VDMC OKs change to med staff by-laws

The board of trustees of Van Diest Medical Center approved an amendment to the medical staff bylaws which could increase options for physicians and mid-level providers with regard to taking taking call at the facility.

The changes would allow the members of the active medical staff to participate in a call schedule of their choice. Trustee Hank Witt said in making the motion for the amendment that the change would not limit any physician from “participating in multiple call schedules if they choose.” He said it would also allow greater access for Hamilton County residents to receive local medical services.

The section concerning medical staff responsibilities states that members will “actively participate in and regularly assist the hospital in fulfilling its obligations related to patient care within the areas of his professional competence, including but not limited to emergency service and back up function…” The new wording adds the phrase “or participation in a hospital call schedule relating to member’s practice areas…”

CEO Bob Mason said the change could mean more medical staff members could be considered active staff by being allowed to them to take call in their specialties, such as obstetrics or surgery.

“They could do OB, pediatrics or surgery. It opens up the definition and makes it a little easier for physicians to practice at Van Diest,” he said.

The board approved capital requests for September totaling $182,612.51. As part of the capital requests, the existing radiology equipment at VDMC will be upgraded to improve efficiency and some image quality, according to Matt McKinney, radiology director at the hospital.

McKinney said the upgrade would allow the hospital to move two existing digital units to the clinic in Stratford and possibly Dayton, once radiology equipment is installed there. A $25,000 forgivable loan from the City of Jewell Centennial Committee for radiology equipment could mean that all three clinics will soon be digital, McKinney said.

“The process now is the clinics take images on film, the film is sent back here to process. It can take a couple of days to get a report back,” he said. “With digital equipment, that report can come back in as little as an hour.”