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OVMC Stroke Program Highlighted

November 5, 2007
By SHELLEY HANSON
WHEELING — Ohio Valley Medical Center is expected to take in $90 million in patient revenue in fiscal 2008, said Administrator David McClure.

The hospital’s budget was approved Friday during a board of trustees meeting. A copy of the entire budget was not made available, as it still must be approved by the state health care authority, McClure said.

He noted on the expenditures side of the budget, the hospital is estimated to have $1 million in excess revenue in fiscal 2008, which begins in January.

McClure added during the past seven months, OVMC has had a $500,000 profit, which it has used for various upgrades and wage adjustments.

Most of the wage adjustments have been hourly pay increases for some nurses, the largest part of the hospital’s work force. He noted OVMC still is offering $5,000 bonuses for new nurses.

‘‘We continue to be as generous as we can to remain competitive with Wheeling Hospital and other hospitals in the area and in Pittsburgh,’’ McClure said.

The starting wage for registered nurses is $18 an hour, he noted.

In other business, the board also learned about the hospital’s participation in the pilot stroke program.

Data collected during the first half of 2006 is expected to be compared to data collected during the first six months of 2007.

McClure said the purpose of the pilot is to improve treatment times for stroke care and to develop a standard of care that hospital emergency rooms can use across the state.

Funding for the project was provided by the West Virginia Hospital Association, the American Heart Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Virginia University was OVMC’s and Wheeling Hospital’s partner in the project, McClure noted.

Data collected during the program includes: identification of the last time a patient was seen neurologically normal; door-to-physician time; door-to-CT time; door-to-treatment time; and appropriate use of antibiotics.

Results won’t be released until data from 2006 and 2007 are compared.

According to the American Heart Association, stroke warning signs include: sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

‘‘We are looking for an improvement in results across the state for the participating hospitals and are looking ahead to 2008, when the project will expand to include the entire state,’’ said Staci Trudo, registered nurse and OVMC’s team leader, in a news release.

In addition to Trudo, OVMC’s pilot program team included Dr. Joseph Dougherty; registered nurses Cathy Robinson, Nancy DeLong, Terrie Otte, Peggy Porter and Mary McKinley; Administrator David McClure; Drs. Chris Gooch, Kristin Smith and Kristine Midcap; and Vicki Novick, radiology director.

‘‘By working together with hospitals throughout the state, we believe that we can improve the care that patients, particularly those in rural areas, receive,’’ Trudo said.

Fact Box

Stroke statistics

? 750,000 strokes annually in the U.S.
? 82 percent not rapidly identified
? Third leading cause of death
? Leading cause of disability
? 5 million stroke survivors
? Only 1.8 percent treated with fibrinolytics (clot busters)

Source: Ohio Valley Medical Center

 
 

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