Hospital Corner – April, 2018
It’s 2 a.m. Your three-year old has a fever, sore throat, body aches. Over-the-counter pediatric cold medications don’t seem to be working. What do you do? If you live in Mineral County, you will soon be able to get professional medical advice over the phone—perhaps saving you a trip to the emergency room. Beginning in May, county residents will be able to call a dedicated local phone number that will be answered by a registered nurse. Mt. Grant General is teaming with REMSA to participate in their Nurse Heath Line system; specially trained nurses, licensed in Nevada and California, will answer your call. These nurses will ask a series of questions to determine the best course of action—whether a different OTC med, making an appointment first thing in the morning at the Clinic, or calling 911. This process has been in place for many years in some communities, with tested and proven methods for assessing your medical situation. The Nurse Health Line goal is to provide you with appropriate next steps to save you time and possibly an unnecessary trip to the ER. Look for specific information in the coming weeks about this exciting new program, free for all Mineral County residents.
A few months ago I also mentioned our new Community Paramedicine (CP) program. Good news: it too begins in May. Our community paramedic is now receiving required training to earn state CP endorsement on his EMS license—though the gentleman hired has years of extensive EMS training already (and an Army veteran as well). He will be working exclusively with Medicaid patients who have chronic health issues like COPD, CHF, diabetes, etc., providing in-home health assessments, disease monitoring and education, medication compliance checks, immunizations and vaccinations, lab specimen collection, discharge follow-up, and even minor medical procedures.
One of my favorite opportunities as hospital administrator is spending time with our residents at the Lefa L. Seran Skilled Nursing Facility. Listening to their life experiences and wisdom, sharing stories about children, or simply just sitting with them on the patio enjoying the sunshine together, our residents are an inspiration for me and others. Recently, many of them also joined me for a sightseeing trip in our new bus (thank you, Pennington Foundation). Our 2018 Starcraft Starlite Ford Transit is more than just a bus though; it is a gateway to the world beyond the nursing home. Our recent trip took us on a leisurely drive in the high desert, where we saw grazing cattle and a few calves, sweeping mountain vistas, but most of all, the beauty of nature that many of us take for granted—though no one on our tour did! They expressed delight with the stormy skies, talked about trips taken in their youth, and asked when our next adventure would be (in addition to weekly Bingo-Lunch trips to Care & Share). Thanks to Activities Director Meghan Jeffers for making this trip possible and for planning future excursions for our residents (coming soon: off to Fallon to see a movie). She is another of the MGGH staff who doesn’t always get the appreciation she deserves for her daily dedication to our residents. Thank you, Meghan.
Time is running out! Don’t forget April 30 deadline for 50% off deal; contact the Business Office if you have questions. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions to help MGGH become the finest rural Nevada hospital it can be. Stop by and let me know; the coffee is always on at Mt. Grant General.
Hugh Qualls, Administrator