Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A New Comment 3/4

This was a direct email, like I said, only one opinion is boring.

After a "team meeting" at PRMC I am now convinced that we are living in a police state. We have been instructed that employees may not speak negatively--to each other or anyone else--about Essent, PRMC, their department or their supervisors without being summarily fired.

We have been told that there are informants everywhere who will notify the higher ups if anyone dares say something the least bit negative. So now what little teamwork existed is gone since every employee must view his/her coworker as a potential snitch.

After a long harangue about possibly being fired for unauthorized overtime, we were told that THEY would rather we quit and let them bring in temps rather than keep such worthless employees. (Nevermind that temps cost far more than overtime does!)
But we are to keep a positive, happy attitude at work! I'm waiting for them to put the words "Arbeit Macht Frei" over the ER entrance. Do you smell something burning?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Okay, who's been talking...

Have you noticed a quieter bunch in X-Ray, lately? It's like they stapled their mouths shut. According to their director, they are not to:

1. Discuss policy with anyone. In the department, out of the department, at home, whatever....

2. Be friendly with the radiologists.

3. Gather in groups. (There goes the orgy...!)

4. Talk to nurses, security, doctors, housekeepers, greeters, or stray dogs about anything that is non-essential to performing their job. (So be sure to ask them how things are going: They implode!)

...and they haff veys of finding out....

Lessons learned-- 3/10

What lessons have we learned lately? For one thing, two respiratory techs cannot handle the entire hospital alone...unless you want to skip most of a floor's breathing treatments for a shift.

That capped salaries is good for Greenville (I heard that approximately 38 PRMC nurses have their applications on file there.) Baylor is certainly appreciative, as are Bonham, Sulphur Springs, and Mesquite.

...that administration is confident that they have people waiting in the wings to come to Paris. That might be, but at what level of experience and competency? The experience to know that you have to reconstitute i.v. antibiotic doses prior to hanging them (just add water, the powder form doesn't move through the tubing all that well...)?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Common Sense

Three hundred and thirty years ago, a man by the name of Thomas Paine wrote a series of pamphlets, in which he addressed the current ills of his world. In a sense, the pamphlet was the forerunner of the blog: It was opinionated, it could be an acknowledged work or anonymous, and it could be passed to others of like mind unobtrusively.

“ON the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense:….” Paine’s words captured the various situations that faced the colonies and brought it to all levels of the society. Obviously, I am far from being in his league, but a level of ‘Common Sense’ needs to be sought in any circumstance.

“The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason.” The logic of this is the basis for most of the comments that are leveled against a particular policy.

“THESE are the times that try men's souls.” Truely self-evident.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


These are links to articles about other Essent acquisitions, and agreements that were negotiated at the time of purchase. Note the amounts that are earmarked over the next ten years for construction/improvements.

I fail to see any proposals listed for PRMC. Despite the improvements to the sixth floor, and transferring outpatient surgery to the North Campus, little has been done to seriously upgrade the facilities. Logistics at the North Campus did not lend themselves well to the change over; I suppose that 'utilization of existing resources' is the expedicious answer. Like the marriage between ProMed and Meditech.

Nashoba Valley Medical Center
Greene County
One interesting fact is that they agreed to provide a continuation of indigent care at the existing levels. I wonder where the cuts will be made to make a non-profitable hospital profitable.

This has been hanging around in draft status for a while, but I thought it might have some interesting figures for the curious.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Where are we?

Essent can't be held blameless for what they face, the previous management certainly provided the components for disaster. Essent just bought the package and stirred it.

When Christus St Jo bought Big Mac, the formula for disaster was essentially complete. Why anyone would think that one hospital that was losing money could buy a second (that was also losing money) and end up with a viable enterprise, is beyond me...and was beyond Christus, obviously, since they sold it.

'Essent'ially, you have one hospital financing the overhead of what would be two. And, the evaluations placed on the properties weren't terribly favorable to Essent. In going from a non-profit to a for-profit, what's good is bad. While a non-profit enterprise inflates the value of the real property to look larger for "status" among its peers in the same organization, they don't pay property tax. When a for-profit purchases the same enterprise, it is in their best interest to have it under evaluated for the lower tax liability. All those under-occupied/empty facilities that the hospital owns are where the employee raises have gone. Essent might have tried for a tax reassessment, but apparently did not.

There was talk of a new hospital/expansion of the "North Campus" prior to the sixth floor revamp. We haven't heard much on that vein lately. With the financial wreckage of Crossroads Medical Center in Missouri hanging over the corporation, it would seem unlikely. They lost money in four out of five years that they owned it and probably unloaded at a loss.

What is foretold in our future? We currently have one hospital that runs at approximately 80% capacity where we used to have two running at over that mark. That doesn't bode well for a significant raise--hence the exodus of qualified personnel. If they sell the hospital(s), the new owners will, in all probability, have to watch their pennies because of the initial outlay. Again, no or low raises, and more qualified people leaving. The nursing shortage has already periodically closed floors and ER-2, on occasion.

A lot of people feel that Baylor or Presby, or Methodist would be a good choice as a buyer: deep pockets and an excellent referral program...the referral base is what we would become. Rather than growing, the specialties would diminish, with the patient referrals moving in one direction: West.

It's really a shame that a hospital with a servicing population of approxiately 125,000 can't stand on its own. And it's also a shame that someone doesn't exist that could pull off what was done so many years ago when McCuistion was created.

Rapid Response Team Activated to Assist Crossroads Regional Medical Center Employees

Release Date: 09-30-05
Contact: Kristi Jamison (573) 526-2423 or Paul Sloca (573) 751-9065

WENTZVILLE—Missouri’s Department of Economic Development is activating its Rapid Response Team to help employees who will be laid off from Crossroads Regional Medical Center.

The Rapid Response Team, composed of representatives from the Department of Economic Development’s Division of Workforce Development, the Division of Employment Security and the St. Charles Department of Workforce Development, responds to the needs of dislocated workers by providing free training and re-employment services.

Immediate services will be provided at no cost to dislocated workers needing assistance in the areas of assessment and testing, career counseling, resume writing, interviewing skills, job search methods, on-the-job training and tuition assistance for vocational training or education.

Meetings will be held at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the medical center.

Crossroads Regional Medical Center, owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based Essent Healthcare, has been purchased by St. Louis-based SSM Health Care. Although the center’s 322 employees will be laid off as a result of this change in ownership, several individuals have been interviewed and offered positions with SSM.

Since 1983--when Missouri’s dislocated worker program was established—more than 100,000 dislocated workers have participated in the program. Approximately 80 percent of the people assisted by the program find new employment.

Dislocated workers interested in the training or re-employment services offered through the Rapid Response team can call DWD at 1-800-877-8698. These individuals can also go online at www.rapidresponse.ded.mo.gov/ to access a presentation on the Rapid Response Program, fill out a survey to identify goals for training and re-employment, file an Unemployment Insurance claim, and/or register for work in Great Hires.

Note: All the employees were laid off--with no benefits, seniority, payscale, or position transferring with ownership. Of the 300+ people that worked there, a little over 100 were re-employeed