KershawHealth completed its most recent survey by The Joint Commission Aug. 7-10, and the initial results were excellent. During their final briefing, surveyors noted that KershawHealth is performing well throughout the system and providing excellent care for its patients. The commission complimented staff members on their professionalism and care, and noted as well the positive engagement of physicians and board members.
Washing your hands. It sounds simple, almost trivial to talk about. However, ever since Joseph Lister -- working off the theories of Ignaz Semmelweis and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. -- pioneered antiseptic surgery, it's been an important component to keeping patients healthy and alive in hospitals around the world. So important that the very act of hand washing has become something to be tracked at KershawHealth.
Fitch Ratings, the international credit rating agency has affirmed its BBB+ rating for KershawHealth and deemed the healthcare system's rating outlook as "stable." George Corbin, a member of the KershawHealth Board of Trustees and chair of the board's finance committee, gave his fellow trustees the good news at its July 23 meeting.
In response to a significant downturn in outpatient surgery volumes, KershawHealth announced Tuesday that it will close one active operating room. The move will eliminate one management position and five clinical and surgical positions. Two current vacancies in the surgical department will also not be filled. KershawHealth officials said in a press release that it expects to save approximately $600,000 each year with the operating room closure.
As with any other business in recent years -- profit or not -- KershawHealth has continued to look at its finances and respond to challenges. Once again, the KershawHealth Board of Trustees reviewed its financial challenges during its most recent meeting, April 29.
Another symptom of the economy, hospitals across the country are experiencing a higher number of drug shortages on a more frequent basis. KershawHealth can experience those shortages, too, but has processes in place that, in effect, keep patients from really even noticing.
By summer, Palmetto Health will be handling all laboratory services for KershawHealth. The KershawHealth Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday night to enter into a five-year agreement with Palmetto Health to provide day-to-day management of KershawHealth's primary laboratory on its main campus and its lab at KershawHealth's Outpatient and Urgent Care Center in Elgin. KershawHealth will continue to manage its lab at the West Wateree Medical Complex.
KershawHealth President and CEO Donnie J. Weeks was elected to the South Carolina Hospital Association Board of Trustees (SCHA) at the association's annual meeting Jan. 30. Weeks previously served on the SCHA board and was chairman in 1994.
After nearly 10 years, KershawHealth's MRI unit is making way for a newer, more advanced and efficient replacement. The KershawHealth Board of Trustees approved the nearly $2 million purchase at its Jan. 23 meeting.
(The online version of this story has been modified to correct an error in the fourth paragraph. Originally, the C-I erroneously attributed the term "perfect storm" to a statement by Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO David Pankau instead of to BCBS board chairman Ed Sellers, as indicated here, who was a speaker at the KershawHealth Foundation's recent Baruch Dinner in November. The C-I regrets the error.)
The city of Camden recently proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month. In recognition of the month, mental health organizations in Kershaw County hosted events to educate the community about mental health and wellness.
The KershawHealth Board of Trustees will enter executive session at the end of its meeting Tuesday night -- a special meeting due to the Memorial Day holiday -- in part to receive an update and further legal advice on a pending transaction with Capella Healthcare and MUSC Health.