News at the Hospital12/12/2017
The holiday season is upon us. I hope all of you are enjoying the cooler weather and are able to create some memories with family and friends enjoying this merry time of year.
Concho County Hospital has had a recent addition to our radiology department that is really having a significant positive impact on our ability to provide hi-tech, high-quality healthcare. In October we upgraded our 4-Slice CT to a 64-Slice Unit. A CT, also known as Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT Scan) allows doctors to look at the inside of the body just as one would look at the inside of a loaf of bread by slicing it. The CT Scanner takes "pictures" of slices of the body and allows doctors to see a highly detailed image of the area of interest. CCH made the decision to upgrade its previous Scanner in order to reduce the dosage of radiation, significantly increase the quality of the images, greatly reduce both speed and turnaround time, and to be able to perform additional procedures, such as angiograms. The speed and increased quality of our new Scanner is critical to our mission of providing the best care for those in our region. In emergency situations, we're able to perform scans and get results back in minutes as opposed to what might have been hours in the past, which can save lives.
In addition to the speed and quality of the Scanner, it is also a convenience for the residents of Concho County. If a patient is seeing a provider or specialist somewhere else and a CT is ordered, we can perform that scan here locally and provide the results back to the ordering physician. CCH utilizes the same Radiologists as do the hospitals in San Angelo to interpret all of our scans, so patients can rest assured that they are receiving the best care possible. Bring us your orders for a CT Scan and we can probably have you in and out in less time than it would take you to drive to San Angelo and get registered for a Scan there.
Recently the Board of Directors at CCH voted to purchase a 33-acre tract of land immediately west of the city. Although the purchase was speculative, in that we are early in the process and not certain of several things, we are certain that land this close to the city where we could locate a Healthcare Campus only comes along once in a great while, so we opted to purchase the property. That said, we are working towards developing a healthcare campus that will be able to serve the needs of our citizens now and well into the future. By offering new, needed services and utilizing some of the amazing technology that is now available, we feel that CCH can make a significant impact in the health of our residents.
As many of you might have heard, the House Ways and Means Committee proposed some significant cuts to the Swing Bed Programs that all of us Critical Access Hospitals provide. The decrease in funding would severely hamper our ability to provide the very necessary program that helps patients transition from being an inpatient back to living on their own independently. The residents of Concho County and the surrounding areas did an outstanding job of contacting members of the House of Representatives and their staffs, and made our voices heard. Our own member of the House, Rep. Mike Conaway and his staff have been very complimentary about both the volume and quality of the contacts they've had from Concho County, so we'd like to offer a huge "Thank You" to all who responded to our call for assistance. This is a great area and we at CCH are excited about what we can do to develop both healthcare facilities and new services going forward.
I would also like to do a little bit of housecleaning during this correspondence. I was informed recently of some comments concerning the financial condition of the hospital and its potential longevity. The Rural Healthcare marketplace is always changing, just as is the marketplace for any small, rural, business, city, county, school district or other entity. We face many challenges and our funding is always at risk, but we also work hard to ensure that contingency plans are in place and that we are able to accomplish our objective of making available the best care possible to the residents of our area. While we are planning for future growth, we are at the same time taking steps to ensure that CCH is both fiscally sound and operationally efficient.
Please take time to remember those in need this holiday season, and we at CCH wish all of you the Merriest of Christmases and a healthy, fulfilling and prosperous 2018!
Brian Lady, CEO
Concho County Hospital