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Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County elects officers, reviews accrediation update

Hospital Authority conducts first meeting of the year

ALBANY — Without any official action to be taken, recognition of new members, election of officers, discussion of recent accreditation visits and financial reports dominated the first meeting of the year for the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County on Thursday.

The new members are Joel Callins and Ferrell Moultrie, appointed to the board by the Dougherty County Commission last month to replace outgoing members Eugene Sherman and the Rev. H.B. Johnson. The election of officers left Ralph Rosenberg and Dr. Chuck Lingle in their positions as chair and vice chair, respectively, while Fred Ghiglieri was appointed as secretary and Dr. Michael Laslie was voted to serve as assistant secretary.

The Authority was brought up to speed on Phoebe Putney Health System’s accreditation site visits from DNV Healthcare that took place late last month.

The health system switched to DNV from the Joint Commission last year, officials said, in favor of surveys done on an annual basis rather than every three years. The site visits were conducted this year systemwide from Jan. 21-24.

“There job is to help us improve services in the hospital,” said Joe Austin, chief operating officer of the health system. “They said: ‘Don’t be afraid to tell us if there is anything we can do to help you (improve).’

“(After the survey), in 45 days, they follow up to be sure all the non-conformities are brought up to order. Last year was very educational; very helpful.”

They came in unannounced, Austin said, entering all the hospitals in the system at the same time looking at everything from random lab results to be sure they were followed through to checking to make sure the individual sprinklers have not been recalled.

“It’s (impressive) they will notice things to that much detail,” Austin said.

Last year, there were 21 non-conformities found. This year, there were four non-conformities found, all considered “relatively minor.” All the non-conformities from last year were closed out, with the report reflecting new non-conformities, officials said at a recent Professional Affairs Committee meeting last month.

Following receipt of the final report, Phoebe was to have 10 calendar days to respond with a plan to address the findings.

Full accreditation status has since been awarded. The goal, by the fourth survey, is for Phoebe to reach International Organization for Standardization 9001 certification status, Austin said.

Kerry Loudermilk, chief financial officer for Phoebe Putney Health System, presented financial statements for the Authority as well as Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Phoebe North as of Jan. 31. As of that date, unaudited figures show the Authority had $49,998 in total operating revenue with $65,812 in total operating expenses and $200,090 in total non-operating income.

For the main campus and Phoebe North combined, for the year ending Jan. 31, there was $691.29 million in revenues and $227.44 million in expenses.

Loudermilk’s presentation was followed by a two-hour closed session, after which the Authority adjourned.