PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) in Perryville is expanding services and upgrading in several areas.
The hospital is currently constructing a new emergency department, has upgraded lab equipment for faster response times, is utilizing a new hospitalists program, is expanding medical offices for their medical program, and more.
Perry County Health System President and CEO Patrick Carron said with the constant growth over the years, they needed to adapt to help more patients and to quicken their response time in certain areas.
"To support that (growth), we've brought in different technologies," Carron said. "One is a microbiology lab in our laboratory. The quick identification of infectious illnesses and getting those patients treated with the right antibiotics in a very timely manner has proven to be very beneficial."
The lab is now better equipped for faster response times for diseases such as sepsis. Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires urgent attention and rapid treatment for survival. It's a serious complication of a blood infection and the body's response to that infection.
Now, the hospital is better equipped to handle and improve cases such as sepsis and others, which will help save lives, reduce the length of a patient's stay, and overall provide more appropriate care.
"Formerly, it could take as many as 48 hours or more to identify the bug," Carron explained. "So for that first 48 hours doctors are prescribing multiple antibiotics that are covering all options."
Carron added that antibiotics are expensive and can be hard on the body when too much is consumed. He said that because of the new technology, they can more accurately understand the problem and better treat the patient.
"We can narrow it down and sometimes be very specific as to what the infecting organism is and get that patient quickly on the right medicine," Carron added. "Not only is it easier on the body, but its less pain and suffering for the patient."
Back in October of 2017, the hospital went live with state-of-the-art equipment that rapidly identifies sepsis through blood cultures. This new equipment that is now being used incubates and monitors the blood samples to detect infections in the blood.
With the addition of the new lab equipment, PCMH is currently remodeling and constructing their Emergency Department (ED) to better fit the needs of their growing number of patients. Right now they have a separate, temporary location adjacent to the previous ED to continue with services while the construction takes place.
"The emergency room is about 35 years old as far as its design," Carron said. "Things have changed where years ago people would have a short stay in the emergency room. Doctors basically had to do fewer tests to decide if the patient had to be admitted or sent home. Now your emergency rooms are more of a diagnostic environment where you spend more time, spend more money but you come away knowing a lot more of what your illness is."
Carron said they felt they needed to reorganize the space to be more effective in taking care of, keeping an eye on, and better diagnosing the patients in a timely manner as well as upgrading some safety features.
PCMH has also expanded services and added more office space by purchasing a building on Main Street.
That building is undergoing renovations to serve as physician medical offices for visiting specialists. Another part of the building will house their medical equipment program, which is expanding into a full line of medical equipment lease, sales, and services.
Among their growth, they have a recent accomplishment to highlight their services. Earlier this month the PCMH Sleep Lab achieved accreditation status with the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). Accreditation by the ACHC reflects an organization's dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care.
Carron also thanks the community for allowing them to grow in Perryville, but also mentioned that the costs of these improvements come from funds they already have.
"We're very fortunate," Carron stated." We have a very productive community. We are able to make these improvements with our reserves so it doesn't require going to the bank for loans."
Perry County Memorial Hospital was also recognized in 2015 and 2016 as a National Top 20 Critical Access Hospital from the National Rural Healthcare Association.
Carron feels the recognition and growth is something they are definitely proud of as they continue to find ways to better patient care in the future.
"We are always looking at the needs of the community and partnering with people who can help us serve the community," Carron added. "It's been an enjoyable experience so far and we have a lot of community support, which really knocks it home for us."
For more information about PCMH's services and patient care, you can visit their website at www.pchmo.org.