MOUNT GILEAD — Morrow County Hospital Director of Operations Mike Patterson reported to the hospital board of trustees at its Nov. 24 meeting on two new technologies recently purchased by the hospital.

Patterson reported that the 3D mammography system arrived last week and the first 10 patients’ exams were scheduled on Tuesday. The purchase of the $400,000 system was approved by the board this summer.

Another new technology service that will be available to MCH patients is the PCR diagnostic test to diagnose for COVID-19. The rapid antigen test for COVID-19 has been available at MCH since April or May this year. However, the hospital has been sending tests for the more sensitive and more accurate PCR tests to other hospitals in the area.

In October the hospital board approved the purchase of the PCR test system, costing $80,000 and using non-clinical capital funds for the purchase.

Patterson told the board in October the test system probably wouldn’t be available until February 2021, due to the high demand. He was very pleased to report the PCR test system has been delivered to the hospital this week and the lab hopes to have the system up and in use by the end of December.

The test is cost-effective not only for COVID-19, but it can also be used in a combination of tests and used with other types of influenza viruses. With the tests done on site at MCH, results can be available within 35 minutes, rather than 24-48 hours.

Patterson noted that COVID-19 numbers continue to increase in the county and since the beginning of November MCH is now caring for COVID-19 patients. He reported that patient surveys are reported for October with a 3.8 scale of excellence out of 4 points.

Ohio Health Regional Senior Vice President Cheryl Herbert gave an update. Herbert said the peak of this latest surge of COVID-19 is predicted to be in January. She added that there is now a great deal of the hospital’s work that is delayed to care for COVID-19 patients.

“Covid is consuming every health care system in the state,” Herbert said. “It must be taken seriously.”

MCH President and CEO Chad Miller said that Morrow County Hospital has just recently taken on patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19.

“Morrow County Hospital has taken on Covid patients to do our part for the region,” Miller said.

In other business:

• Following the executive session of the Nov. 24 hospital board meeting, board president Brent Winand announced there will be a special meeting of the MCH board on Dec. 9 for the purpose of meeting with legal counsel. Winand said there is mediation scheduled Dec. 17.

• Miller reported that the hospital has received the State of Ohio Auditor’s Three Star Rating for implementation of best practices under the Sunshine Law.

“To achieve a three-star rating from the Auditor of the state is a true reflection of the hospital’s due diligence to conduct open and honest communication to the public regarding the governance of the hospital,” he said.

Radiology Technician Carla Hoyng with the new 3D mammography device at Morrow County Hospital. Technician Carla Hoyng with the new 3D mammography device at Morrow County Hospital. Courtesy Photo
Mammography, new COVID-19 test at site

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel