PRMC board committed to health care

Gayla Brumfield: Guest Columnist

Lately, there’s been some buzz around town about Plains Regional Medical Center. I suspect with the recent newspaper coverage, many residents may have questions or concerns.

I have lived and worked in the Clovis area for most my life. I care about this community and the quality of our health care. As the chairperson for Plains Regional Medical Center’s Board of Trustees, I want to take this opportunity to provide our community with some insight into the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Survey the hospital recently received, as well as share some other events occurring at the hospital.

Last month, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH), as designees of CMS, surveyed the hospital. The reason for the survey is not shared with the hospital and that is appropriate. In health care, as well as many other governments-regulated entities, it is not uncommon to have these types of surveys or inspections. In fact, the hospital underwent a similar full survey last September, which resulted in a full accreditation by the independent agency that surveys the nation’s hospitals — the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization. (JCAHO)
Earlier this month, the hospital received the expected report from CMS, which stated the findings found by the DOH during its recent survey.

These findings are areas the surveyors identified that our hospital will need to address. We already have begun to address these findings and expect to be prepared when they visit us. In a few weeks this process will be shared with the public.

So, what will happen next? The letter the hospital received from CMS stated that a plan of corrective action is not required. However, as stated above, the hospital is reviewing the findings and will initiate corrective action, wherever necessary, even though no plan of action is required.

CMS is expected to return to the hospital later to conduct a complete Medicare survey. At this time, no date has been provided. Often the survey visits are unannounced. The CMS process is not over and may continue for a few more months. This is truly a process the hospital is taking seriously and is committed to addressing in order to ensure that our patients receive the high quality care they deserve.

As this process continues, I am confident in the team of dedicated, excellent caregivers at PRMC. This is a team that continually works hard to provide the best service in patient care and earn each patient’s trust.

Recently, my father had to have surgery at PRMC and I experienced firsthand the quality patient care provided at the hospital. PRMC is a hospital the community can and should be proud to have in our community.

As a matter of fact, I am not sure if many of you realize that just in the last few years, Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PRMC’s not-for-profit owner) has invested more than $40 million in new facilities, services and equipment. This has resulted in a new primary care and specialty clinic, a remodeled emergency department, a state-of-the-art Healthplex rehabilitation center and the region’s newest cancer treatment facility.

These are just some of the many exciting services PRMC offers to assist in providing quality medical care. For many of us, these services have lessened the burden of having to travel outside of the area to previously receive medical care.

Also, the hospital continues to add even more exciting investments for the Clovis community. One example is the PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan imaging services, which are now being offered. This imaging helps to identify cancer, heart and neurological disease and can provide information that enables a physician to make an earlier diagnosis or to determine if current treatment is working effectively.

This month, the new Cardiac Cath Lab opened. Sleep Lab Services will begin in the near future.

This is just a glimpse at the commitment PRMC has in giving patients the best in health care today.

In my role, I’m committed to helping provide excellence in health care. I am fortunate to work with a dedicated team comprised of PRMC employees, the medical staff and the volunteer Board of Trustees who share the same vision. Together, we will continue to invest in and improve health care services in the Eastern New Mexico area.

Gayla Brumfield chairs PRMC’s Board of Trustees. Contact her at 769-1951 or by e-mail: gayla@crehomes.org