Hospital soon to offer MRI services

By Jay Nolan

The Knox County Hospital Board got great news from the state, hosted two distinguished visitors, and got an Ebola update all during Monday’s board meeting.

Hospital administrator Ray Canady presented to the board an approval letter from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The state just approved a Certificate of Need, which allows the hospital to establish an “in-house” MRI service. Now, Canady said the hospital… “Can start within the next 30 days, the process to begin to obtain and offer MRI services…” within the hospital to patients. The board feels having MRI capability within the hospital would help the hospital provide a much-needed service that will improve patient diagnosis and care levels. Also, hopefully, it will provide a new source of revenue for the hospital.

Speaking of revenue, the hospital financial results are improving. The financial statements presented to the board show September’s bottom line was nearly $60,000 better than July, and almost $40,000 better than August, with a net loss of $138,277 on $4,171,714 in revenue.

The board also recognized two very distinguished visitors who came to Barbourville and toured the hospital. Joseph Grossman, CPA, and president of the ARH system, and Executive Vice-President for Health Affairs of the UK Medical Center, Dr. Michael Carpf, visited the Knox County Hospital. Collaboration among health care providers is happening more often and more rapidly throughout the state. UK and ARH are now working together in a number of different areas, and both visitors met briefly with the local hospital board.

The board also received an update about the hospital’s Ebola preparations. The hospital has purchased gear and is conducting training two hours per week to be compliant with all Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for treating Ebola. After having a “false alarm” several weeks ago when a person came into the Knox emergency room concerned she had come in contact with the disease, Canady feels the extra training is a good precaution.

CSS system software issues, proposals from consultants, and reports from the Medical staff rounded out the board’s meeting agenda. The hospital governing board is scheduled to meet again on Dec. 1.