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Hospital Recognized For Community Innovation

By Staff | Oct 6, 2010

Pictured from left are Arlene Summers, R.N., Chief of Inpatient Nursing; Marge Knight, R.N., Chief of Emergency and Outpatient Services; and George Couch, Chief Executive Officer; stand with their commemorative award and banner from Amerinet, a leading healthcare group purchasing organization. Wetzel County Hospital was one of three national winners of the “Community Impact and Innovation Award” at this year’s Amerinet Healthcare Achievement Awards.

George Couch, CEO of Wetzel County Hospital, has announced that Amerinet, a leading healthcare group purchasing organization, has recognized Wetzel County Hospital as one of three national winners of the “Community Impact and Innovation Award” at its second annual Amerinet Healthcare Achievement Awards. Wetzel County Hospital was presented the award for its Emergency Department Renovation and Expansion project that included addition of full-time emergency helicopter service with Air Evac Lifeteam and other hospital improvements.

“These awards recognize and celebrate members who are innovators, collaborators, and leaders,” said Todd Ebert, Amerinet president and CEO. “Utilizing Amerinet’s diverse portfolio of contract services and solutions, these nominees successfully meet the challenges of the healthcare industry and deliver high-quality, cost-effective patient care.”

“This is a great honor for Wetzel County Hospital, our board, and our staff for innovation and forward thinking by expanding these vital trauma, emergency, and in-patient services for our surrounding communities,” added Couch. “Being able to effectively and professionally respond to life and death situations with a quality facilities, equipment, staff, and transfer services is one of the primary functions of rural hospitals.”

Marge Knight, R.N. and Chief Nurse for Emergency and Outpatient Services for Wetzel County Hospital, noted that the new Emergency Department has been expanded from 1,750 square feet to 6,300 square feet. It has its own entrance and large waiting area; reception desk; trauma room; cardiac room; gynecology room; orthopedic/suture room; isolation room; decontamination room; three triage rooms; four treatment rooms; physician office; medication room; clean and soiled utility rooms; private patient bathrooms; and coffee bar.

Other features of the new Emergency Department include a decontamination area, public and staff bathrooms, staff break room, a family room for counseling or bereavement, large nursing station, upgraded ambulance bay, and an office for hospital security staff that is located to control after-hours access to the hospital.

The hospital’s mobile M.R.I. trailer area was relocated and includes the area’s first enhanced open M.R.I. service. Improvements were made to the hospital’s helipad area, as well as in the construction of a helicopter hanger and crew quarters to accommodate the area’s first hospital-based 24-hour per day emergency helicopter service, a partnership between Wetzel County Hospital and the Air Evac Lifeteam.

“We have taken great strides as a small rural hospital in providing high quality emergency, inpatient, and outpatient services. Many of our services and technology exceeds that of hospitals in the Wheeling and Parkersburg area. There is no reason for anyone to leave our area for radiology, lab, rehabilitation, or general in-patient surgery and acute care. Even if your doctor orders labs, therapy, or radiology at another hospital, you can bring your order here and be assured that our services meet the highest standards of care and service,” added Arlene Summers, R.N., Chief Nurse for Inpatient Services at Wetzel County Hospital.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services re-designated Wetzel County Hospital as a Level IV Trauma Center. Wetzel County Hospital is one of only 13 hospitals in West Virginia to receive a full three-year designation.

To earn the designation, the hospital must have the necessary equipment and resources for trauma cases. Hospital staff must constantly review trauma cases, which enables staff to provide care based on the best practices of trauma centers across the country.

Also, the hospital must staff radiology, lab, surgery, and other departments to immediately treat trauma patients. Doctors and nurses must pass advanced trauma classes to provide patients with the latest procedures. All Emergency Department nursing staff at Wetzel County Hospital are credentialed in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS); Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS); Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NRP); and advanced Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC).

Partial funding for the emergency department project came through a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Resources, Health Resources and Services Administration, in the amount of $853,062 secured with the assistance of the late United States Senator Robert C. Byrd. The balance of the funding came from the refinancing of Wetzel County Hospital’s long term bonds by WesBanco Bank along with the cooperation and assistance of the Wetzel County Commission and Wetzel County Building Commission. The project was designed by Kreps and Zachwieja Architects from Charleston, W.Va., and R.C. Construction of Charleston, W.Va., is the general contractor.

Ebert said that Superior Amerinet member performance was recognized in areas including financial and operational improvements, quality and patient care delivery, supply chain and data management, and community impact.