South Central Kansas Medical Center has a new chief of staff after Dr. Perry Lin resigned from SCKMC’s employment earlier this month.

Ark City Clinic physician Dr. Paul Klaassen will take Lin’s place. He presented for the first time to the SCKMC Board of Trustees on Thursday.

“It was a good team that Virgil (Watson had) all scheduled out,” Klaassen said of the hospital’s chief executive officer.

Going forward, several doctors will cover obstetric care for the hospital, with Klaassen among them.

In addition, Dr. David Schmeidler, Dr. Mauricio Herrera and Dr. Eric Thomson will help with the on-call obstetrics service.

In the meantime, none of the doctors located in Arkansas City specialize in pediatric care and so far, no doctor has been designated for on-call pediatric services.

Clinical documentation

The board of trustees also discussed clinical documentation improvement, a program that has been in place for two years

SCKMC staff spent some time explaining to the new trustees exactly how clinical documentation works within the hospital.

The program was put into place so more revenue will be captured in the billing process. In order to bill more effectively, a staff member checks each chart and ensures that no procedures or treatments were administered that are not presented in the written account.

Patricia McMains, who serves as the hospital’s health information manager, indicated she still is finding errors in coding even though the process has become more streamlined since its inception.

Trustee Jay Warren asked if the use of scribes would help to make sure that more charts will be correct.

McMains and Tracy Austin, director of nursing, indicated the scribes’ help would not necessarily provide the support Warren had in mind.

The scribes do not generally have the same education level that doctors have and only would be writing the notes as doctors dictated them.

Austin said that in one instance, a doctor used the word “excision” instead of “incision.” This seemingly minor word difference could have had a four-digit financial impact.

In other business, the trustees:

  • approved the June 12 regular meeting minutes.
  • heard a financial report from Holly Harper, chief financial officer.
  • heard a quality performance report from Shayla McDonald, director of quality and risk management.
  • heard a management report from Watson.
  • held an executive session to discuss confidential patient information pursuant to a risk management report.
  • presented a “dry run” of Health Care Sales Tax information to hospital employees and others in attendance, prior to Thursday night’s town hall meeting.