Community counting on good hospital services
by Chip Latcham
Dec 13, 2012 | 1942 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Many observers were startled last weekend when they read that a recent health industry report had given the local hospital an “F” grade.

Leapfrog officials, which spread the independent group’s report via social media, listed Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville as No. 19 in its alphabetical list of 25 failing hospitals across the U.S.

They cited such deficiencies as occurrences of pressure ulcers, wounds splitting open after surgery and not having intensive care physicians on staff as just some of the reasons for this poor rating.

However, officials at Christus Spohn said this is unfair because the data they cited were often three years old, not complete in some instances and unfair to small hospitals such as ours.

“It is disheartening when you know it’s not an accurate reflection,” said Kathy Carson, executive director of quality and regulation for the Christus Spohn Healthcare System.

Raymond Ramos, chief operating officer at Christus Spohn Beeville, emphasized that in April he received word that the hospital was again accredited by the Joint Commission.

He and other officials noted that Christus Spohn Beeville scored a 93.1 percent during a recent report posted on the Joint Commission website. The Joint Commission is considered the most respected and established accreditation organization, they added.

It would seem that 93 score would rate much higher than an “F” by some faceless group using outdated numbers who never personally visited the hospital and relied on old reports.

We believe Ramos when he said that he tries to meet with new patients to ensure they are receiving the care they need. He added that he knows the hospital isn’t perfect but that remains the goal.

“We have to continually strive to improve patient care and safety,” he said. “Patients put their lives in our hands.”

Indeed, Bee County area residents do, especially in the case of emergencies.

In that regard, there’s some positive news. Two months ago, Ramos announced that changes are coming to the Christus Spohn Beeville emergency room in an effort to treat more patients quickly and efficiently.

Because of increased demand, thanks to the influx of oilfield workers, the ER is being redesigned with a dedicated “fast track” room and nurse practitioner.

A few areas are being modified to allow nurses working to keep an eye on patients both inside the ER and in the waiting room. Ramos pointed out that is important because they need to be able to tell if someone’s condition worsens as he or she waits to see a doctor.

Construction should begin soon and should be finished in mid to late 2013. Ramos expects the project to come in under a million dollars, thanks to work on the part of the hospital staff.

And while the renovation is under way, the ER will not close.

“We are open 24/7,” he said. “It will take a longer period of time, because we have to be open.”

We citizens depend on a hospital staffed by caring professionals and dedicated to serving the needs of this growing area. We are placing our faith, and lives, in Christus Spohn.

– Chip Latcham
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