A groundbreaking ceremony will be held April 5 for the expansion project at Clarinda Regional Health Center.
Chief Executive Officer Chuck Nordyke informed the hospital Board of Trustees of the event during its meeting Jan. 26. The board awarded four construction contracts totaling $9,950,550 for the project Dec. 29.
Murray Company has been hired to serve as the construction manager for the improvement project. Included in the project is the construction of a new building to expand physical therapy and related departments as well as an addition to the existing hospital building. The project also consists of plans to expand the existing surgery department and improve the current clinic space and pharmacy.
Also during the meeting, Nordyke discussed the process the hospital goes through to receive its accreditation. As a critical access hospital, Clarinda Regional Health Center must be surveyed by the state of Iowa.
Usually, the state will conduct a survey every three to seven years to determine if a hospital is meeting the standards of operation set by the state. To prepare for the state survey, Nordyke said many hospitals hire a company to evaluate their performance and identify areas of improvement.
In the healthcare industry, the three primary companies that provide this service are the Joint Commission, the Accreditation Commission for Health Care and Det Norske Veritas Healthcare. When a hospital contracts with one of these companies, Nordyke said the state waives its survey and the hospital works directly with the company it hired.
“I do think it raises the quality. I think it raises the expectations of the hospital itself,” Nordyke said.
Once exact cost estimates are available, Nordyke said he would report back to the board to determine of CRHC should hire one of these companies to complete its accreditation process or continue to prepare internally for the state surveys.
In other business, Chief Nursing Officer Tyler Hill reviewed data on the response time of the Clarinda Emergency Medical Services department with the board. Hill said during the month of December the department had a response time of 1.18 minutes from the time it was dispatched to an in-town call until a unit was in route and then 3.6 minutes from the time of dispatch until arriving on scene.
“When dispatch calls it out, that’s when the time starts,” Hill said. “I think there are some educational opportunities. We talked about what time they are actually leaving the building, so there could be some seconds that could be shaved off that.”