Updates top first BCHB meeting of the year

First Byline: 
Susan C. Delk - Managing Editor

Barnwell County Hospital Board's first meeting since Nov. 26 consisted of several updates from departments around the hospital. BCHB met Jan. 22 in their conference room.
Although not on the agenda, the board heard an update from hospital CEO Mary Valliant as well as an update on the financial health of the hospital.
The board also closed their meeting for nearly an hour to discuss a pre-contractual matter related to the hospital.
Valliant gave board members handouts which indicated how BCH did in comparison to other local and regional hospitals on core standards from April 2011 until March 2012.
On the comparison report, patients were asked a series of questions relating to their experience in the hospital with staff and care. Questions focused on communications with nurses and staff to cleanliness of the facility.
BCH scored from 65 percent to 85 percent in each of the areas. Between 100 and 299 patients completed the survey. BCH ranked highest amongst its peers in several categories, including patients receiving help in a timely fashion and medications being explained to patients before being administered.
BCH was compared to Allendale County Hospital, Hampton Regional Medical Center, Aiken Regional Medical Center, TRMC at Orangeburg and University Hospital.
On the financial front, BCH is and has been paying cash up front for most of its supplies and to local vendors because of the on-going bankruptcy.
The hospital's cash on hand has decreased since October. Currently the hospital has enough cash on hand to survive 14.4 days without additonal revenue. This is a decrease of 1.3 days of available cash.
The number of days the hospital has to wait on cash from patients has shrunk from 95.96 days to 68.9 days.
The number of days the hospital takes to pay vendors has increased from 106.6 days in January 2012 to 158.2 in December.
For the month of December, the net operating revenue stood at $1,013,211 and the losses stood at $161,037.
Later this week, the Barnwell County Hospital Board and the Barnwell County Council will hold meetings at the Barnwell County Economic Development Commision office.
The first meeting will begin at 9 a.m. with Barnwell County Council discussing the first reading of an ordinance to amend the hospital pension plan and to ratify the sale of the hospital.
Directly following the conclusion of the BCC meeting, a BCHB meeting will take place, also in the EDC board room.
The only item listed on the agenda is a closed session to discuss a litigation matter.
After adjorning, BCC will enter a retreat/workshop also being held in the board room.
On the agenda for this meeting is to review the goals from the previous retreat and to discuss council's goals for 2013.
All meetings are open to the public.
BCEDC is located at 367 Fuldner Rd., Barnwell.