The banging of hammers, the buzzing of saws and the beeps of monitors mix in a strange combination as Stone County Hospital transitions into Memorial Hospital at Stone County.

Health care services continue to be provided while workers make renovations to make the overall system more efficient.

All the while, training sessions take place in rooms which have already been renovated.

“Workers have installed more than 75 miles of new wire in order to accommodate the Cerner Information System,” said Lynn Truelove, Stone County Hospital Chief Executive Officer. “That will allow us to be proficient at keeping electronic health records.”

The hospital is preparing for a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations survey in January, a necessary step in transitioning the facility from a rural critical access designation into an acute care facility.

The hospital officially changed hands on Friday.

Fast forward to Saturday and the first Memorial Hospital at Stone County Health Fair. The health fair is a tradition begun several years ago by Stone County Hospital.

Hundreds of members of the community attended and received health screenings, health-care information and had the opportunity to meet the hospital’s staff while being entertained by local band Elusive Behavior.

Fast forward to Monday.

Several members of both hospitals’ administrations appeared before the Stone County Board of Supervisors to share information as the transition moves forward.

Kent Nicaud, President and CEO of Memorial Hospital, told the board there would now be certified emergency-room physicians on duty 24/7 and that the hospital would be partnering with AMR ambulance service no later than Dec. 15.

Ambulance services will remain the same initially, but may expand if the need is shown, said James Carver, EMS Chief with AMR.

Julia Clarke, Director of Business Development and Government Relations for AMR, explained that her company would be would be inventorying and examining the ambulances currently operated by Stone County Hospital Ambulance Services and making appropriate changes to ensure continued accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services.

“They really are the gold standard and we hold ourselves to high standards,” she said.

Nicaud said adding current ambulance resources to AMR would build confidence in the community.

For now, the same three-ambulance rotation, with two on duty during the day and one at night, will remain.

“If we have to add units, that’s something we can do,” Carver said.

Recommended for you