By LIBBY CLUETT
“It seems to me the hospital has been busy,” Chief of Staff Dr. John Jones told Palo Pinto Hospital District trustees Tuesday night, seemingly tongue-in-cheek, since he informed the board that the PPGH Emergency Department had a record month and its busiest single day in December.
With two months left in flu season – which typically lasts from Sept. 1 to March 31 – PPGH Clinic Administrator Sue Lamb informed trustees, “We have very few [shots] left and the pharmacist said there's not much out there.”
She said she informed the PPGH clinics to “give it till it's done.”
Jones also addressed the year ahead and challenges.
“It's going to be a challenging year,” Jones noted in his monthly report. “We have a lot of issues to work through. There's a medical staff that is a bit split about the direction of the hospital.”
Jones said he has served as chief of staff on other occasions, but noted, “I don't guess I've ever seen the level of aggravation of medical staff.”
“There are challenges that lie ahead and I will attempt to meet those head-on in support of this hospital and in support of the health of this community,” he told trustees.
Jones also addressed an issue that recently arose regarding Medical Executive Committee bylaws on physician appointments. He said over the past 13 years credentialing physicians' appointments and reappointments have “not been completely compliant with the bylaws.”
He explained that the medical staff bylaws state a physician appointment must go through a chief of service before being approved. At PPGH, there are three such chiefs: one for obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics; one for surgery; and one for medicine.
Jones said the MEC recently discovered past discrepancies with the bylaws. He noted that he takes responsibility and would not point a finger backward, but said, “We will rectify the issues.”
Trustee Richard Dennis asked about a letter the board received from one physician, which alleged the hospital administration was responsible for the MEC's bylaws and actions.
“As a matter of record, that comment is inaccurate and not a correct indictment of anybody,” said Dennis.
“It's absurd for anyone other than the medical staff to take responsibility of the [medical] bylaws,” Jones replied, reiterating that he took responsibility.