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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
December 17, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 17, 2014

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 3A Hospital s(00ts goals, projects for new ,year Debra Moore Staff Writer the clinics. --Focus on the dental clinic. While the goals have been discussed before, some of the projects are new, s.uch as rebranding and restructuring the clinics. Plumas District Hospital, North Fork Family Medicine, Quincy Family Medicine, the surgery center and the dental clinic are all officially part of Plumas Rural Health Center and soon signage will reflect that. "It's confusing to our patients," Kepple said. Not only will the signage be changing, but some of the doctors may also be changing locations. "There will be a little bit of shuffling; we need to be as efficient as possible," Kepple said. Being more efficient could imnrnv the honital's bottom line, but the implementation of the swing beds is seen as the real revenue booster. "It's a step down from acute care, but covers more needs than in a nursing home," It's not quite New Year's, but Plumas District Hospital has set its goals for 2015. "We have the top four goals and the top four projects," Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jeff Kepple said during his monthly report to the board of trustees earlier this month. Kepple said the goals and projects came during the management council's strategic planning. The top four goals are to: --Break even. (The hospital is currently forecasting a $500,000 deficit.) --Improve customer service. --Address the pay scale for employees. (Would have to perform better than breaking even.) --Recruit sufficient Lnrnrider The top four projects are to: --Get swing beds operational by the end of January. --Recruit one more general practitioner and surgeon. --Rebrand and restructure Kepple said. "The average stay is about five to seven days." "Someone could be discharged from Renown and admitted as a swing bed patient here," Kepple said. The option also makes it easier for families who want to spend time with the patient. Swing beds allow a patient to transition from acute care to home. "Outcomes are better with swing beds," Kepple said, adding that swing bed patients are not re-admitted to the hospital as often and they fall less when they return home. Dan Schuessler, the hospital's director of nursing, said that he plans to request approval for more swing beds than the six originally planned: perhaps as many as 15. The additional beds will increase patient stays in the hospital. "Volume is the driver." said Chief Financial Officer Ron Telles. During his presentation, Telles reported that "October was very good" at both the clinics and in the emergency room. The emergency room saw 349 people in October compared to 275 in October 2014. "We have a positive bottom line through October; it's a nice trend to see," he said. "The fiscal year that started in July has been very favorable." Patient surveys Kepple encouraged patients who receive surveys in the mail following a hospital or clinic visit to fill them out and return them. He acknowledged that they are cumbersome, but it's a nationwide effort to judge the quality of health care being provided. "Skip over nonapplicable questions," Kepple said, but "fill it out." Price right labs Low-cost blood screenings will be offered the second Wednesday every other month beginning Jan. 14, 2015. Individuals need to have an order from their physician, which can be obtained during Community helps with nurse's recovery Debra Moore Staff Writer It's been nearly five months since a sleepy driver hit Cindy Crim head on as she drove to her evening shift as an emergency room nurse at Plumas District Hospital on July 25. "My heart raced as I knew what was going to happen to me in this small car," Crim said. She spent two days in the intensive care unit and another eight in the orthopedic unit of Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. She was treated for 30 broken bones, including nine broken ribs. "I have several metal plates in my ankle, foot, leg, wrist, forearm and shoulder, with 20 screws in my ankle and 19 in my shoulder lding everything toether;! slle said. "It's a miracle from God ; that I'm alive to talk about it." She also attributes some of her good fortune to her "angels in paramedic clothing" -- Tommy Higgins and Eddy Mutch. "I have worked with both of these men for years and I have witnessed them caring for others, but never myself personally until that evening," she said. "These two men saved my left foot from being amputated as well as my left wrist. They were so professional, yet caring in my time of need." Those were just the first of many hospital employees to help Crim recover. "When I got home from the hospital is when the real miracles took place," Crim said. She faced nearly $200,000 in medical bills and couldn't work. Her husband took leave from his job to care for her so they were w.thout.his satary as well. To  maintain medical insurance the couple needed to pay $1,700 per month for COBRA. "That's when I found out how loving and caring my family and friends and co-workers are, and how Dr. Jeff Kepple, Stacy Kingdon, Steve Tolen and Marylou Batchelder would make life bearable," she said. Batchelder delivered the first of many homemade meals prepared by her co-workers to the couple. "I can't thank everyone enough for making and delivering dinners to us," Crim said. "They have no idea how helpful that was to us during these hard times." Tolen established a "Go Fund" to help with medical expenses and Crim and her husband have used the funds to continue their medical coverage. KeppleandKingdon also,set up a fund at Plumas Bank for " medical expenses. "I can't express our gratitude and thaflkfulness to everyone who donated to that as well," she said. Additionally, hospital officials started a new program that allowed other employees to donate some of their paid time off to her. "I feel so humble yet blessed," Crim said of her co-workers who donated their time. Crim said she is also grateful for the notes, calls, texts, emalls and prayers that she has received. "For weeks I have thought about how I could repay everyone for their kindness, but nothing I could think of measures up because they deserve more than I can offer," she said. Crim's goal is to get back to work as soon as possible. She said her doctor is optimistic that it could be as early as next month. an office visit or by filing a request through the online patient portal. According to Kepple the cost will be roughly one-third of the regular price, though the final charges are still being negotiated. Patients will pay cash for the testing, and insurance companies will not be billed. While the service is designed for patients with high deductibles, it will be offered to everyone. U s E Y O U R HEALTH SAVINGS OR FLEX SPENDING ACCOUNT Before it expires at the end of the year. FRIDE._.. N OPTOM__ ETRY FAMILY EYE CARE CONTACT LENSES Jonathan Friden, O.D. 68 Central Ave. Quincy * 283-2020 Complete vision and eye care, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists on staff, Vision and Eye examinations, treatment of eye disease, cataract surgery, foreign body removal, threshold visual field analysis, contact lenses, glasses (large selection of inexpensive to designer eyewear), low vision aids for the visually impaired, and vision therapy for learning related vision problems. i AMERICAN VALLE HARDWARE 5% We will contribute of 5% of our sales on the last 10 days of the holiday shopping season to those who contribute so much to our community. American Valley 2014 Holiday Donation Pioneer Quincy Elementary PCO Plumas County Hospice Plumas County Veterans Quincy Little League Quincy Boy Scout Troop #151 Quincy Volunteer Fire Department FRC ENACTUS Foster Program Quincy Jr-Sr High Booster Club Quincy Girl Scout Troop #244 CAN (Community Assist Network) Your Money -- Your Community AMERICAN VALLEY HARDWARE Plumas Pines Shopping Center 30 E. Main St., Quincy 283-3088 Open 7 Days a Week