2011 a year of progress, services

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MEEKER I “We are excited about the progress and new services being offered at Pioneers Medical Center and the Meeker Family Health Clinic,” said Tom Allen, PMC board chair. During the PMC Board of Directors meeting in February the board received a report on the 2011 accomplishments and the goals for 2012. “In 2006, our voters invested in healthcare by passing a mill levy. It is wonderful to see that investment coming to life and paying off,” continued Allen.
Ken Harman, Pioneers CEO stated, “We have a dynamic staff, with a ‘can-do’ attitude, and that has helped us to make in-roads on several key initiatives.” Harman highlighted a few of those successes.
In 2011, PMC
– Expanded surgical care and procedures offered at PMC. Dr. James Jex and Brandon Aven, CRNA, joined the PMC surgery team, to begin offering more regular services. PMC had previously had a team of surgical nurses that assisted any visiting specialist. The addition of Jex and Aven allows PMC to offer general surgery, colonoscopies, cyst removal, dermatology procedures and more. Most of the surgeries performed at PMC are outpatient, which means the patient can usually return home that same day.
– In June of 2011, PMC began offering MRI services every other Monday. PMC has contracted with BP Perspective Imaging, Inc. to bring a mobile MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine on-site. “We have been consistently providing six-eight patients with MRI services each Monday the machine is on site, said Greg Hanberg, PMC radiology manager. “This is a collaborative venture with Rangely District Hospital,” continued Hanberg, “Because we coordinated the scheduling of the MRI services together, it makes it affordable to bring this service here locally.”
– Established the Trails to Health program, a preventative care service to improve and maintain a patient’s health. Trails to Health offers patients a “plan of action” for healthier lives. It transforms the traditional annual exam into a proactive approach to one’s health, it offers assistance for those managing a chronic disease (e.g. diabetes or high blood pressure). And it offers a health coach to help to follow the “plan of action.”
– The Walbridge Wing was refurbished. New flooring was installed in residents’ rooms, hallways and common areas. All resident rooms were painted, as well, the sunroom on the west end of the building was painted and redecorated.
– In 2011, PMC was able to expand the on-site ultrasound coverage. And created an ultrasound suite, which improves privacy.
– The Meeker Streaker provides senior transportation to take people to doctor’s appointments, run their errands and to the Chuckwagon programs. 2011 the program saw an increase in riders. A second driver was hired, allowing for the expansion of available transportation for the out-of-town doctor appointments, while still maintaining the in-town services.
– Patients can now pay their bills online. PMC’s Patient Financial Services offers several avenues for patients to pay their healthcare bill in a way that is convenient for them. On our PMC website, www.pioneershospital.org, patients can pay their bills conveniently. Additionally, PMC offers a financial assistance program to qualifying patients. For more information about these services call 970-878-9273.
“2012 is shaping up to look equally as promising,” said Harman. “We have already added a couple new services this year and are researching the feasibility of adding a few more.”
New services planned for 2012
– January 2012 marked the installation and implementation of a Dexa Scan machine. A Dexa Scan is a bone density tool to screen for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis doesn’t often have symptoms, so a bone density measurement of your hip and/or spine can help your physician make recommendations to help you protect your bones.
– Two new physicians will be joining the PMC and Meeker Family Health Center team. Elizabeth Buisker, D.O., will join the staff in March. Dr. Buisker brings four years of experience in family practice, urgent care and occupational medicine. Chris Williams, M.D., will join the staff in May. Dr. Williams brings 13 years of family practice experience. He has experience in hospice and geriatric care, as well as pediatric care and sports medicine.
– PMC and Meeker Family Health Center goes 100 percent electronic in 2012. “We will fully implement an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) program,” said Christy Atwood, MFHC manager. “The biggest benefit to the EMR is that it will streamline the administrative portion of patient care, and that in and of itself, will help us to improve patient care, diagnosis and treatment,” explained Atwood. The Electronic Medical Records means new forms and processes, as staff goes through the learning process, unfortunately the patient may experience a slower check-in or check-out process. MFHC and PMC apologize for these delays.
– In the latter half of the year, PMC expects to begin offering pain management services. Pain management can be in the form of medication, steroid/nerve injections, treatments or other techniques such as relaxation tools, pacing and exercise that reduces pain and improves quality of life.
These are just a few of the initiatives PMC is developing. “I am thrilled with the direction and expanded services we are able to offer, continued Allen. “I feel confident that we are living our mission … to provide the best healthcare to improve the health and wellness of our community.”