April 11, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 15

PMC to end patient surveys and investigate 'mini health fair' options

The Petersburg Medical Center Board of Directors during a regular meeting on March, 30 decided to end the Patient Satisfaction Surveys. The year-long survey program asks patients to rate their medical care.

“I think over time we’ll have less and less returned surveys, so the data will become more and more meaningless,” said PMC CEO Elizabeth Woodyard. “If our scores varied tremendously [the surveys] would remain,” she said adding that based on the surveys, patients are satisfied with their level of care, but not “wowed.”

“We have a lot of patients that give us an eight, and a lot of people think that an eight is pretty darn good,” she said. “I come from a big system where we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaigns moving the eights to the nines to the tens. I don’t feel it’s in Petersburg Medical Center’s best interest to spend money, when we have so many other needs, to have a campaign to move the eights to nines to tens.”

“I know if I’m rating something from one to 10, that I’m always going to go with an eight, because I think there’s room for improvement in anything,” said Board President Tom Abbott. “I feel like if it was really good care, or really good, whatever it was, I’m going to give it an eight.”

The board voted to keep patient surveys for acute care only.

Also at the meeting, the board discussed hosting a “mini” health fair, for the years in between the current schedule of every two years for the Health Fair.

The mini health fair could offer community members services such as reduced-fee lab work, blood pressure checks and diabetes screening, but would not be on the large scale of the full health fair.

“The local Health Fair here is excellent, but it’s every-other year. How much of a hassle would it be to do it annually?” Abbott asked. “With community partners, we could start that discussion. Because it really has made a big difference,” he added.

The board agreed to investigate this option further.

The board also discussed the lack of available space at the Medical Center. The board voted to turn a house that PMC owns on Second Street into a storage facility.

Woodyard also suggested that the Public Health Department be asked not to renew its lease next year. The Public Health Department has a current lease through 2013, with an option to renew beginning in 2014.

The 1,920-square-foot space is being rented for $1,600 a month, but the board agreed that the space was needed to fill other Medical Center needs.

“We need this space before considering a new building,” Woodyard said.

The board also approved $300 for improvements to the Charity Box Thrift Shop, which is run by the Petersburg Hospital Guild. Improvements will include an upgrade to the exterior of the shop.

Proceeds from the shop go toward the purchase of items for residents of Long Term Care.

The board also met briefly on Monday, April 1 to award a contract for a new Electronic Medical Record system.

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