August, 2007


Carpenter, Jordan Appointed In SOMC Workforce Development

Linda Carpenter has been named Director of Workforce Development, formerly Staff Development, at Southern Ohio Medical Center, Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources and Organizational Development, announced. Carpenter has joined SOMC’s leadership team from Nashville, Tenn., where she served as a training manager for the Gaylord Opryland Resort. She received her master’s degree in Educational Administration/Adult Continuing Education from Michigan State University.

Shawn Jordan has been named Workforce Development Manager, Noel announced. Jordan has been an employee of SOMC for the past 10 years as a Marketing Communications Specialist in the Community Relations Department. She received her bachelor’s degree in English, Communications, Journalism and Theater from Morehead State University and her graduate certificate in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University. She is currently pursing her master’s of science in Healthcare Administration.

Noel said the change in the department’s name to Workforce Development, which was official Aug. 27, is consistent with a switch in the industry to a broader scope of educational support for the entire organization in addition to the traditional clinical staff development.

SOMC Surgery Uses New Procedure To Destroy Tumors

SOMC Surgeons Dr. Thomas Khoury and Dr. Richard Rooney prepare to use a special radiofrequency probe to destroy a tumor in a patient’s liver.

Southern Ohio Medical Center is among the first hospitals in the region using a new procedure to destroy cancerous tumors in soft tissue without surgically removing them.

“In many cases this procedure can be done with smaller incisions and less risk to the patient,” SOMC general and vascular surgeon Thomas L. Khoury, SOMC’s cancer physician liaison, says. “Using image-guided technology, a special probe on a wire delivers localized high-frequency electric current, heating and destroying the tumor with less damage to surrounding tissue.”

Known as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), the approach results in safely destroying the tissue, which then shrinks and is replaced with scar tissue.

“Depending on the patient and conditions, the procedure can be performed in conventional surgery or in an image-guided approach,” Dr. Khoury says. “This is less traumatic to the patient in some cases than surgically removing the tumor, which requires larger incisions, longer recovery, greater discomfort and more risk of infection.”

The most common areas of treatment include the liver, lung, kidney, adrenal gland, and in some cases bone. While the technology does not replace conventional chemotherapy or radiation therapy, it can be used in conjunction with those approaches to address soft tissue cancers, Dr. Khoury says.

SOMC Surgical Services uses the Boston Scientific system. Once the tumor has been ablated, the patient will be scanned at one month and every three months afterward to monitor for any recurrence.

SOMC Launches New Medication Process

Southern Ohio Medical Center has launched a new process for giving medication to patients during their hospital stay.

The nurse will use a hand-held scanner to scan her/his ID badge, the patient’s hospital ID bracelet and the code printed on the patient’s medication packet prior to giving the medication.

“This helps assure that the right medicine is reaching the right patient the right way,” Julie Irwin, nurse manager of SOMC’s Three North-A unit, explains. Her unit was the first to “go live” with the process Aug. 21. Other nursing units throughout the hospital will adopt the process over the coming months.

The process is called Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), using an Electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR). SOMC is participating in a national safety initiative and this proven best practice for safety and error prevention helps protect the patient’s “Five Rights” (right patient, medication, dose, time and route).

Coinciding with the deployment of BCMA is pharmacy unit dose packaging, a process in which the SOMC pharmacy individually packages and codes each dose of a patient’s medications, which are then stored in a secure containment system near the patient’s room.

SOMC Security Officers Receive Certification

SOMC Security Officers

Officers of Security Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center have increased their ability to provide top-quality safety and security to employees, patients and visitors of the hospital.

Four of the department’s newest officers recently received certification from the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) after passing the organization’s health and safety certification exam in June.

“This marks the first time all eligible officers of our department have been IAHSS-certified since I started working here in 2006,” Joe McKinnon, manager of Security Services at SOMC, said. “This certification means that our Security officers have demonstrated their commitment to meeting nationally recognized standards of professionalism and competency.”

The IAHSS is a nationwide organization dedicated to advancing excellence in healthcare security and safety through education, credentialing, growth and influence. Through the IAHSS’s basic, advanced, supervisory and health and safety certification exams, officers are given the opportunity to learn industry-wide best-practice standards of performance.

McKinnon says the health and safety exam is extremely challenging and demands a high level of competence to pass successfully. Officers must study a 304-page manual consisting of healthcare security topics, such as fundamental security skills, protective measures, customer service and emergency management. Once ready, they must then take a written exam and pass with a score of 75 percent or more to achieve certification.

“Certification through IAHSS exams is important because it strengthens our staff’s ability to perform and provide an enhanced quality of services at SOMC,” McKinnon said. “This is a great achievement and will help in providing our team with improved knowledge and uniform, industry-recognized education of hospital security for the future.”