I, too, am native to Lewis County. I too, have a vested interest in the success of the hospital, having worked here for 22 years; however, I am interested in the facts.
It is not going to solve the issues to personally attack hospital CEO Eric Burch and the rest of the administrative team. This CEO is the same CEO who agreed to 4 percent and 5 percent raises for employees when it was the right time for the hospital.
Mr. Burch has also brought a lot of services to Lewis County that patients had to travel for in the past. Now, when the hospital is in a low spot, we should not be so quick to point blame.
Do you know who makes up the administrative team and what expertise each is responsible for? What decisions do they make? What are the thought processes behind the decisions? Why is the emergency-room physician contract being looked at? Is it renegotiated periodically?
What if one of the group members were to retire? Can the current ER physician group cover the ER 24 hours a day, seven days a week without the additional hospital-employed physicians? What will happen to patient care if they cannot? Would patients have to wait longer to be seen?
Yes, the current ER physicians have been good to the community, but if they physically cannot cover the ER or are overworked, how can that be good for them or the community?
The community should be assured that we do have a well-educated nursing staff in the ER and that while they work well with the current physician group, they are professionals and can work with any physician.
When a patient is seen in the facility, a medical record is developed. Our well-trained nurses and physicians document their care in that medical record. The primary purpose for the medical record is continuity of care.
Any physician anywhere can look at the patient record to see relevant history in order to treat them should they return for care. After all, that is how the current ER physician group started; they were once new too. Regardless of the outcome, patients will still receive quality care when they visit our ER.
Educate yourself with the facts.
The hospital did not get into this situation overnight. It cannot be corrected overnight either.
Lets work as a team, come up with real solutions and allow the current administration adequate time and support to turn this situation around instead of personalizing the issues.
Sally J. Manning
The writer is the health information management director at Lewis County General Hospital.