Hospital district working to improve customer service

TONASKET – During the regular North Valley Hospital District board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 9, the warrants were announced as being at $2,765,000 as of that morning.

The reason given for the warrant amount fluctuating up and down is that the district is still paying their employees with warrants, so they are paying down the warrants, but with each new pay period, they go back up.

Administrator Linda Michel then explained to the board what the senior management team is working on in order to improve costumer service in the district.

“I call them customers because it’s not just about patients: it’s about families and friends,” Michel said.

She presented a mind map to the board, explaining the customer service plan with nine main points: the staff will be courteous, compassionate, safety-minded, provide quality care, be professional, instill customer loyalty, be the preferred employer and be efficient in order to lead to financial viability.

“We all agreed that if we put all of these points together, financial viability will not be a problem,” Michel said.

The board also heard from Carlos Antuna, an IT technician, who explained why the hospital district needs a new server.

“We need the server now because the Feds are requiring all medical facilities have an EHR by 2015,” he said. “The new system will improve storage space because the current server does not have enough storage space.”

In a PowerPoint presentation, Antuna said the EHR, or Electronic Health Record, is the server of the future. It will be updated from the Electronic Medical Records of multiple providers and the data in it will belong to the patients. However, the system is still in the planning stages.

Purchasing a HIS server is the district’s next step, the PowerPoint presentation states. A HIS server will improve the server performance, which is currently close to the maximum utilization and capacity, encryption, which the current server does not do with patient data, despite a HIPAA requirement, and the new server will provide advanced applications while the current server the district has does not run advanced calculations.

After the presentation, board vice-chair Herb Wander moved for approval and board member Dick Larson seconded and the system was approved unanimously.

The next hospital board meeting will be on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. in the district boardroom.