retreat. All appropriate state authorities have been notified of the change in leadership.”
Beck had been the CEO at Thayer County Health Services since 2004.

Earlier this month, the Thayer County Commissioners requested a meeting with the hospital board after receiving complaints from the administration, hospital board and medical staff at the facility. During the meeting the commissioners gave the board until Feb. 27 to “do what they felt they needed to do to improve morale,” at the facility.

Through a series of meetings last week, the board reached a decision relaying the information to the administration and medical staff during closed meetings Tuesday, Feb. 19.

It is unknown if any other personnel changes were made at the administration level, with the medical staff, department heads or regular staff at the hospital, but Moore said in the letter that TCHS remains a current member of the Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center Critical Access Hospital network (CAH Link). “There will not be a disruption in the current services,” he said. “Saint Elizabeth will remain as the rural tertiary center for TCHS.”

The commissioners will meet in regular session, Wednesday, Feb. 27, facing three agenda items regarding the hospital. Items include meeting with a St. Elizabeth representative to discuss the future direction of Thayer County Health Services, implementing term limits for hospital board members and appointing a new hospital board member.

As always, agenda items may be moved at any time at the discretion of the Chairman of the Board and the commissioners reserve the right to go into closed session as needed for the protection of the public interest or prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual. According to the Nebraska Open Meetings Act, any decisions  about an issue being discussed in closed session, must be made or voted on in open session.

According to the Thayer County Health Service website, TCHS is comprised of a 19-bed Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and clinic in Hebron, and five satellite clinics in Bruning, Chester, Davenport, Deshler and Milligan. Besides the inpatient services, TCHS supports a full spectrum of pre-and post-hospital services, along with wellness programs.

Medical staff consists of four physicians, two physician assistants and one nurse practitioner. Staff members provide an array of inpatient, outpatient and emergency care services including over 20 visiting physicians who provide specialized services for their patients.

On April 13, 2012, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics announced Thayer County Health Services had achieved Stage 6 on the EMR (Emergency Medical Records) Adoption Model. As of April 2012, only 332 US hospitals had achieved Stage 6, only 345 in the world and only one in Nebraska – TCHS.

Stage 6 in HIMSS means a hospital has made significant executive commitments and investments; appear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety; have almost fully automated/paperless medical records for inpatient care; are evaluating care delivery and are making significant improvements in this area; made investments and recognize the value of an EMR in improving patient care; have effectively utilized information technology to improve the patient safety environment; and are able to provide data to payers, the government, physicians, consumers, and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.

Stage 6 hospitals have also achieved significant advancements in their information technology capabilities which position them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, pay for performance, and government quality reporting programs.

In an annual summary presented to the commissioners, operating expenses for TCHS totaled over $16.1 million in 2012, a seven percent increase compared to 2011.

“Even during difficult times, the staff at Thayer County Health Services remains dedicated to the health and well-being of their patients,” saidTCHS Development Director Rita Luongo. “Providing patients with high quality compassionate health care is not just a mission statement hanging on a wall; it is a personal promise from the staff at Thayer County Health Services.”

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