Manning Regional Healthcare Center

MRHC Evolving to Meet Ever-Changing Patient Needs

Manning Regional Healthcare Center has been a staple of western Iowa since 1926 and locals are continuously grateful that they have a choice when it comes to receiving quality healthcare in a rural setting close to home. Throughout the past year, MRHC has taken important steps to meet the shifting needs of their patients.

In early 2021, MRHC launched a capital campaign, Project Forward, with the goal of continuing to provide high-quality, local care for the most common healthcare challenges we face in our community today and for the foreseeable future. In addition, healthcare services have shifted and many procedures are now being performed as outpatient while the demand for in-patient care has decreased. The first phase of this project has expanded the Senior Life Solutions (SLS) program space, upgraded the hospital pharmacy to meet regulations, and added a negative-pressure isolation room.

“The capital campaign is an investment in our current facility to continue to adapt and serve the needs of our patients,” shared CEO Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “But more importantly, it demonstrates our commitment to providing care close to home for those facing anxiety and depression as well as a variety of infusions (including chemotherapy) and other medications.”

To date, the campaign has raised just shy of $200,000 of the total $1.9 million goal thanks to local donors, grants and CARES Act funding. Construction began mid-summer and is anticipated to be completed yet this fall.

Senior Life Solutions Expansion

MRHC’s Senior Life Solutions program received designation as a top ten National Program of the Year Finalist for the second year in a row. The program had 188 referrals and served 70 area residents ages 65+ struggling with depression and anxiety. SLS has averaged 345 visits per month and nine visits per day during this past year, an increase of about 14% during the pandemic.

“We recognize that we have an aging population here in Manning and the surrounding communities, so it is vital that we have a strong Senior Life Solutions program that serves the needs of those most vulnerable and reach them in a safe and consistent manner,” said Block.

SLS utilized Telehealth visits during the pandemic, but quickly realized that the best form of support comes in the form of in-person group therapy sessions.

 “This renovation will allow us all to come back together safely, socially distancing in a larger community room and be able to invite even more people to join in and get the support they need,” shared program director, Janet Brus, RN. 

Pharmacy Improvements

The MRHC pharmacy project will ensure that the hospital is compliant with USP 800 that dictates the compounding and handling of hazardous medications.

 “Without this renovation, we would no longer be able to supply hazardous IV mixes and provide them to patients locally. There are approximately 60 medications we currently offer that fall into this category, meaning that those with cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and other patients that need to have access to these life-saving measures would have to drive to another facility for infusions. And many times, these treatments are required multiple times per week,” said Director of Pharmacy, Jen Morris, PharmD.

Morris’ leadership in the MRHC pharmacy renovation to ensure that MRHC can continue to offer life-saving infusions to patients, as well as stay in compliance with regulations, was among the many reasons she was selected for the Health-System Pharmacist of the Year award. This national program recognizes a health-system pharmacist who demonstrates service to the pharmacy profession, specifically hospital pharmacy; contributions to pharmacy programs; cooperation with the entire health care team; and service to the community.

Renovation to Add Negative-Pressure Isolation Room

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for negative-pressure isolation rooms for those who had the virus put a strain on many hospitals across the nation. Luckily, MRHC did not have a significant influx of patients needing support at one time. However, the pandemic brought to light that additional support could be necessary in the future. An additional negative-pressure patient isolation room will feature two beds. In the event of another pandemic or other airborne outbreak, this addition will increase MRHC’s capacity to isolate up to three patients at one time. This also maintains the 17-bed licensure the hospital holds.

Expanding Specialty Clinic Services

In addition to these renovations throughout the past year, MRHC also expanded orthopedic services in the specialty clinic. Total and partial knee replacements are now offered at MRHC every other Thursday.

“We understand how convenient and important it is to have surgeries and procedures done close to home, so we were excited to welcome Dr. Barry Bohlen of Miller Orthopedics to our list of specialty providers,” said Block.

Dr. Bohlen is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in total joint replacement with over 19 years of experience of helping people regain a better quality of life. His other specialties include arthroscopy of the knee, sports injuries, fractures, and trauma injuries. In the future, MRHC anticipates he will also offer shoulder replacement and potentially hip replacement.

MRHC Welcomes New Family Practice Clinic Provider

This year, MRHC welcomed a new provider to the Family Practice Clinic, Samantha Quelland, ARNP.

“Sam has a broad range of nursing experience including critical care and operating room. She prioritizes building relationships and caring for the families of our community,” said Block.

Shortly before starting at MRHC, Quelland mentioned that “getting back to a small-town community was appealing. I’m excited to get to know everybody here and be able to provide that continuum of care for patients (from infants to the elderly), watching them grow, and being able to impact patients over the long term.”

New Services in The Recovery Center

The Recovery Center at MRHC is also making strides to adapt to patient needs. Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a notable increase in alcohol use and abuse in Iowa.

“We are seeing this impact here in Manning with an increased wait list for admission to our Recovery Center with referrals from all over the state,” said Recovery Center Director Taya Vonnahme, MSN, RN, ARNP, tCDAC.

The Recovery Center continues to provide consultations and evaluations, detoxification, and residential or outpatient treatment. This year, the Recovery Center plans to expand their services to offer Prime for Life classes.

Prime for Life is a 12-hour curriculum that focuses on understanding how alcohol and drug-related problems develop and what we can do to prevent them as well as drinking and driving. In the state of Iowa, the law requires that an OWI offender complete a program such as this. The class is held over a two-day period for seven hours each day (including breaks) and is taught by counselors at the Recovery Center. In addition to this type of course, the state also requires that an OWI offender complete a substance abuse evaluation, which the Recovery Center can also accommodate. To learn more or sign up for Prime for Life, call (712) 655-2300.

Enhancing Necessary Equipment

With the acceleration of technology and the advancement of AI software, Manning Regional has identified that upgrades to the current CT scanner are necessary.

Upgrading to a new model scanner will allow for high-resolution imaging, lower radiation exposure, more weight capacity and smart technology to account for specific patient anatomy. The new scanner would also reduce noise, decrease patient breath hold times and accelerate exam time from start to finish. Additionally, staff would be able to deliver more personalized and comfortable care with its hands-free operation.

Team Engagement Reaches Highest Level to Date

Not only does MRHC prioritize patient safety, care and satisfaction, team engagement among employees is also important. This year for team engagement, MRHC set a goal of a 4.2 engagement indicator (on a scale of 1- 5 from the Press Ganey Team Engagement Survey taken this past spring). The result was 4.41, exceeding their goal. The last Team Engagement Survey was taken in 2019 when the engagement score was 4.04, so significant improvement has been made.

“Here at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, we have an amazing and engaged team who truly care about the patients we serve and the work we do here,” said Block. “While we have more goals to achieve to make MRHC the best it can be, I feel so proud when I look back on everything we have accomplished over the past year and the ways we have evolved to give our patients the best care possible.”

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