NRMC, clinic need to make up

I feel a need to respond to the letter from Dr. Hering from the Monticello Clinic in last week’s Monti Times. We regularly see “spin” from the political world but now it shows up here in our concerns over health care.

Dr. Hering was not in attendance at the last NRMC Board meeting so he may have been misled by getting secondhand information. He was attending a convention in Las Vegas so was out of town when it took place.

He attacked Brian Doyle for being “highly offensive” in his comment about people being asked to attend the board meeting in the Times coverage. The people were told that major happenings were to take place and they should attend. What they observed was, in my judgment, dramatically different and enlightening.

First of all, the attendees heard an in-depth report covering the findings of the Joint Commission mock survey completed by an individual who conducts these weeklong sessions at hospitals across the country to prepare for a full Joint Commission survey. She provided a glowing report which included following the “paper trail” of patients moving from one area to another and a number of other aspects of the many departments. She was very complimentary and even came away with one innovation she observed that would be suggested to other hospitals to implement. Certainly there were areas for improvement but she suggested these were less than major or significant. Dr. Hering missed this presentation.

There was indeed a discussion about the activity within the Level II Nursery. What was presented was the difficulty of keeping the nurses within the Level II Nursery qualified when they do not have hands-on contact regularly.

Health care standards suggest that the RN’s must have this exposure to retain their competency to work in this environment and if there are insufficient babies (low volumes due to the Monticello Clinic sending patients away from NRMC) requiring this care, they would not meet the guidelines. With the Monticello Clinic suggesting to expectant mothers to have their event at some other location, this becomes a “self fulfilling prophecy.” Too few births where on average only 2 percent require the Level II Nursery, it is easy to see how this came down to numbers.

Lastly, Dr. Hering knows full well the situation with the on site anesthesiologist. The MDA “call coverage” contract was terminated, but he can continue to practice at NRMC at the request of any surgeon.

I feel the Administration and Board of NRMC are doing the best job possible in a very difficult situation. Relations between the NRMC and the Monticello Clinic need to be healed for the benefit of the patients, current and future.

Targeting the CEO of NRMC as the total problem and requiring his removal seems disingenuous at best. If a change is made, who is to predict the next person will not see things in the same light? It is often better to work with the devil you know rather than look forward to the unknown is an old saw that may need to be considered by the Monticello Clinic.

Bob Esse

Silver Creek Twp.